Ever wondered how heavy narcotics such as heroin make it to America’s streets – where it comes from, how it’s distributed and who it hurts?

That was the focus of a yearlong investigation by WBEZ and the Chicago Reader, which tracked the heroin supply chain from Mexico to Chicago and across the Midwest.

In our feature segment, reporters Chip Mitchell and Natalie Moore explain the economics behind the heroin resurgence and paint a detailed picture of how the drugs end up in American communities.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sinaloa cartel is responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the narcotics moving through Chicago. On Feb. 22, its leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested in Mexico.

Dig Deeper

  • Explore the full series from WBEZ and the Chicago Reader here.

Jaena Rae Cabrera

Jaena Rae Cabrera worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until February, 2017. Jaena Rae Cabrera is a Web producer for Reveal. Prior to joining Reveal, Cabrera was Web producer for Renaissance Journalism, a San Francisco-based nonprofit specializing in training, technical assistance, consultation and grants to journalists for media innovations that strengthen communities. Cabrera received a master’s degree in library and information science from Syracuse University. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's in journalism. Cabrera is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.