This will likely be a long story, and with triggering content. Cartels, drugs, and violence.
Nineteen years ago right now, in 2000, I was dealing with the aftermath of a house fire. I lost my pets, most of my possessions, and my place to live.
Fast forward to over a year later, Spring 2001. I was still with my ex. He was freshly out of a job again, so he chose to sell weed. At one point, he was kind of given an offer he couldn’t refuse… buying weed from a Cartel, in Dallas, arranged by a middleman (friend of a friend) who lived there. I chose to get myself involved as well, driving. We did get caught eventually, right before my 24th birthday.
After we were busted, we owed the Cartel about $8,000. I saw what this Cartel did to a guy who owed them $20,000. I didn’t witness anything, but I saw the poorly cleaned crime scene. Maybe I will save the graphic details for a movie.
My ex had our only cell phone, prepaid by minutes. Random numbers started calling one day. Texas, Illinois, Minnesota… the Cartel wanted to find Mike. Maybe me too, as his girlfriend and the driver, but their focus was definitely Mike. They filled our inbox with threatening messages, saying things like, “We’re coming for you… We have guys from Chicago and Minnesota and they are coming for you…. We are getting closer….” We never responded, at least not at first.
I later found out that a friend of mine was visited by them right after we left her house one day. They beat her pregnant self up pretty good, trashed her apartment, and kicked in her big screen TV, because she didn’t have answers for them about where we were.
We were hiding out, bouncing around hotels for about a week or so. Once night at this hotel, I noticed a truck creeping through the lot real slow. I had this vibe but kept my cool. As they made the bend to leave the parking lot, I peeked out the blinds. I noted Minnesota plates and three people. The one in the middle was wearing a hat typical of Rancheros. Probably them. They never found us though.
The Cartel then told our inbox that they know when the next court date is, and they would just snipe him/us out there. Mike got real scared, and called his lawyer. What do we do about this and our safety? The lawyer called the Sheriff’s department, who called the DEA, who called us. We met with the DEA, two agents. One talked with us, and the other took our phone into their vehicle. He emerged some time later, looking rather shaken up. He said, “Oh yes. This is definitely real.”
The Cartel called AGAIN talking their BS. Mike answered this time all pissy, and basically told them to fuck off because we just talked to the DEA. Guess what? We never heard from them again.
I still won’t answer my door unless I’m expecting someone, but I feel a lot of relief knowing that specific Cartel was taken over some years ago.