Before starting a 24-year career with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Cañas was a police officer and detective for the Salinas, California Police Department. With DEA he was posted overseas twice in Guatemala and twice in Mexico. In the US he served in San Francisco, CA, Santa Ana, CA, Washington DC, Phoenix, AZ, and Johnstown, PA.
He also held various positions with the US federal and state governments, including Special Advisor, Latin American Division of the CIA, Director of Counterterrorism and Counternarcotics at the White House NSC, Director of National Drug Intelligence Center, and Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
He is a graduate of San Jose State University, and has a Law Enforcement Teaching Credential from the University of California at Berkeley.
Other books published by Authorhouse are Jaguars, a Tale of El Salvador, Shift- The End of the Drug War, Homeland Security at the State Level, and Choosing Exile 1930-1950 (El Salvador).