In Small-Town USA, Business as Usual for Mexican Cartels
[video at link]
Editor’s note: This article is part of an occasional series looking at the violence tied to Mexican drug cartels, their expanding global connections and how they affect people’s daily lives.
Wilmington, North Carolina (CNN) — Less than a mile off a county road in Ivanhoe near the Black River, federal drug agents and local authorities found exactly what their informant had promised.
“We saw what looked like, as far as you could see, marijuana plants,” said Drug Enforcement Administration agent Michael Franklin.
There were about 2,400 in all, surrounded by a makeshift camp where the growers had illegally squatted on private property, setting up a generator and pump to tap the river for irrigation. The camp, which had been recently inhabited, contained a tarp shelter, canned fuel, drinking water, toiletries and old clothing, some of it camouflage.