For several years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration put the distribution side of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel under a microscope. This series describes the detailed picture that emerged of how the cartel moves drugs into Southern California and across the United States. Times staff writer Richard Marosi reviewed hundreds of pages of records, including DEA investigative reports, probable-cause affidavits, and transcripts of court testimony and phone surveillance. Read the full Times series. »
Part 1: A border battle of wits
As Mexico's Sinaloa cartel sent a never-ending stream of drugs through the Calexico crossing, its lookouts kept a constant watch. What they didn't know was that someone was watching them, and listening to every word. Read the story.
Part 2: Shipping and the supernatural
Channeling a nonstop river of cocaine onto trucks bound for the East required a vast labyrinth of workers in L.A. And women like Lupita, a no-nonsense fortuneteller with a short fuse. Read the story.
Part 3: Clear skies and cocaine
Times were good for a Carlsbad pilot ferrying cocaine across the country for the Sinaloa cartel. But the men at the other end — they worried him. Read the story.
Part 4: Showdown in Sinaloa
Why were cocaine shipments being seized all over the United States? The boss in Mexico was demanding answers.
Credits: Richard Marosi, Maloy Moore, Ben Welsh