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Tag: Mexico

Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Traveled to Boston, Las Vegas and Mexico While on the Lam

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More is coming out about the adventures of mobster James “Whitey’’ Bulger, who was captured last week after 16 years on the lam.

The Boston Globe reports that during those 16 years he returned to Boston in disguise and “armed to the teeth’’ several times “to take care of some unfinished business.’’  The paper cited government documents filed Monday.

The paper reported that Bulger, who is charged with 19 murders,  refused to say who he came to see or when, but  former associates said he returned at least twice during the first year on the lam.

Bulger also told FBI agents he also visited  Las Vegas and Mexico, and  stashed money with people he had trusted, according to the Globe.

Prosecutors are arguing that Bulger’s lifestyle indicates that he can afford to pay for his defense, the Globe reported. When authorities busted him they found more than $800,000 stashed in his apartment.

No Surprise: Senate Report Says U.S. Guns Going to Mexican Drug Traffickers at Alarming Rate; Makes Recommendations

atf file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Certainly this comes as no surprise.

A Congressional report released Monday concludes that American military-style weapons are arming Mexico’s violent drug organizations at an alarming rate and policy makers are not adequately responding.

“Congress has been virtually moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), one of three Senators who issued the report. The others were Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

“New ATF data provided last week reveals that more than 70 percent of firearms recovered at crime scenes and traced by Mexican officials actually originated in the United States<” Feinstein said.

Sen. Schumer added:  “This report confirms what many of us already know to be true: although the Senate’s recently passed border measure will help make our Southern border safer, it is still too easy for Mexican drug lords to get their hands on deadly military-grade weapons within our borders. “We need to redouble our efforts to keep violent firearms out of the hands of these traffickers.”

The report recommends legislation to make it tougher to buy weapons at guns shows: better enforcement of the existing ban on imports of military-style weapons; reinstatement of the expired Assault Weapons Ban; reporting by Federal Firearms Licensees on all multiple firearms sales; and Senate ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).

Read report

Mexico Cartels Using Bullet-Proof Trucks Known as “Monsters”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The drug cartels are using bullet-proof trucks known as “monsters”, according to CNN.

CNN reports that the trucks are built on a three-axle truck bed and include such features as swiveling turrets to shoot in any direction,a reinforced steel battering ram in front to demolish vehicles and walls and a one-inch-thick steel plate to protect occupants from gunfire and grenades. They can transport about 20 armed people.

Mexican officials say, according to CNN, that the monster trucks are used for transporting drugs and battling rival gangs.

In all, CNN reported that Mexican authorities have seized 20 narco-tanks in northeast Mexico.

Senate Report Urges Obama Administration to Do More to Fight Mexican Cartels

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A just-released Senate report on Mexico drug trafficking urges  judicial and police reforms in Mexico and calls for the Obama Administration to provide more resources to its southern neighbor and  to do more to starve Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations of the money that fuels them.

The  report, issued by The U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control,  also recommends that the   Obama Administration take immediate steps to make pre-paid gift and credit cards – known as stored value – subject to cross-border reporting requirements.

The cards are currently not subject to any cross-border reporting requirements, which allows dirty money to cross the border unchecked.

The report also urges the State Department to expedite the delivery of  resources and develop performance measures for delivering equipment and implementing  judicial and police reform.

The U.S. government has  provided Mexico with 11 helicopters – eight Bell 412 helicopters for the Mexican military and three Blackhawk helicopters for the country’s federal police.  Six more Blackhawk helicopters are still in the pipeline, authorities said.

“The United States provides counternarcotics assistance throughout the world,” the report said. “But, our security partnership with Mexico is unique. We share a 1,969 mile border. What happens in Mexico has a deep impact on the United States and the reciprocal is also true.

“The Mexican government must continue to combat its country’s violent drug trafficking organizations and curb the supply of illicit drugs flowing into our country. It also must take action to better secure its northern border as well as its southern border with Central America to prevent illegal narcotics, weapons, and illicit proceeds from entering the country.

“At the same time, the U.S. must take action to better counter the southbound traffic of money and firearms that fuel the drug trafficking organizations, while also working to reduce our country’s massive demand for illegal narcotics.”

The Senate caucus is co-chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.).

To read full report click here.

FBI Says Corrupt U.S. Border Agents a Serious Threat

Wounded ICE Agent Still not Back to Work; Wants to Testify Before Congress

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — ICE agent Victor Avila Jr. who was shot in February in an ambush in Mexico along with agent Jaime Zapata is moving about, but has yet to return to work, said the agency spokesman Brian P. Hale. Zapata did not survive the shooting.

Hale said Avila is in daily contact with ICE and recovering in the U.S.

Avila was spotted last week in Washington at Police Week, an annual gathering of law enforcement. Events during Police Week include a candlelight vigil for slain law enforcement officers.  Avila and  Zapata were ambushed on a road about four hours north of Mexico.

Avila wants to testify about his case, according to a Congressional committee.

In late March, Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management, which was conducting a hearing on U.S. Homeland Security and Mexican drug cartels, said:

“I’ve been in contact with the Department of Justice after meeting with Agent Avila, who expressed his willingness to testify here today.

“However, the Department of Justice objected to that request as he is a material witness in an ongoing criminal investigation and for his personal safety. Better judgment, in my view, was to not call him as a witness, but I do believe that his story needs to be told.”

20-Year-Old Mexican Police Chief Seeks Asylum in U.S. Following Death Threats From Cartels

Sophisticated Drug Tunnel Found at Mexico-Az Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Drug tunnels continue to pop up along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The latest: The Associated Press reports that authorities discovered in Nogales, Az., a fairly sophisticated 250-foot-long unfinished tunnel underneath the U.S.-Mexico border that had electricity, water pumps and ventilation.

AP reported that Chief Border Patrol Agent Randy Hill says the tunnel was more sophisticated than others recently unearthed and that the builders had to chisel through solid rock.

AP reported that the tunnel was 15 feet beneath the ground. It started in an abandoned building in Nogales on the Mexican side and was still undergoing construction on the American side.