For decades, it has been rumored the United States government was secretly sponsoring the smuggling of cocaine into the country. Federal officials have long denied such speculation, pointing out the billions of dollars spent intercepting drugs. Newly released documents, and testimony from Justice Department and DEA officials now show the stories of government running cocaine are true.

An investigation conducted in Mexico found the American government allowed that country’s largest drug cartel, Sinaloa, to operate without fear of persecution. That groups is estimated to be responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine coming into the country through Chicago. In exchange, the leaders of Sinaloa provided the DEA information on rival gangs.

The drug cartel working with the federal government is run by . He is considered to be the world’s most powerful drug trafficker. In addition to Chicago, his group also maintains cocaine operations in several major cities around the country.

Written statements were provided to a U.S. District Court in Chicago, confirming the alliance between the DEA and Mexico’s largest cocaine cartel. The written testimony, combined with other evidence, shows DEA officials met with leaders of the Sinaloa cartel more than 50 times between 2000 and 2012. This would mean DEA-authorized drug smuggling goes back to at least the beginning of the George W. Bush administration, and continued for year under Barack Obama.