This is a very brief investigative primer for any Canadian authorities who are looking for Mexican cartel operators within their country. I doubt that any RCMP types will read this blog, but if they do, they can consider this.
Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) is running the majority of the Canadian Traffic from the Mexican side of things. There were cells of Los Caballeros Templario (based in Washington State, US) but now that they're allies, I'm lumping them into one big pot.
This is important to know, because Chapo is a micromanager. He didn't last as long as he has nor grow in both personal wealth and power through the hemisphere by being stupid. Which means that they won't be making mistakes that the bush league narcos make.
If you're accustomed to working on Asian targets (who almost religiously follow the same low key profile), you're going to feel at home working on these cartels.
Automobiles - Don't expect to see these guys driving around in Ferraris. The vehicle of choice for running around and being cool is usually the pick-up truck. They will also drive nondescript sedans simply because they don't attract attention. However, because they're from Sinaloa for the most part, you will see "Sinaloa Crap" on the cars. Stickers, Virgin of Guadalupe or Santa Muerte statues. You need to learn the difference between the two. Regular Catholic Mexicans usually have the Virgin of Guadalupe icons on their dash. If you find anything to do with Senora de los Sombras, Nino Negro Santa or the Holy Death (Santa Muerte) (different names for the same saint), you have a narco on your hands.
Restaurants - Everyone wants food and culture that reminds them of home close at hand. They need a place to hide in plain sight and the leaders want to hold court. So you'll find some really good Mexican restaurants popping up. Remember, it doesn't need to be a hole in the wall because these cartels have a lot of money to spend. Look for Sinaloa, Jalisco or Michoacan style cooking. If you can't tell the difference between Sonora, Quintana Roo and Jalisco style cooking - do your homework. They will hang out where they are comfortable.
Homes - They will live well and they will live on land with a buffer around it. They will have ranches and those ranches will have runways cut on them. Expect over ten ranches in any area where the narcos are active. They'll set them up with equipment, barns, sorting pens for livestock, etc. and they will leave them dormant until they're needed. Usually one one will be active at a time. That's just how they roll. It's a shell game.
Clothing - The well healed narcos will dress 'Mexican upscale casual' - short hair, expensive dress shirt, usually worn outside (not tucked in), nice slacks and nice shoes. The Sinaloa Cowboys, who work on the ranches (bottom feeders) will dress the way that they did when they were home. Do some homework on those dress patterns. These guys won't deviate from what they are comfortable wearing.
Family Life - Most wealthy Mexican men have more than one wife. The wealthier and more powerful, the more wives. It's not uncommon for a narco to have one Casa Grande (the first wife) and half a dozen Casa Chicas (the subsequent girlfriend). Mexicans don't wear condoms so those women all have children. Alert your family support people to keep a sharp eye out for women from Mexico who apply for welfare benefits and aid for their children. They almost all will. Narcos have money but they are cheap in terms of spending that money on the Casa Chicas. This information can be exploited and it's possibly the best single method of finding out who the narcos are. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Mexican Weddings - Track them, cover them, photograph the people who show up, collect license plate numbers. They are political affairs within the community and they are LARGE. It will help you to understand who is there. The important people will usually travel in Humvees or Suburbans. Some may be armored - but I'm not sure that they have a lot of armored vehicles in Canada. If you find one, the occupant is important.
If anyone wants more they can e-mail me. If you do e-mail me, please provide your RCMP/Law Enforcement affiliation because I will vet you before I contact you.