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Drug cartel rumors keep N. Texas authorities on alert

03:07 AM CST on Friday, February 13, 2009
February 12th, 2009

DALLAS - The Gulf Cartel in Mexico has now been deemed the biggest terroristic threat in the United States, including in North Texas.

In recent months, there have been no kidnappings or deaths related to the Gulf Cartel in North Texas, authorities say. However, a large task force recently arrested dozens of cartel members and confiscated millions in cash, drugs and weapons.

The Gulf Cartel has been called one of the most dangerous groups in the world, and authorities said they have waged a war to control all the drugs coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

"They are fighting back with the type of fire power that we see in war time conflicts," said James Capra, a DEA special agent in charge.

Capra said North Texas law enforcement is well aware of the threat the group poses in the area.

"While certainly terrorism and the counter terrorism threat is everybody's responsibility, I think within law enforcement, they are our threat," he said.

While they're known to torture and behead their rivals, innocent people are also often caught in the violence.

"We hear daily about things like beheadings and heinous torture that, again, we are not used to seeing here domestically," Capra said.

In 2007, Linoshka Torres, who was seven months pregnant, and her boyfriend Luis Campos were kidnapped in Dallas, electrocuted and beaten by the cartel. It was a case of mistaken identity.

In Phoenix, the group has committed 370 kidnappings.

"If it doesn't stop here, and we're not able to fix it here and get it turned around, it will go across the nation," said Asst. Chief Andy Anderson, Phoenix Police Department. "And that's our concern."

Sources told News 8 that in recent weeks, law enforcement in the Dallas area has heard the cartel may be planning violent acts, which has sparked concern.

"What they are transporting is their way of doing business, the type of level of violence they do business with," Capra said.

What's especially concerning to local authorities is that they believe top cartel leaders are living in North Texas.