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Narco-tunnel found in old immigration office in Sonora

It is located a few meters from the border between Sonora and Arizona, is less than a meter wide and is 55 meters long

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Hermosillo, Federal police located the entrance to a narco-tunnel in a building formerly housed government offices, which now looks abandoned property and is located a few meters from the border line between the homonymous cities of Nogales, Sonora and Arizona.

It was mentioned that the underground passage was allegedly used for the smuggling of drugs was identified by federal authorities in the United States, who gave notice to the Federal Police to initiate a binational action from both sides of the border.

On the Mexican side, the building where they found the entrance to narco-tunnel worked for four years as the State Center for Migrant Care, is located west of the main gate called DeConcini, in the center of the city of Nogales, on the street corner International and Calle Del Cerro de la Colonia Buenos Aires, where until Wednesday afternoon military personnel and federal police inspected the building and its surroundings.

Unofficial sources explained that the passage was built by hand with pick, shovel and chisel.

The tunnel is less than a meter wide, four feet deep and 55 feet long, and connects to the drainage system shared by the two Nogales, where the water flows by gravity from Sonora, Mexico, to the neighboring state Arizona, in the United States.

The discovery was made by police allegedly American Border Division minutes before midnight on Tuesday, when they were alerted to drug trafficking activities.

The officers used breathing apparatus to enter the passageway, due to moisture and reduced space. In addition, it required the help of a k-9 officer (trained dog).

On the Mexican side, when police officers arrived at the scene, some men managed to escape the building, not reported the arrest of any individual or assurance of drugs, weapons, money or vehicles.

This would be the third narco-tunnel Nogales discovered so far in 2013, according to official reports, over the past six years the Mexican army was able to detect and destroy 54 narco-tunnels built between the borders of Baja California and Sonora to the United States.

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Posted by on 06/21/2013 in Crime!, Drugs

 

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Mexican Cartels sending trusted agents to work in USA!

Mexican drug cartels whose operatives once rarely ventured beyond the U.S. border are dispatching some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States — an emboldened presence that experts believe is meant to tighten their grip on the world’s most lucrative narcotics market and maximize profits.

If left unchecked, authorities say, the cartels’ move into the American interior could render the syndicates harder than ever to dislodge and pave the way for them to expand into other criminal enterprises such as prostitution, kidnapping-and-extortion rackets and money laundering.

Cartel activity in the U.S. is certainly not new. Starting in the 1990s, the ruthless syndicates became the nation’s No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, using unaffiliated middlemen to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and heroin beyond the border or even to grow pot here.

But a wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives are suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.

“It’s probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime,” said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration‘s Chicago office.

The cartel threat looms so large that one of Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpins — a man who has never set foot in Chicago — was recently named the city’s Public Enemy No. 1, the same notorious label once assigned to Al Capone.

The Chicago Crime Commission, a non-government agency that tracks crime trends in the region, said it considers Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman even more menacing than Capone because Guzman leads the deadly Sinaloa cartel, which supplies most of the narcotics sold in Chicago and in many cities across the U.S.

Years ago, Mexico faced the same problem — of then-nascent cartels expanding their power — “and didn’t nip the problem in the bud,” said Jack Killorin, head of an anti-trafficking program in Atlanta for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “And see where they are now.”

Riley sounds a similar alarm: “People think, `The border’s 1,700 miles away. This isn’t our problem.’ Well, it is. These days, we operate as if Chicago is on the border.”

Border states from Texas to California have long grappled with a cartel presence. But cases involving cartel members have now emerged in the suburbs of Chicago and Atlanta, as well as Columbus, Ohio, Louisville, Ky., and rural North Carolina. Suspects have also surfaced in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Mexican drug cartels “are taking over our neighborhoods,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane warned a legislative committee in February. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan disputed her claim, saying cartels are primarily drug suppliers, not the ones trafficking drugs on the ground.

For years, cartels were more inclined to make deals in Mexico with American traffickers, who would then handle transportation to and distribution within major cities, said Art Bilek, a former organized crime investigator who is now executive vice president of the crime commission.

As their organizations grew more sophisticated, the cartels began scheming to keep more profits for themselves. So leaders sought to cut out middlemen and assume more direct control, pushing aside American traffickers, he said.

Beginning two or three years ago, authorities noticed that cartels were putting “deputies on the ground here,” Bilek said. “Chicago became such a massive market … it was critical that they had firm control.”

To help fight the syndicates, Chicago recently opened a first-of-its-kind facility at a secret location where 70 federal agents work side-by-side with police and prosecutors. Their primary focus is the point of contact between suburban-based cartel operatives and city street gangs who act as retail salesmen. That is when both sides are most vulnerable to detection, when they are most likely to meet in the open or use cellphones that can be wiretapped.

Others are skeptical about claims cartels are expanding their presence, saying law-enforcement agencies are prone to exaggerating threats to justify bigger budgets.

David Shirk, of the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute, said there is a dearth of reliable intelligence that cartels are dispatching operatives from Mexico on a large scale.

“We know astonishingly little about the structure and dynamics of cartels north of the border,” Shirk said. “We need to be very cautious about the assumptions we make.”

Statistics from the DEA suggest a heightened cartel presence in more U.S. cities. In 2008, around 230 American communities reported some level of cartel presence. That number climbed to more than 1,200 in 2011, the most recent year for which information is available, though the increase is partly due to better reporting.

Dozens of federal agents and local police interviewed by the AP said they have identified cartel members or operatives using wiretapped conversations, informants or confessions. Hundreds of court documents reviewed by the AP appear to support those statements.

“This is the first time we’ve been seeing it — cartels who have their operatives actually sent here,” said Richard Pearson, a lieutenant with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, which arrested four alleged operatives of the Zetas cartel in November in the suburb of Okolona.

People who live on the tree-lined street where authorities seized more than 2,400 pounds of marijuana and more than $1 million in cash were shocked to learn their low-key neighbors were accused of working for one of Mexico’s most violent drug syndicates, Pearson said.

One of the best documented cases is Jose Gonzalez-Zavala, who was dispatched to the U.S. by the La Familia cartel, according to court filings.

In 2008, the former taxi driver and father of five moved into a spacious home at 1416 Brookfield Drive in a middle-class neighborhood of Joliet, southwest of Chicago. From there, court papers indicate, he oversaw wholesale shipments of cocaine in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Wiretap transcripts reveal he called an unidentified cartel boss in Mexico almost every day, displaying the deference any midlevel executive might show to someone higher up the corporate ladder. Once he stammered as he explained that one customer would not pay a debt until after a trip.

“No,” snaps the boss. “What we need is for him to pay.”

The same cartel assigned Jorge Guadalupe Ayala-German to guard a Chicago-area stash house for $300 a week, plus a promised $35,000 lump-sum payment once he returned to Mexico after a year or two, according to court documents.

Ayala-German brought his wife and child to help give the house the appearance of an ordinary family residence. But he was arrested before he could return home and pleaded guilty to multiple trafficking charges. He will be sentenced later this year.

Socorro Hernandez-Rodriguez was convicted in 2011 of heading a massive drug operation in suburban Atlanta’s Gwinnett County. The chief prosecutor said he and his associates were high-ranking figures in the La Familia cartel — an allegation defense lawyers denied.

And at the end of February outside Columbus, Ohio, authorities arrested 34-year-old Isaac Eli Perez Neri, who allegedly told investigators he was a debt collector for the Sinaloa cartel.

An Atlanta attorney who has represented reputed cartel members says authorities sometimes overstate the threat such men pose.

“Often, you have a kid whose first time leaving Mexico is sleeping on a mattress at a stash house playing Game Boy, eating Burger King, just checking drugs or money in and out,” said Bruce Harvey. “Then he’s arrested and gets a gargantuan sentence. It’s sad.”

Because cartels accumulate houses full of cash, they run the constant risk associates will skim off the top. That points to the main reason cartels prefer their own people: Trust is hard to come by in their cutthroat world. There’s also a fear factor. Cartels can exert more control on their operatives than on middlemen, often by threatening to torture or kill loved ones back home.

Danny Porter, chief prosecutor in Gwinnett County, Ga., said he has tried to entice dozens of suspected cartel members to cooperate with American authorities. Nearly all declined. Some laughed in his face.

“They say, `We are more scared of them (the cartels) than we are of you. We talk and they’ll boil our family in acid,”‘ Porter said. “Their families are essentially hostages.”

Citing the safety of his own family, Gonzalez-Zavala declined to cooperate with authorities in exchange for years being shaved off his 40-year sentence.

In other cases, cartel brass send their own family members to the U.S.

“They’re sometimes married or related to people in the cartels,” Porter said. “They don’t hire casual labor.” So meticulous have cartels become that some even have operatives fill out job applications before being dispatched to the U.S., Riley added.

In Mexico, the cartels are known for a staggering number of killings — more than 50,000, according to one tally. Beheadings are sometimes a signature.

So far, cartels don’t appear to be directly responsible for large numbers of slayings in the United States, though the Texas Department of Public Safety reported 22 killings and five kidnappings in Texas at the hands of Mexican cartels from 2010 through mid- 2011.

Still, police worry that increased cartel activity could fuel heightened violence.

In Chicago, the police commander who oversees narcotics investigations, James O’Grady, said street-gang disputes over turf account for most of the city’s uptick in murders last year, when slayings topped 500 for the first time since 2008. Although the cartels aren’t dictating the territorial wars, they are the source of drugs.

Riley’s assessment is stark: He argues that the cartels should be seen as an underlying cause of Chicago’s disturbingly high murder rate.

“They are the puppeteers,” he said. “Maybe the shooter didn’t know and maybe the victim didn’t know that. But if you follow it down the line, the cartels are ultimately responsible.”

 
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Posted by on 04/02/2013 in Crime!, Drugs, Mexican Drug Cartels, Money Laundering

 

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4 tons of Marijuana located in Reynosa

Inside an underground cellar, elements of the Federal Police claimed nearly 4 tons of marijuana, 100 kilos of cocaine and 60 kilos of a substance suspected crystal, in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

four tonnes of drugs located

four tons of drugs located in Reynosa

The staff of the institution located on a corner in that city, where a cache that contained 91 packages of green grass, apparently marijuana, plus 63 envelopes with a substance with the characteristics of the crystal and approximately 100 kilos of white powder, apparently cocaine .

This work resulted from the Liaison and field research with the Federal Police.

With the information gathered, operational staff belonging to the divisions of Federal and Regional Security Forces learned that in a place known as El Berrendo, located in Reynosa-Monterrey highway, was a warehouse used to store various types of drugs and weapons.

For this reason, we conducted an operational review and perimeter security in the area, where they set up a garbage dump that hid the entrance to an underground cellar, the bank said in an official communiqué.

When performing an inspection, the Federal Police located approximately 3,900 kg of green grass with the characteristics of marijuana, two packages with at least 100 kilos of what appeared to be cocaine.

To follow up on the investigations, the seized drug was made available to the Public Prosecutor of the Federation, which will determine the precise weighing of the suspected drug.

 
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Posted by on 03/14/2013 in Drugs

 

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half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo confiscated

Police say trailer carrying a hidden compartment of 177 packages were extracted in the state of Hidalgo

half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo located in trailer truck

half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo located in trailer truck

Elements of the Federal Police seized a trailer having a hidden compartment with more than half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo.

After stopping a Truck attached to a double trailer, which circulated on the kilometer 24 +500 of Highway 45 MexicoCiudad Juarez, federal police detected in the area designated for the load inside measurements did not match those from outside the unit.

Therefore, a thorough inspection was made into the box, where boards were located with silicone covering a hidden compartment, the drivers name was Jesus Tellez David Barron, 42 and the truck was taken to the facilities of the Attorney General’s Office in Pachuca, Hidalgo.

There in the presence of Ministerial Agent 177 packages were found containing green grass with the characteristics of marijuana, which yielded a total weight of 1,589 lbs .

Therefore, the drugs, vehicle and Barron Téllez was who were read the “Charter of the Rights of Persons Assisting in Detention”, were made available to the Public Prosecutor of the Federation, which hosts the investigations.

 
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Posted by on 03/02/2013 in Crime!, Drugs

 

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Captured three suspects with 40 kilos of marijuana in Santa Fe

The detainees were in a taxi with Michoacan, plates  with the inspectors found four packages with drug

identified as smugglers of Marijuana in Santa Fe

identified as smugglers of Marijuana in Santa Fe

Bogota Police assigned to the sector Yaqui, stopped at the Santa Fe border, number 449, near the corner of Francisco J. Serrano Cruz Manca colony, Cuajimalpa a group of men identified as Tzin Tzun Tobias Neftali Garcia, 22 years old, Fernando Murillo Cruz, 44, and Jose Alfredo Lopez Perez, 21, with about 40 kilos, of what might be marijuana.

The officers noticed suspicious behavior and a nervous taxi driver of Michoacan Nissan Almera 2001 model, license plates 20-76-LCZ, later identified as Garcia Tzintzun and immediately proceeded to conduct the review routine both the vehicle and its occupants and discovered in the back seat two boxes containing four brick-shaped packages wrapped with tape and four round bags wrapped with black tape.

In his first statement to the police, the detainees said they were from Patzcuaro, Michoacan and were to contact a subject in the Tepito neighborhood, close to Chapultepec subway station, where they deliver the goods on payment 30 thousand pesos.

Finally the suspected traffickers were turned over to the Federal Public Ministry based Aztcapotzalco delegation, together with the alleged drug and the vehicle where they begin the preliminary investigation.

 
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Posted by on 02/24/2013 in Border, Drugs

 

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Woman Arrested in Ysleta with 484 kg of marijuana

Woman Arrested in Ysleta with 484 kg of marijuana, while having her two children in the car

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Officials of the Office of Field Operations of Customs and Border Protection, CBP for its acronym in English, working at the port of entry in El Paso, on Tuesday seized 61 pounds of marijuana thousand in a single case.

A New Mexico woman who was accompanied by her two sons was arrested for attempted smuggling. The estimated value of the drugs seized in the streets is 848,800 dollars. “An exceptionally large amount of marijuana was taken from a single vehicle,” said Barry Miller, director of CBP at the port of El Paso.

“Drug traffickers used almost all available space in this pick up to hide the drugs.” Forfeiture happened Tuesday just after 11 pm at the intersection of international Ysleta when a Dodge Ram pickup 1998 model arrived from Mexico.

The officers conducted the inspection and then selected the vehicle to undergo a second review. ‘s dog “Johan” sniffed the truck and alerted to the presence of drug. CBP officers uncovered part of a panel and found an envelope.

After a complete inspection of the vehicle which, resulted in the discovery of drugs in the panels, the gas tank, the floor and the spare tire of the truck.

CBP officers recovered wrappers yielding marijuana weighing 61 pounds thousand. They took the driver into custody, Palma Lyon 32 years old and originally from Socorro, New Mexico. She was transferred into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs who was arrested and the accused was arrested for drug smuggling.

Currently detainee is in the prison of El Paso County without bail. The children were released to a relative.

Though anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process they have done in the ports of entry are associated with this mission and has resulted in impressive numbers of cases in which the law is applied in all categories.

 
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Posted by on 02/21/2013 in Crime!, Drugs

 

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US cities see rise in Methamphetamine lab seizures

Methamphetamine lab seizures are on the rise in US cities and suburbs as makers of the lethal drugs have been moving their now-portable labs into more populated areas and increasing production.

Drug labs moving to the city in USA

Drug labs moving to the city in USA

Methamphetamines are produced most frequently in rural areas, where abandoned buildings and farmhouses offered an ideal location for a hidden lab. With fewer authorities to combat the problem and wide open spaces that makes it difficult to find rural meth labs, the drug makers more often chose to operate production from the countryside. Anhydrous ammonia, a key ingredient in producing meth, can also be found more frequently in rural areas, since farmers use the chemical as fertilizer.

But a rise in portable labs has made it easier for meth makers to move to US cities and suburbs, especially since the portable labs lack the odor that once forced the drug makers to the countryside. The deadly drug can now be made in someone’s car using a bottle of soda. This ‘shake-and-bake’ method produces the drug in smaller quantities, but doesn’t make production any less dangerous: the chemical reaction can still cause a large explosion, even if it is produced in container as small as an empty water bottle.

With easily accessible recipes on the Internet and cheap ingredients available in many US stores, more people have begun to produce their own meth. Cold pills, battery acid and drain cleaner are some of the substances required to produce the lethal drug.

“Bad guys have it figured out,” Rusty Payne of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency told the Associated Press. “You don’t have to be as clandestine – you don’t have to be in rural country to lay low.”

AP found meth lab seizures had increased in a number of cities, including St. Louis, Kansas City, Nashville and Evansville. Inner city gangs have also become involved in meth production and distribution, which they previously had little involvement with when the drug was primarily produced in rural America.

“No question about it – there are more labs in the urban areas,” said Tom Farmer, coordinator of the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force. “I’m seeing car fires from meth in urban areas now, more people getting burned.”

Drug makers who are producing purer and less expensive versions of meth are also bringing labs into the US from Mexico.

In St. Louis County, lab seizures increased from 30 in 2009 to a predicted 142 in 2012. In Jackson County, Mo., which includes Kansas City, seizures have increased from 21 in 2009 to about 65 this year. In Nashville, the numbers have tripled in just two years, while Evansville saw a 500 percent increase.

And with a rise in meth production comes a rise in meth addicts: Users from all socio-economic levels have begun to use the drug.

“Lower class all the way up to middle class,” St. Louis County meth detective Ed Begley told AP. “We’ve even had retired folks who have become addicted. It’s a brutal drug.”

 
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Posted by on 12/31/2012 in Crime!, Drugs

 

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