Mexican cartels ramp up human smuggling business

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Human smuggling has started to comprise a larger share of the cash fueling Mexico's warring cartels.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the cartels have generated about $50 million from smuggling in the last six months. The illicit business has grown with the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the United States.

Oscar Hagelsieb is the assistant special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso.

Hagelsieb says, "I'm not suggesting that the cartels have abandoned their drug-smuggling activities. But with all the money to be made in human smuggling, they clamped their claws into it as well. Big time."

A U.S. agent speaking on the condition of anonymity says human smugglers have raised their fees from an average $6,000 to more than $8,000.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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