Excellent reporting. Be sure to read the whole story. Notably, it was the feds who discovered the corrupt deputy, not any internal checks and balances at the Dallas Sheriff's office - further evidence why an external monitor is needed to investigate law enforcement corruption.
"We've got some of the major cartel members established here dealing their wares in Europe," said James Capra, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Dallas office.
Experts say warring cartels battered by unprecedented U.S. and Mexican government crackdowns are increasingly looking to Europe as an expansion market. Across the Atlantic, demand for cocaine is high and prices are up. A kilo sold for $20,000 in Dallas is worth up to three times as much overseas, experts say.
Mexican cartel operatives in North Texas "are dealing with Italy, Spain, you name it," he said. "They can operate their logistical center from here and coordinate between Mexico, Central America and Europe."
Italian capos are venturing to North Texas to get in on the action, says one mob expert.
"Places like Houston and Dallas are where these criminal organizations are most likely to invest their money," said Antonio Nicaso, an internationally recognized author and lecturer on Italian organized crime. "This is the right time, with the recession going on."
Dallas has long been a recognized distribution hub for drugs smuggled up the Interstate 35 corridor from Laredo. From here, narcotics head out across the country to Atlanta, Chicago, New England and elsewhere.
The revelation that the cartels are forming alliances with Italian syndicates came last year when the DEA revealed that the Mexican Gulf cartel, which supplies Dallas with cocaine, was working with New York associates of the powerful Italian 'Ndrangheta mafia.
Last August, the DEA arrested a Dallas County jailer accused of tipping off drug dealers to what appeared to be a small-time local narcotics conspiracy. The jailer, Brenda Medina Salinas, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. As others pleaded guilty and court documents piled up, it became clear that the drug pipeline in that case reached all the way to Europe and the clandestine world of the Camorra.
RELATED: See an excellent story from El Proceso, translated into English by Kristin Bricker at The Narcosphere, about Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman who heads a criminal smuggling organization operating in 38 countries.