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Tag: cartel

South Carolina Officers Thought They Were Protecting Drug Traffickers. It Was an FBI Sting

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three South Carolina law enforcement officers who accepted money in exchange for protecting what they thought were drug traffickers have pleaded guilty.

Turns out, the Mexican drug-trafficking cartel was actually a group of undercover FBI agents.

A former Springfield officer and two Orangeburg County deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges connected to the sting, The State reports.

The law enforcement officials believed they were guarding cartel trucks full of cash and drugs that were traveling south on Interstate 26 through Orangeburg County.

They were indicted in March.

Four other officers have pending cases.

The FBI used wiretaps and covert videos showing the officers agreed to “guard” the trucks.

Mexican Police Arrest Cartel Member Accused in 1985 Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is in custody.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican police arrested a 77-year-old man accused in the 1985 torturing and killing of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar.

The arrest of Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is major break in what was the first time a cartel had murdered a DEA agent.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

The FBI tipped off Mexican authorities that Godinez had crossed the border.

“The killing of an American agent on foreign soil was a huge game changer for the United States,” Gretchen Von Helms, a criminal defense attorney who has no ties to the case, told NBC 7 San Diego. “They were obviously very interested in protecting their agents down there and at the time the DEA operated in Mexico much like it was in the United States. You didn’t believe that you could be killed.”

Camarena was working undercover in February 1985 when he disappeared. His body was found a month later on a ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Guadalajara Cartel accused the agent of taking down a marijuana plantation.

“His name has morphed into a symbol of the drug wars between the United States and Mexico,” Von Helms told NBC 7.

Camarena was depicted in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.”

Godinez, who also is accused of killing two Americans he mistook for DEA agents, was handed over to immigration officials for planned extradition to the U.S., where he will be charged.

Sinaloa Cartel Paid $1M a Month to Bribe Mexican Officials, Ex-Trafficker Testifies in El Chapo Trial

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

How much did it cost to bribe Mexican officials to run one of the world’s largest drug-trafficking empires?

The Sinaloa Cartel dished out as much as $1 million a month in bribes to police and military officials, according to Vicente Zambada Niebla, who testified during the trial of alleged drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, The New York Times reports

Zambada is the son of Ismael Zambada García, one of the cartel’s leaders. 

El Chapo has pleaded not guilty to charges of international drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder rivals.

Convicted Drug Lord Re-Sentenced in Murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Convicted drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo was re-sentenced by a Mexican court to 37 years in prison and a reparation payment equivalent to $1.2 million.

Felix Gallardo, who was considered the godfather of Mexican drug smuggling and the co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel, had previously been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena.

Some of those convicted in the murder had filed appeals.

Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison in 2013 following an appeals court decision to overturn his conviction, is to be re-sentenced. He remains at large, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest. 

New Details Emerge of Border Patrol Agent Accused of Helping Mexican Cartel

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When authorities found a headless body floating near South Padre island in Texas, the investigation led them to a Border Patrol agent accused of helping a Mexican cartel smuggle drugs and weapons across the border.

Agent John Luna is accused of helping his brothers.

New details have emerged, including that investigators said they have found a “treasure trove” of evidence at Luna’s mother-in-law’s house, the Associated Press reports. 

Discovered in a safe at the home were nearly $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine.

Luna, a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran, is accused of capital murder in the death of a mean that was considered a possible snitch.

His attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, claims Luna had nothing to do with the scheme.

“This is a clear-cut case of guilt by association,” Garcia said.

Prosecutors declined to discuss details of the case, but said the safe contained Luna’s Border Patrol badge.

“Drug use and abuse in America is fueling the Mexican cartels, and because of the money and the weapons that go south, we get all the violence,” Garza said. “This case represents that.”

Other Stories of Interest

Mexico Drug Lord Who Tortured, Killed DEA Agent in 1985 Is Given House Arrest

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug lord Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca Carrillo, who killed a DEA agent in 1985, will serve the remainder of his sentence on house arrest.

The 86-year-old co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel was in prison until he was transferred to house arrest Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Fonseca will live in his house in Mexico State, which borders the capital.

Federal prisons chief Eduardo Guerrero said he was opposed to the release, but he had to respect the judge’s order of house arrest.

“From the government’s perspective, we believe it is not right that someone who did so much damage to this country is today serving the end of this sentence on the outside. … He did a lot of damage to society and he should still be, according to all the studies, inside a federal prison,” Guerrero said.

Fonseca was convicted in 1985 of kidnapping, torturing and murdering DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.

Other Stories of Interest

Mexican Drug Cartel Founder Found Dead, Tortured And Riddled with Bullets

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

Carlos Rosales Mendoza

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican drug cartel founder who was on the DEA’s Most Wanted List was found tortured and dead along with three other men dumped along the side of the road, The Daily Mail reports.

Carlos Rosales Mendoza, who founded La Familia Michoacana, was found riddled with bullets.

Mendoza was a key member of the La Familia cartel.

According to authorities, Mendoza was trying to start a new cartel when he died.

Other Stories of Interest

‘El Chapo’s Cartel Influence Continues to Be Strong in U.S. After His Prison Escape

DEA map

DEA map

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was jailed and escaped from a Mexican prison in July, his Sinaloa cartel continues to traffic drugs across the border on a massive scale, The Daily Mail reports.

A newly released map by the DEA shows that El Chapo’s gang continues to yield tremendous influence, sending drugs all over the U.S.

A DEA report indicates that Sinaloa “maintains the most significant presence in the United States.”

“These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks,” the report states.

“They control drug trafficking across the southwest border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.”

Other Stories of Interest