The cartel that gunned down a North Carolina charter school teacher when he tried to rob one of their stash houses is one of the largest drug trafficking organizations on the planet — and has a penchant for violence, revenge and even cannibalism.
The Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or the New Generation Jalisco Cartel, has murdered judges, congressmen, cops and their own brethren in their bloody battle to control the US drug trade and stamp out competition, the Washington Post previously reported.
Last week, authorities say cartel’s members turned their scopes on 40-year-old Barney Harris — a Spanish teacher and basketball coach for Union Academy in Monroe — when he attempted to steal thousands in cash and pounds of cocaine from one of their trailers.
While Harris donned a bulletproof vest for the job, the gear was no match for the ammunition cartel leaders allegedly pumped into his body when they found him inside their stash house, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said at a news conference.
“It was almost like an old Western shootout,” Johnson said of the gunfire Harris and his brother-in-law exchanged with the cartel members.
The small-town school teacher never stood a chance against a cartel notorious for vicious acts of revenge, public displays of violence and ruthless pursuit of anyone who dares to cross them.
Just last month, the corpse of a former lieutenant for the cartel — who broke away to start his own gang — was found upright on a park bench outside of Guadalajara, tightly wrapped in black plastic, with a sign pinned to his body with knives displaying the words “the traitor El Cholo.”
In December, cartel members chopped off the hands of three apparent thieves and left them blindfolded, bound and holding up their bloodied stumps on the side of the road.
CJNG has also previously killed 15 Mexican cops in a single ambush, left the tortured bodies of 35 rival gang members on the side of the road — and drugged two teenagers with crack, then forced them to eat the hearts of murder victims as part of an initiation ritual, News.com.au reported.
In 2015, cartel members even used a rocket-propelled grenade to take down an Mexican military Black Hawk helicopter, killing nine, the outlet said.
They have also engaged in beheadings, public hangings and acid baths — and imagery of their brutality is often circulated across social media to sow fear and intimidate the public, the Courier Journal reported.
“We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face,” the Drug Enforcement Agency wrote in a press release last year announcing the arrests of more than 600 cartel members.
The DEA considers CJNG one of the fastest growing transnational criminal organizations in Mexico and “among the most prolific methamphetamine producers in the world.”
CJNG’s leader — Nemesio Oseguera-Cervantes, or “El Mencho” — is on the DEA’s most wanted fugitive list. The agency is offering a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest.