Mexico’s Gulf drug cartel has allegedly joined up with an unlikely ally to bring illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, over the border and into Texas.
The link between the cartel and the white supremacist prison gang and organized crime group, the Aryan Brotherhood, reveals that Mexican drug trafficking organizations have expanded their business networks into the U.S. prison and street gangs…and that the Aryan Brotherhood is putting business before ideology when it comes to their dealings with the Mexican groups.
“It may seem puzzling that a white supremacist gang would work with a Mexican criminal organization,” wrote Claire O’Neill McCleskey of Insight Crime. “But the collaboration is not unusual for the Aryan Brotherhood. In the California prison system, the Aryan Brotherhood has a longstanding if fluid alliance with the Mexican mafia against black gangs.”
The cartels are looking for partners, bridges, to connect their activities inside the United States, and the supremacists have become an important force on the streets and inside prisons.
- Larry Gaines, gang expert and president of the criminal justice department at San Bernardino State University
According to the Mexican newswire Notimex, an agent working for the U.S. Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms stated that an Aryan Brotherhood member, James Sharron, alias “Flounder,” admitted after his arrest that he worked as a go-between for the group and the Gulf Cartel as well helping bring hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine into Texas from Mexico for distribution.
“The defendant stated that he had some important connections with Mexican drug cartels, specifically the Gulf Cartel and moving hundreds and hundreds of kilos of methamphetamine in the Houston area and was distributed in East Texas,” said Boehning, according to Notimex.
Sharron purportedly began his ties with the cartel after being released from jail in Texas and moving to Mexico about ten years ago.
Earlier this month, 34 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas were picked up in raids in several cities and charged with conspiracy in an organized crime group.
The Aryan Brotherhood was founded in the 1960s in San Quentin prison in California. It is believed today to have 200,000 members both in and out of prison and, while it makes up only 1 percent of the prison population in the U.S., is allegedly responsible for up to 20 percent of murders in federal prisons.
Despite their racist ideology, the group is known to have ties to the Mexican Mafia prison gang along with Asian gangs that import heroin from Thailand.
The Gulf Cartel, which is in battle with its former paramilitary group the Zetas, has lost much of its power over the last few years and might be looking to shore up its drug transit routes in the U.S. by creating ties with the white supremacist group.
“The cartels are looking for partners, bridges, to connect their activities inside the United States, and the supremacists have become an important force on the streets and inside prisons,” according to Larry Gaines, gang expert and president of the criminal justice department at San Bernardino State University