Mexico's Role in the Deadly Rise of Fentanyl

FENTANYL / 19 FEB 2019

This investigative series looks at the role that Mexico and its cartels have played in making the lethal opioid fentanyl a growing threat in the United States. While China accounts for the overwhelming majority of fentanyl production, Mexican gangs have also become key links in this chain, transporting, selling, and even producing the drug. Here we examine the rise of fentanyl, from production facilities in China and Mexico, to the potential role of the Sinaloa Cartel and numerous subcontractors.

Chapter 1

Fentanyl: Summary and Major Findings

DRUG POLICY / 12 FEB 2019

Since surging into the market in 2013, fentanyl has become the most lethal category of opioid in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that…

Chapter 2

Fentanyl Case Shows China's Scary Ability to Adapt

CHINA AND CRIME / 12 FEB 2019

In October 2017, two Chinese men—Xiaobing Yan and Jian Zhang—were indicted for conspiring to manufacture and distribute “large quantities” of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in the United States. Although they…

Chapter 3

A Sinaloa Connection in Buffalo, New York?

DRUG POLICY / 13 FEB 2019

The sea cucumber arrived. Then more arrived. Then more. It was a lot, investigators noted—too much for that northwestern corner of New York state. The shipments were, US prosecutors would…

Chapter 4

Bulgarian Biochemist in Mexico Gives Glimpse of the Future

DRUG POLICY / 14 FEB 2019

In 2018, US authorities began following a Bulgarian biochemist who they believed was running a small fentanyl laboratory in Mexico.

Chapter 5

End of Heroin is Bad News for US Fentanyl Hotbeds

DRUG POLICY / 15 FEB 2019

On October 22, 2018, authorities pulled over a Dominican national identifying himself as Angel Javier Morell-Oneill as he drove in Methuen, Massachusetts. They had been investigating him since June 2018,…

Chapter 6

The Fentanyl Trade Through Mexico, Explained in 8 Graphs

FENTANYL / 19 FEB 2019

Fentanyl use is booming in the United States. With support from the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, InSight Crime mapped the distribution chain, and the role of Mexico's…

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About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

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InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

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Impact on the Media Landscape

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InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

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InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

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Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…

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