Mexican Cartels Ramp Up Human Smuggling Business

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A U.S. intelligence official says Mexican cartels are increasingly profiting from human trafficking due to the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.

Oscar Hagelsieb is the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso. He tells The Dallas Morning news for a report published Saturday that the cartels have “clamped their claws” into human smuggling, though they haven’t abandoned drug smuggling.

He says U.S. authorities have identified the Gulf and other cartels heavily involved in smuggling in the region.

Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson recently announced that more than 360 smugglers have been arrested and $800,000 in illicit payments seized.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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