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Tag: Mexican cartels

Fed Case Clearly Connects the Dots Between Baltimore and Mexico’s Cartels

Photo illustration by Frank Hamilton including photo by Frank Klein- Courtesy of Baltimore City Paper

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — Ronald Eugene Brown was a natural target for Baltimore narcotics investigators. The 6-foot-6-inch, 240-pound man, nicknamed “Truck,” had already served many years in prison for 1990s drug-dealing and robbery convictions, and his rehabilitation after getting out was, well, dubious.

The 44-year-old had lost his low-paying job as a forklift operator, yet he somehow could afford to have two Baltimore County residences (in Overlea and Ten Hills), a BMW, a Mercedes, and a Dodge Ram pickup truck. His comfortable, middle-class lifestyle defied explanation—but for the fact that he was a habitué of the drug-infested Monument Street corridor near Baltimore City’s Northeast Market.

When the probe into Brown began, it was standard Baltimore cop fare: A confidential source arranged to buy a small amount of drugs from Brown on the evening of April 27, 2009, and the cops followed Brown to see where he would lead them.

Before the sun rose the next morning, they had about $750,000 in heat-sealed, aluminum-wrapped cash at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel and two men suspected of being Brown’s suppliers. The case’s significance snowballed, and by February 2010, it had unearthed mammoth shipments of Mexican cartel cocaine and marijuana coming to Baltimore from Texas every two weeks.

To read full story click here.

Az. Feds Bust Gun Runners to Mexico

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Arizona, which is locked in an endless battle to keep guns from going into Mexico, comes the latest.

Authorities on Tuesday announced indictments in five cases resulting in charges against 34 people accused of assisting Mexican drug trafficking organizations with illegally running firearms from the United States to Mexico.

Authorities charged in one of the key indictments that from approximately September 2009 to December of 2010 the defendants conspired to purchase hundreds of firearms, including AK-47s, to be illegally exported to Mexico.

Authorities alleged that the defendants acted as “straw purchasers” by falsely declaring they were buying the weapons for themselves. AK-47’s are considered the “weapon of choice” for Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations.

“Our office is committed to stopping the illegal flow of guns into Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said. “The massive size of this operation sadly exemplifies the magnitude of the problem — Mexican Drug Lords go shopping for war weapons in Arizona.”

Bill Newell, head of ATF in Phoenix said: “This investigation is further proof of the relentless efforts by Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, to illegally acquire large quantities of firearms in Arizona and elsewhere in the U.S. for use in the ongoing Mexican drug war.”

Drug Cartels An Inherent Danger in Atlanta

Mexican Cartels Operating in 230 U.S. Cities, Justice Dept. Says

The evidence keeps mounting that the war on the Mexican drug cartels is every bit the United State’s war as well. The cartels have sunk their tentacles into major cities around the U.S. like Chicago. In fact, the Post reports that the Justice Dept. has found that Mexican cartels are operating  in 230 U.S. cities.

drug war art

By Steve Fainaru and William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service

The Flores brothers had never looked like much in the eyes of local narcotics agents. But by the time it all came crashing down this year, the drug-distribution network allegedly run by the 28-year-old twins from the Mexican American barrios of Chicago was one of the largest and most sophisticated ever seen in the U.S. heartland, according to interviews and federal indictments.

Pedro and Margarito Flores allegedly operated as an American annex to a major Mexican drug mafia, and their arrest and the dismantling of their purported network opened a window on how powerful Mexican cartels operate in the United States, distributing cocaine and heroin with the corporate efficiency of UPS, while back home competitors are tortured and beheaded.

For Full Story

Atlanta Latino Gang Ripping Off Mexican Cartels

atlanta-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mexican drug cartels, which have flourished in the U.S. and made fortunes, are now bumping up against a little problem in Atlanta: they’re being ripped off by local a local Latino gang that has been known to cut  off  the ears of children, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

FBI Agent John Houston of the Atlanta office told the paper that law enforcement is concerned about the situation, saying the cartels are responding by arming themselves heavily.

Authorities say the a Latino gang in question is “violent, brash and increasing in numbers”, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Column: Ex-ICE Agent Worried About Mexican Drug Cartels Getting to U.S. Law Enforcement

Marty Ficke/security debrief

Marty Ficke

By Marty Ficke
Security DeBrief

The arrest of Richard Cramer earlier this month is very disturbing news for many reasons.

Personally disturbing to me, not only because I am a former ICE Special Agent and Supervisor, but also because of the damage incidents like this have on inter-agency cooperation, and in this case, international cooperation.

It should remind all agents, officers, prosecutors, analysts, and staff of the importance and necessity to “compartmentalize” any and all information relating to sensitive investigations and law enforcement activities. It reinforces the necessity of operational security and the policy of controlling access to “on a need to know basis”.

Cramer was arrested by DEA on September 4th for his participation in a conspiracy to provide members of a Mexican drug cartel with information and background on U.S. narcotics enforcement activities.

To Read More

Mexican Drug Cartels Using Women — and Even Grandmothers — to Smuggle Guns

Not surprising the Mexican drug cartels are trying every tactic in the book to bring guns in from America. Authorities say they’re using woman including grandmothers and expectant mothers to smuggle guns.

gun

By Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY
HOUSTON – Ann Zarate may be one of the most unlikely players to be swept up in Mexico’s unrelenting drug war.

The 24-year-old native of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley is described by her attorney Jodi Goodwin as a “quiet, super sweet” woman who ultimately could not resist the promise of easy money for precious little work.

Zarate was sentenced earlier this year to 10 months in federal prison as a buyer in a gun-trafficking ring that delivered 77 weapons to Mexico’s warring drug cartels.

For Full Story

Ex-DEA Official Mike Braun Says Mexican Cartels Lashing Out “Like Never Before”

Mike Braun

Mike Braun

By Mike Braun
Security DeBrief

William Booth’s article in the Washington Post, “12 Federal Agents Are Slain in Mexico,” highlights yet another act of desperation on the part of the Mexican drug cartels in response to Mexico President Felipe Calderon’s strategy to break the backs of the cartels-once and for all.

The cartels are lashing out like never before, because they are slowly and systematically being backed into a corner from which there is no escape.

President Calderon’s attack has been relentless and unyielding. The cartels have never before experienced the likes of President Calderon, and to say they are feeling the heat is an understatement.

Taking on powerful drug cartels with a global reach is dirty business, and the work ahead for Mexico’s security institutions is most likely going to get even nastier before meaningful signs of improvement are witnessed. However, there is hope.

To Read More

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