Los Angeles, CA. According to 33 year veteran gang specialist and retired L.A. Sheriff’s Sergeant Richard Valdemar, Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated city councils and political campaigns in many small cities in Los Angeles County.
- Valdemar cited the following cities as having been infiltrated by the Mexican drug cartels: Lynwood, Bell Gardens, Hawaiian Gardens, South Gate, Huntington Park., Vernon, Cudahy.
- Drug cartels set up phony businesses to launder drug money, usually used car lots, used tire shops that serve as a “front” for their operations.
- Valdemar says it all starts when a small business, like a restaurant, is purchased by someone with drug money from Mexico, who sets up shop and starts inviting the city fathers to come for complimentary or discounted meals.
- Then invitations are extended to local police and other government officials, until the business operator is well established, with powerful friends.
- Drug money is used to send out smear campaign literature to destroy reputations of incumbent city council members and to finance the campaigns of challengers whose goal is to get a majority voting block on the city council.
- Once the drug cartel controls the city council, they fire the city attorney, city manager and start giving out contracts, like the trash collection contract, to their cronies.