The Cocaine Trail to Chicago

Expert reports and court filings related to the Vicente Zambada case offer clues on how cocaine supplied by the Sinaloa cartel gets to Chicago.

Cocaine Trail map

SOURCE: STRATFOR GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE; U.S. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION; COURT FILINGS
 

The price rises at each step (estimated prices are per kilo).

1. The Sinaloa cartel buys cocaine from producers in the Andean highlands.
Price: $2,200

2. Cocaine moves to harbors in Colombia.
Price: $5,000 to $7,000

3. From Colombia, cocaine moves through various parts of Mexico, often along the Sinaloa-controlled Pacific coast or in cities along Mexico’s Caribbean coastline.
Price: $16,000

4. Next, it’s smuggled across the U.S. border, usually at crossings along Southern California or Texas.
Price: $24,000

5. Cocaine arrives in Chicago. Some stays there.
Price: $35,000

6. The rest moves on to other U.S. cities—including Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and those on the East Coast—and beyond into Canada.
Price: Varies by market

 

RELATED: Why the Sinaloa Cartel Loves Selling Drugs in Chicago »
 

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