Multi-agency investigation revealed a Mexican cartel distribution hub in rural Virginia

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky has published an in-depth investigative report about a narcotics distribution hub in rural Virginia. In 2015, Axton, an unincorporated community just north of Virginia's border with North Carolina, was turned into a way station for the distribution of controlled substances by the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), Mexico’s fastest-rising drug cartel.

Axton, Virginia
Axton, Virginia

Led by Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, or "El Mencho," the CJNG has in less than a decade has become one of the world's largest and most powerful drug trafficking organizations, known in Mexico for its sophisticated operations and extreme violence, from beheadings to killing police.

The Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación has a growing share of the U.S. market for super-pure meth, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics, with operatives in at least 35 states, according to the Courier Journal investigation.

In March 2019, U.S. federal authorities announced that they had uncovered a hidden distribution hub of Axton-area stash houses which over four years had funneled tens of millions of dollars worth of drugs through Axton to Northern Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states.

At least eight federal, state and local agencies from at least two states, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, conducted an investigation that lasted for more than two years, in a case that highlights the CJNG's deep reach into unexpected corners of small-town America.