(CNSNews.com) - "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," Donald Trump said last month, prompting fierce denunciation for suggesting that some of the Mexicans coming here are bringing drugs and crime with them.
On Tuesday, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency official told Congress that Mexican drug cartels are fueling the U.S. heroin epidemic, producing crime and violence, and doing "tremendous harm to our communities." And no one disputed him.
"Overdose deaths involving heroin are increasing at an alarming rate, having almost tripled since 2010," Jack Riley, the acting deputy DEA administrator, told a House Justice subcommittee on Tuesday.
"Today’s heroin at the retail level costs less and is more potent than the heroin that DEA encountered a decade ago. It comes predominantly across the Southwest Border
and is produced with greater sophistication from powerful transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) like the Sinaloa Cartel. These Mexican-based TCOs are extremely dangerous and violent and continue to be the principal suppliers of heroin to the United States."
Riley produced a map showing how the Sinaloa cartel has infiltrated the nation by partnering with street gangs to peddle their drugs.
"And this map you're looking at would have been vastly different just five years ago," he said. "The role of heroin -- the toxic business relationship that's evolved in virtually every corner of this country between urban street gangs and Mexican cartels is frightening to me and what keeps me up at night."