North Carolina Teacher Gets Killed in Shootout with Mexican Drug Cartel

Did Breaking Bad come to life earlier this month?

Barney Dale Harris, a high school Spanish teacher and head coach of the Union Academy Charter School, was killed in a shootout with Mexican drug cartel members after making a failed attempt to rob a suspected “stash house” that belongs to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

Harris was accompanied by his brother-in-law Steven Alexander Stewart Jr. in their attempt to break into the house of Alonso Beltran Lara. According to law enforcement sources, prior to committing the break-in, Harris and Stewart Jr. were allegedly tracking Beltran.

The two men then broke into Beltran’s home but did not find Beltran present. In the meantime, they waited for Beltran to arrive. Upon Beltran’s arrival, Harris and Steward Jr. began questioning him about his stash of drugs and money. After Lara refused to spill the beans about his drug-related loot, the two assistants dragged Lara outside and shot him “execution style.”

Cartel members then swarmed Lara’s home and began firing on Harris and Stewart Jr., mortally wounding Harris. Soon thereafter, Stewart was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree murder, and felony possession of a firearm. Law enforcement confiscated five firearms, 1.2 kilograms of cocaine and about $7,000 in cash from the scene of the shootout.

Law enforcement in North Carolina are well aware of the fact that their state is fertile ground for cartel activity. Charlotte lawyer Chris Swecker, who dedicated most of his prior stint in the FBI tackling the issue of drug cartels, claims that North Carolina is an ideal sport for Mexican cartels to operate in.

“We have the markets. We have the population centers. We have the interstate network. We have the trucking infrastructure,” declared Swecker, who previously served as North Carolina’s lead FBI agent and later as an assistant director for the bureau’s criminal investigations unit.

“It’s a perfect distribution center,” Swecker added. Cartel penetration is notable in urban centers such as Charlotte and Raleigh. Additionally, small towns in North Carolina, as witnessed with this shooting in Alamance County, are also becoming targets for cartel activity.

According to law enforcement sources, officials in Alamance County confiscated 129 kilograms of cocaine and about $2.3 million from cartels. The Drug Enforcement Administration has even described Alamance County as the “drug hub of the Southeast.”

In 2020, Andrew Murray, the previous U.S. Attorney of North Carolina’s Western District, described the CJNG as “ruthless” and blamed it for inundating small towns and more populated cities in Western North Carolina “with enormous quantities of powerful narcotics.”

Due to the interconnected nature of America, states like North Carolina, which have solid connections to Atlanta, South Florida, the West Coast, and other hubs for drug activity, are easy to exploit and function as de facto pipelines for drug flows.

Generally speaking, Mexican cartels use major interstate highways to transport their drugs. In North Carolina’s case, they use interstates 40, 85, 95, and 77 to carry drugs in cars and SUVs outfitted with compartments designed to stash contraband. In some cases, tractor-trailers that carry otherwise legal goods are also filled with drugs that are hidden inside. A substantial portion of the drug trade in North Carolina goes to prominent cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City. In addition, cartels have established “retail operations” in cities throughout North Carolina.

Cartels like CJNG are quite active in North Carolina. In 2019, for example, 6 suspected CJNG members were arrested and received charges for moving vast amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine’s across Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

If the reports about CJNG involvement in this case are true, then most of the US is in big trouble.  CJNG is one of Mexico’s fastest growing cartels and has become a major force in the crime-ridden country during the last decade. It’s no exaggeration to say that some of Mexico’s worst aspects, especially its disorder, is slithering up north.

Thanks to the US’s mass migration policies, cartels are now penetrating states like North Carolina, which is already over 1,000 miles from the US border with Mexico.

America needs to wake up. It’s immigration policies will cost even more lives once more Mexicans and Central Americans make their way up north. The expansion in the growth of this demographic will unquestionably provide cartels with potential muscle and agents who will wreak havoc throughout America.

A competent ruling class would acknowledge the existence of this preventable evil and put a stop to it by fully closing off the border, shutting down all forms of immigration, and using US Special Forces against Mexican cartels.