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4,100 pounds of heroin seized in South Texas in last 5 years

San Antonio both a trafficking destination and distribution point

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SAN ANTONIO – As heroin becomes more popular in San Antonio, local authorities are seeing more affiliated cartel activity.

James Spero, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said, "We know that the drug cartels have a significant impact on the heroin that is being consumed in the United States."

Spero said Homeland Security has seen an uptick in heroin busts. Agents at the border are making drug arrests every day.

Over the last five years, 4,100 pounds of heroin have been seized across South Texas, including San Antonio.

"We don't see anything directly related to the cartels here locally, but what we do see are the street-level gangs, who are affiliated with the drug cartels back in Mexico, that are doing the distributing of the heroin to the end users," said Spero.

San Antonio is a hot spot for drug traffickers and drug consumers because it runs through the Interstate 35 corridor. Homeland Security Investigations agents are seeing San Antonio as both a final destination, because drugs are staying here, and a transit point where drugs are being stored, distributed and then sent to their final destination.

There are ongoing cases of heroin distributors throughout the country.

Homeland Security is not commenting on Mexico's most notorious drug leader's recent escape from a Mexican prison for a second time, but there is no denying Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman plays a big role in the drug trade in South Texas.

"Obviously it's no secret that the Mexican drug cartels control the drug trade in Mexico," said Spero.

Agents are working to weed out the criminals operating on the Texas side of the drug trade.