Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The medicine cartel, a phenomenon made in the USA

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso Special Report

[ Subject Matter: Black market in legal medicines
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Special Agent of the DEA, Rockwell "Rocky" Herron

Reporter: Rafael Croda
The Special Agent of the DEA, Rockwell Herron, has his centre of operations in San Diego, California, a few kilometres from the frontier with Mexico, but his work doesn't have to do with the Mexican drug trafficking cartels, it is in whats called "The Medicine Cartel", 100% American mafia.

This Cartel, considered the first economic beneficiary for consumers of drugs in the United States, more than 25,000,000,000 dollars per year. Their profits for the illegal sale of prescription medicines is greater than the Mexican Cartels that traffic cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine.

For Agent Herron, The Medicine Cartel is the greater threat. He has spent 8 years investigating it and is convinced that the abuse of medicines that get to the black market is greater than the illicit drugs provided by Latin America.

"We have a problem of illegal drugs and another equal or worse, the consumption of legal medicines that have been acquired illegally, said the DEA Agent to Proceso during a trip to Colombia to give young students talks about the sordid world of drug traffickers.

According to Herron, The Medicine Cartel doesn't have capos or public faces, doesn't have cowboy boots, large belt buckles, huge gold medallions and AK47's slung over their shoulders. You have on the other hand, Doctors in white coats, in plush offices, with the power of your signature on a receipt to provide drugs to millions of United States citizens with addiction problems.

"My work is to investigate the doctors that sell prescriptions, exchange prescriptions for sex and use them to use that power to supply the black market and the illegal consumption of pills", he explained.

The National Institute for the Abuse of Drugs in the United States, NIDA, estimate that 52 million Americans have consumed prescription medicines and that 1 in every 12 secondary school students take opiate analgesic prescription drugs.

Herron, known as Rocky by the students with whom he talks, says that a normal American family doesn't have methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine in their house, but they do have analgesics, anti depressants, and stimulants in the medicine cabinet.

"The youngster go to the bathroom, take some pills and use them. This way they start, and as there are not sufficient pills in the bathroom to supply their demand, they generate a black market for medical prescriptions", he explained.

Among the medicines of major illegal consumption in the United States are the analgesic opiates like, Oxycontin, Percocet (oxicodona), Vocodina, and Methadone. Also the anti depressants and sedatives, like Valium and Xanas, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall.

"If the Latin American drugs reach the United States, addicts will continue to use drugs made at home, in laboratories legal or clandestine of acid and amphetamines", said the expert in security and professor of the National University of Colombia, Pablo Reyes.

According to investigations of NIDA, U.S. counties with high average incomes, whose families were victims of the financial crises of 2008 and 2009, thousands of families could no longer afford costly prescription medicines, and so their children who have been using their drugs, started to dabble in illicit hard drugs like heroin.

The Department of Health for the United States considers that the country lives with an epidemic of abuse of heroin that cause over a 100 deaths by overdose every day. According to the institution, between 2007 and 2013 the number of addicts of this drug rose by 172% from 161,000 to 289,000, and of those 85% started with the consumption of prescription medicines.

Herron said that the business of medicines includes passing it across the frontier to Tijuana, where it is more easily acquired by United States citizens.

"There are Mexican traffickers of pills that have arms inside the United States that corrupt doctors, rob pharmacists and give patients false prescriptions. This is the way they supply these medicines.. They are the only drugs that are made in the United States, travel across the border to Mexico, to return to the United States and still give profits", said the Special Agent with 25 years service with the DEA.

For Herron, who thinks that the principal battle front in the war on drugs, is education and prevention, The Medicine Cartel is very dangerous and at this time, for me, the biggest narcos and the doctors of my country that sell prescriptions".

(Otis: doing a little math here, 25 billion in domestic illegal drug sales of prescription medicines, plus the 30 billion handed to Mexican Cartels annually totals 55 Billion dollars per year!, that's a sizable chunk of the total United States Gross Domestic Product of 17.7 trillion in 2014).

Original article in Spanish at Proceso


  1. Its funny how i was just talking about this with a friend yesterday, he was talking about his cousin having ADHD and i was telling him he's just a spoiled brat.. How thr gov ownes hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.. Just making a living of everything and everyone making up all kinds of disorders.

    1. Adhd is toxins and microbial infections in the brain. AND gut( second brain)its multiple things and overlapping symptoms.example toxiplasmosis and born a virus in bipolar and mercury aluminium and lead

    2. We didn't have ADHD when I was in school. If you were "hyper" the teachers would knock the spit out of you. End of stupidity in class.

      Now, kids are all drugged in class. Everyone has an "affliction".

  2. This is Definately a phenomenon but to label it a cartel is simply a is not organized or controlled by anyone.....just a chaotic phenomenon of corrupt doctors, pain clinics, and doctor shopping (getting scripts from various doctors to treat the same one injury).....In reality the MX cartels are also not as organized as's simplified for public consumption...they are groups who work w each other sometimes and w others at other times....tons of crews of traffickers is more accurate....the Flores twins are a rarity not the norm

    1. Perfectly stated. It's just a cycle just like MDMA was. Too many avenues of supply to organize it's structure. Ritalin and Adderall will make you rich in the Ivy League circuit.

  3. In california im the boss of all the doctors who sell pills they work under me the reason why the DEA dont talk or targets us is beacause they all get a big pay check cause in this work money rains and one thing i can tell you is you will never know who im -El Jefe De Jefes-

  4. Tell that to your IP

  5. This guys dumb to think mexican cartels arent involved.Any thats illegal and involves trafficking cartels are on it.

  6. big pharma is worth billions and that's why they act like it's a big problem they just want control, they make the drugs and then try to stop them, people in pain can't get what they need because someone might abuse it? we know the truth, you America are the most corrupt and biggest drug dealers ever, not to mention the DEA. Hypocrite monopoly driven Cowards! USA is a failure! HAHA Long live El Chapo who escaped AGAIN last night! he worked for the ATF just look at fast and furious! When the government is the crook you don't trust no one!

    1. What are you a Neo nazi? Chapó is only good for more dead Mexicans. No different from any other drug dealer. And big pharma is run by Germans.

  7. If $$$$ goes to education and prevention and rehab, there goes the DEA budget!
    This dude will retire with a multi-million$$$ pension spread over his retirement lifetime and there will be more drugs and addicts than ever!

  8. The drug cartel is sticking it to the insurance companies, and not to the government anymore, the insurance companies deny service and send the patients to buy on the street, by then they have the cash patients and make money they do not have to report...


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