Mexican drug cartels

Feds arrest over 600 alleged Mexican cartel members

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Wednesday that more than 600 arrests have been made as a result of an interagency operation cracking down on Mexican cartel activity. “Project Python,” a DEA-led initiative, targeted members of Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). According to the DEA, over the last six months federal law enforcement officials have been monitoring the activities of the accused. The operation resulted in more than 600 arrests nationwide, 350 indictments and “significant seizures of money and drugs,” according to the agencies. “Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement. Benczkowski cited an executive order President Trump passed shortly after Trump was inaugurated in 2017 that condemned cartel operations in the U.S. and directed federal law enforcement to use the Threat Mitigation Working Group, which was put in place by the Obama administration in 2011. “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face,” he said. “And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.” According to the DOJ, CJNG is active in major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta. The DOJ and DEA also announced a superseding indictment Wednesday on charges of alleged continuing criminal enterprise against Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, also known as “El Mencho,” the leader of CJNG. Last month Oseguera Cervantes’s son was extradited from Mexico to the U.S. to be served drug trafficking charges. Two weeks ago, on Feb. 26, his daughter was arrested by federal officials for financial crimes.

Score one for the good guys!!     🙂

Mexico’s homicide rate hits new record high in 2019

Mexico’s homicide rate hit a new record high in 2019 at more than 35,500 murders, suggesting President Andrés Manuel López Obrador failed to significantly address the country’s violence during his first year in office. López Obrador has said previously that crime and violence are the toughest challenges Mexico faces. But on Tuesday, he said corruption is the country’s main problem. López Obrador said that white-collar criminals have done more damage to Mexico than the drug cartels responsible for many of the killings. “We are giving the almost the same weight to [fighting] white-collar crime, as we do to drug cartels,” López Obrador said. According to data released by the national public security system, the number of homicides in Mexico rose to 35,588 in 2019. But despite a record-high number of murders recorded last year, the overall increase – at 2.7 percent – was well below the double-digit growth in killings in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Over those years, homicides grew by year-over-year rates of 27 percent, 28 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. While it is not clear what percentage of homicides are related to drug gang violence, the fact that those gangs have expanded into extortion and kidnapping makes them Mexico’s main single source of violence.

Something to keep in mind if you’re making vacation plans…

 

Mexican cartels poisoning US national parks through hidden pot growing operations: report

Mexican cartel members – who for years have carried out large scale, hidden pot-growing operations in U.S. national parks in California – are poisoning water and wildlife through the use of illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report published Tuesday. Two Mexican nationals and suspected cartel members were arrested in September during a raid on an illegal marijuana operation hidden beneath the thick tree canopies in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Authorities found 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana, Monterrey, Calif.’s KQMS reported. About 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years, National Public Radio reported. “The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.” Though California’s national parks have been plagued by illegal pot-growing operations in the past, some of which were operated by hippies, the cartel operations are usually larger scale, well organized and use heavy-duty, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their cash crop from rodents and insects. Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called in to survey the operation after September’s raid, told NPR she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran at the site. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, European Union, Canada and Brazil for all legal purposes. It is produced in the U.S. by Pennsylvania-based FMC Corp and exported to Mexico, India and other nations. “It is incredibly toxic,” Wengert told NPR. “A quarter-teaspoon could kill a 600-pound black bear. So obviously just a tiny amount can kill a human. It remains in an ecosystem for a long period of time.” She said she’s detected these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can prove deadly for humans and wildlife alike. A California coalition – made up of environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and members of the legal cannabis industry – have joined forces to clean up the pollution caused by illegal cartel operations, according to NPR.

Wow..   Consider the irony here…  The next time you see someone smoking pot, tell them they’re hurting the environment.  When they go, “huh?”…point them to this article.   🙂

Nearly $900G in drug cash seized on plane bound for Mexico; two 19-year-olds held, authorities say

Two 19-year-old men were arrested Tuesday, accused of smuggling nearly $900,000 in suspected drug-related cash, authorities said. The suspects, identified as Joan Pablo Hoyos Avila and Rafael Gabriel Martinez Leal, each face a bulk-cash smuggling charge, for which they could get five years in prison if convicted, the San Antonio Express-News reported. Hoyos was identified as a business student at the University of the Incarnate Word, a private Catholic university in San Antonio. Acting on a tip, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents halted a private plane at San Antonio International Airport that was preparing to depart for Monterrey, Mexico, according to the newspaper. Authorities found the cash bundled inside sealed boxes aboard the plane, after asking the craft’s five occupants – including the pilot – if they had any valuables to declare, the report said. Martinez accepted full responsibility for the cash smuggling operation, according to an affidavit, while Hoyos told authorities that he had accepted cash from several individuals and stored it in his garage until Martinez was able to pick it up.

Mexican Cartel Using Armored Trucks in War at Texas Border

Mexican cartel members are using armored trucks in their ongoing war for control of lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes near the Texas border. Recently, Tamaulipas State Police officers seized a large truck outfitted with thick armor plating for firefights. The vehicles are commonly called “Mounstros” or monsters. According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government, police officers were patrolling the rural areas near Camargo, Tamaulipas, when they came across an abandoned warehouse. Camargo is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas. When authorities inspected the warehouse they found a truck covered in armor plating as a makeshift combat vehicle. The truck had Texas license plates. It remains unclear if the vehicle was previously stolen. As Breitbart Texas reported, rival factions of the Gulf Cartel have gone to war for this region’s lucrative drug territories. The fighting spread terror through Reynosa as convoys of gunmen roamed the streets clashing with rivals. Official figures point to 20 individuals killed, while six were injured in the ongoing violence. Authorities seized armored vehicles, SUVs, grenades, machine guns, and other weapons tied to the violence.

Nearly 70 Mexican Border Tunnels Discovered in 5 Years

A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week demonstrates all tunnels discovered were under the U.S.-Mexico Border. The report revealed that from fiscal years 2011 through 2016, 67 cross-border smuggling tunnels were discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border. Sixty-two out of the 67 smuggling tunnels were in the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego, California, sectors which are known strongholds of the Sinaloa Cartel. The GAO also found there were 534 detected ultralight aircraft incursions and 309 detected incidents of drug smuggling that involved small fishing vessels. Seventy-five percent of the maritime drug smuggling incidents occurred on the Pacific coast. “While these methods account for a small proportion of known smuggling, they can be used to transport significant quantities of drugs or for terrorist activity,” the report noted.

Gee…   Ya think?!?  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above..

Cartel Smuggling Tunnel Discovered under Mexican Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered an abandoned tunnel on a tip. Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents located a collapsed tunnel after receiving a report about a suspicious opening near the Raul Hector Castro Port of Entry, according to a statement from CBP Arizona. Although the tunnel collapsed roughly 25 feet from its opening, agents confirmed that it extended into the United States by 60 yards. It was located near a sewer line and apparently cut through a tunnel that was previously dug in the same location. Transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) use tunnels like the one found in Arizona to smuggle humans and narcotics into the United States. There have been well over 200 tunnels discovered along the U.S.-Mexico Border used for illicit purposes since 1990..

And those are just the ones discovered…  As many of you know, we’ve been calling for the Obama, and now Trump, Administration to BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!...and to build it above, and below ground to prevent tunneling.  Securing our southern border should be our federal government’s #1 domestic national security priority.  Period!  To read the rest of this story, click on the text above.

5 Mexican Cartel Bosses Who Were Caught Hiding in Texas

Mexican cartel bosses have a history of seeking a safe haven in the United States in an apparent effort to avoid dying at the hands of their rivals or having to shoot it out with Mexican military forces. U.S. law enforcement officers arrested several key cartel bosses after they sought refuge in Texas. It is not clear how many Mexican cartel bosses have in fact crossed or continue to cross into the U.S. and avoid being captured. Authorities arrested the following five cartel leaders in South Texas. Just click here to see the list.

64 Percent of DEA Fugitives are from Mexico, Figures Show

A review of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) wanted fugitive list revealed that less than 16 percent of DEA fugitives are from the United States. The review of the DEA’s wanted fugitive list took place from April 18 to April 21, 2017, in which all 21 DEA divisions were analyzed. The 21 DEA divisions that oversee the United States had a total of 902 listed fugitives. The place-of-birth of 115 of the 902 fugitives is unknown. The remaining 787 fugitives are from a total of 38 countries with the overwhelming majority coming from Mexico. The top three countries that DEA fugitives come from are: (1) Mexico, 505; (2) United States, 124; and (3) Colombia, 21. Out of the 787 whose place-of-birth is known, 70 percent are from south of the U.S.-Mexico border, 64 percent from Mexico alone.

And yet there are still some people who think we shouldn’t secure our southern border…  This is today’s mind-numbing reminder of why it is absolutely critical that we BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!!…and put U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border with Mexico.  Then, those troops should remain there until that wall/fence is finally built above and below ground (to prevent tunneling)…however long it takes.  Simultaneously, we need to be deporting illegal aliens already here by the hundreds of thousands (and yes, you read that correctly)…paying particular attention to known gang members, criminal aliens, and those already determined by an immigration judge to be deported…regardless of age or gender.  And that’s just for starters folks!  To do anything less is NO in our country’s national security, or economic, interests.  Anyway, to read the rest of this sobering article, click on the text above.

Mexican Cartel Violence Kills 10 near Texas Border

MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — A series of recent gun battles and executions in this border city and in Rio Bravo led to nearly a dozen deaths as clashes with military forces and internal turmoil within the Gulf Cartel is reaching a boiling point. The violence began last week in the Buena Vista neighborhood of Matamoros when cartel gunmen clashed with military and police forces. As usual, the fighting led to blockades, where cartel gunmen hijacked various vehicles to choke chances of police pursuit down main avenues. In Rio Bravo, troops killed several gunmen throughout the city. The fighting and a series of apparent executions in both Matamoros and Rio Bravo led to the death of several men who are all believed to be part of one of the various factions that make up the Gulf Cartel. In the downtown area of Matamoros, authorities responded to a local business where they found four men killed. The four cartel members had all been shot in the head execution-style. In a separate attack, a team of gunmen killed three men in a second ordered hit. One of the victims was a street-level drug dealer while the other two remain unknown. A local college student was struck by a stray bullet and died shortly after. In Rio Bravo, Mexican marines killed two gunmen who were fleeing from authorities after they murdered a married couple. The couple was gunned down after getting in a car crash with the cartel gunmen.

For those of you wondering if we really should have a wall on our southern border, just re-read that article.  There are oh so many reasons why it is absolutely critical that we BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!  But, erecting a barrier to deter this kind of Mexican drug cartel violence from spilling on to U.S. soil is just as good a reason as any I can think of.