Wilmington, North Carolina (CNN) -- Less than a mile off a county road in Ivanhoe near the Black River, federal drug agents and local authorities found exactly what their informant had promised... "We saw what looked like, as far as you could see, marijuana plants," said Drug Enforcement Administration agent Michael Franklin.
There were about 2,400 in all, surrounded by a makeshift camp where the growers had illegally squatted on private property, setting up a generator and pump to tap the river for irrigation. The camp, which had been recently inhabited, contained a tarp shelter, canned fuel, drinking water, toiletries and old clothing, some of it camouflage...
...[The growers], according to the DEA's source, were members of La Familia Michoacana, a Mexican drug cartel that the Justice Department says focuses primarily on moving heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine into the southeastern and southwestern United States.
...The Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center estimates Mexican cartels control distribution of most of the methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana coming into the country, and they're increasingly producing the drugs themselves.
In 2009 and 2010, the center reported, cartels operated in 1,286 U.S. cities, more than five times the number reported in 2008. The center named only 50 cities in 2006.
In the America I grew up in, citizens were free to go anywhere they chose to visit throughout the 57 states.
In the new, improved Obamerica, the federal government actively encourages illegal immigration and, to try and avoid bloodshed, simply posts signs along interstates that read, and I quote, "Danger Warning, Travel Not Recommended, Drug Smuggling, Active and Armed Gunmen."
Hat tips: Financial Armageddon and The Economist (graphic).