Every mayor in America has the local drug lord on speed-dial. Sometimes you just need things done...extrajudicially, you know? Votes printed, juries intimidated, riots supplied, that sort of thing. Plus, do you know how many campaign contributions those guys can afford? Wowza. It would just be dumb not to run with these snakes.
The FBI has time to run anti-KKK ops so heavily that every wignat group is in fact 80% glowie. If they wanted to infiltrate and shut down drug gangs, it would be trivial. Conclusion: the gangs are State-subsidized. I would genuinely be unsurprised to find they effectively have Fed fund accounts.
The point of the DEA is to keep profits high by keeping the supply expensive. Drugs are commodity goods and would be worth pennies in profit if they could be produced and distributed competitively. How are you supposed to run a criminal empire if you can't fund it with extortionary drug profits?
But wait, where do they get their drugs?
Mexican drug cartels.
Oh duh, the Mexican drug cartels are in fact FBI/CIA operations. Maybe when the NSA becomes a real boy they'll get their own shiny Mexican drug cartel. Obviously the ATF has a couple too.
The Mexican government superposition isn't stable. Either the Official government would crush all the cartels, or one of the cartels would crush the government thus become the government - and it's clear the Official government has already lost the whip hand. It has to be fake kabuki conflict.
In other words they're being paid Fed/IRS dollars, on the condition that they don't go beyond certain boundaries. In other words Carlos Slim bought the NYT using laundered Fed funds; the financial equivalent of hiding behind seven proxies.
You think they're so dumb they can't even think of hiding behind seven proxies? Being held by a "Mexican" allows the NYT to circumvent many American laws. In extremis, Carlos can bribe the relevant Mexican bureaucrat. Technically you can also bribe folk in America but it's vastly more expensive since it all has to go through legal.
By passing the instructions through a Mexican office, it's much harder for any American to notice the inherent command-and-control nature of the relationship. There's a 0% chance Slim is not wholly owned by the State department. Proof by retrospective inspection. Things that never happened: "USG lets primary propaganda organ be owned by random unaffiliated jagoff." They couldn't allow their flagship liar to go down due to little things like "not making any money" and doubtless Slim continues to secretly provide NYT with regular infusions of "corporate welfare," now it's been fully nationalized. The IRS and SEC know which books it's not supposed to investigate too closely.
Checksum: cynicism. Conclusion is sufficiently cynical to be plausibly realistic.
Presumption of innocence is generally a bad idea. It is necessary for USG to prove it isn't the vitae behind Mexican drug cartels. Corruption ought to be presumed until it has been refuted beyond a reasonable doubt.