FORT WORTH -- Overall drug cartel activity has increased in North Texas over the last year, federal authorities said Wednesday, and the cartel named by a suspect in an extortion plot last week week has become the dominant force.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel possibly involved in the extortion episode also was linked to a drug bust in Dallas in September that included a super lab that manufactured methamphetamine.

While instances of cartel violence rarely occur in North Texas, the area has long been a key drug distribution point with access to several major interstates.

The older Sinaloa and Beltran-Leyva organizations in Mexico have had distribution cells here that report directly to high-ranking cartel members, said Elaine Cesare, the DEA spokeswoman for the Dallas division.

Remnants of the Los Caballeros Templarios, Gulf and Los Zetas cartels also have a presence in North Texas.

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