Texas native Gabriel Cardona and his crew of teen assassins were busted by the feds just before importing the murderous Mexican drug wars to the streets of Laredo.

The story begins with law enforcement success: The federal Drug Enforcement Administration, in the mid-’90s, shut down the cocaine trafficking route between South Florida and Colombia.

The result? Some 90% of the cocaine and much of the methamphetamine that reached the U.S. was instead now funneled through Mexico.

The most lucrative of the drug crossings became Laredo, Texas, one of the nation’s poorest cities, sitting across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo.