In a series of multimedia stories, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates our role in the illegal narcotics trade and explores how the nation's appetite for drugs and Mexico's war against drug cartels – backed by the U.S. – impacts our communities.
For every enforcement method the government implements, the drug cartels respond with a counter measure.
Federal officials cannot stop all of the illicit drugs entering the country. So they teamed up with local cops to target vehicles smuggling drugs on highways across the southwest and beyond.
Roberto Hernandez moved drugs north to the U.S. and dollars south to Mexico. His illegal trade ended when investigators started listening to his phone calls.
About 22 million Americans use illegal drugs, leading to billions of dollars in profit for Mexico's drug cartels. This is the first in a series of stories exploring "The Drug War At Home."