The execution hit on a Mexican lawyer a few weeks back in Southlake surprised a lot of people.
But law enforcement officials and analysts say the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is now a key “command and control” center for moving drugs and people across the country.
“When you have these kinds of incidents in your nicer communities, it really resonates and brings home the cartels’ reach,” said Fred Burton, a security analyst with Austin-based Stratfor Global Intelligence who monitors the cartels.
“There’s a perception that these guys don’t do that kind of stuff here, but in reality they do. They are selective, but if they do want to kill somebody, they’ve been successful in doing it, as evidenced by what happened in Southlake.
“If you are in a large city in America, in all likelihood there is a cartel presence there. No city is untouched anymore.”
A white supremacist prison gang, a disgruntled former county official, a caller to tip line ....
All have surfaced in the wake of the slayings Saturday of Kaufman DA Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.
Investigators haven't yet named anyone as actual suspects, and the tip line caller has been arrested for making a threat, not the killings.
But, while speculation swirls in the case, Gov. Rick Perry has added drug cartels to the mix.
"We know the drug cartels are very, very active in this country," Perry said Wednesday. "It goes back to the whole issue of border security and the failure of the federal government ... to expend the dollars necessary to secure the border with Mexico."