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Resource ID: #26069
Source:Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
This project gave readers an unprecedented look at the highly-organized drug trafficking organizations that had taken control of Oregon's drug underworld. This was not just a report about drug dealing. This was about execution-style murders never before publicly linked to Mexican drug cartels. This was about tracing how a cartel-linked trafficker set up a national drug distribution network from rural towns in Oregon. This was about the price paid by end users, including a harrowing account of a young man's death from a heroin overdose. Drug arrests were not news in Oregon. Police agencies routinely issue press releases, prosecutors hold news conferences, and photos of seized drugs and money handed out. That's where the coverage often ends. "Under the Curse of Cartels" documented the true scale behind this drug trafficking -- the sophisticated organizations, their ruthless control, and their elaborate counter-surveillance efforts to detect police investigations. The project took reporting on drug trafficking to a new level with the intimate insider details from both sides of the law. The series was a shocking wake up for Oregon, including many in the law enforcement community who didn't have access to the kind of information collated by The Oregonian.