Local May 22, 2015 | 11:55 am

Dominican trafficker’s relatives used as drug collateral: NY Daily News

New York.- The Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel, one of the world’s most feared drug trafficking organizations, forced Dominican drug trafficker Jose Mercedes (Hippie) to hand over two relatives as collateral for money from the sale of hundreds of kilos of heroin and cocaine in New York and other US states, the NY Daily News reports Friday.

DEA agents arrested Mercedes on Sunday, the newspaper says, in a raid of in the Bronx, where heroin worth US$50 million and US$2 million in cash were seized. He handed over "close relatives" to the Mexican cartel.

Citing a source close to the investigation the NY Daily News says it’s not the first time that a local drug dealer is forced to turn over a person as guarantee to drug suppliers in Mexico, according to to the. "We’ve seen this before in cases of narcotics supply organizations affiliated to the Sinaloa cartel."

The newspaper added that the ring led by Mercedes distributed heroin in five states in the Northeastern US and received its supply from Culiacan, Mexico by land.

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