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Tag: drug cartels

DEA Money Laundering Began Under Reagan, Justice Says

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The DEA sting operation involving the laundering of money to drug cartels that has angered some Republican congressmen actually dates back to the Reagan administration, according to the Justice Department.

Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich sent a letter to Rep. Darrel Issa–the Republic congressman leading the charges against the Justice Department–which said Congress gave the DEA the authority to conduct such operations in 1984, reports a blog from the Houston Chronicle. During Reagan’s time in office DEA investigations laundered as much as $100 million, gaining access to top levels of drug cartel leadership, according to Weich.

Congress gave the Drug Enforcement Administration the authority to conduct such sting runs as far back as 1984, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich told Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in a letter, obtained by Texas on the Potomac. In investigations during the Ronald Reagan administration, some in which agents laundered over $100 million, they gained access to the top levels of drug-cartel leadership, Weich wrote.

To read more click here.

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DEA Commando-Style Squads Operating Far Beyond the War Zone

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s commando style squads that were established during the Bush years to battle Taliban-linked drug traffickers in Afghanistan are operating in regions far beyond that war zone, field, according to the New York Times.

The Times reports that the DEA now has five commando-style squads that have been “quietly deploying for the past several years to Western Hemisphere nations — including Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize — that are battling drug cartels.”

“You have got to have special skills and equipment to be able to operate effectively and safely in environments like this,” said Michael A. Braun, a former head of operations for the drug agency who helped design the program, the Times reported. “The D.E.A. is working shoulder-to-shoulder in harm’s way with host-nation counterparts.”

To read the full story click here.

 

Not Everyone in Mexico Wants America’s Help in Battling Violent Cartels

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Not everyone in Mexico is happy with America helping the Mexicans battle the drug cartels.

Prominent Mexican poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia wants the Mexican government to explain the reported presence of CIA and DEA agents in Mexico, Fox News Latino reported.

Fox News reported that Sicilia made the demand at a press conference Wednesday a few days after the New York Times reported that a total of 24 CIA and DEA operatives were in the country investigating and training people.

Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa and Government Secretary Jose Francisco Blake should appear before Congress “to explain the matter,” Sicilia said, according to Fox.

He said the presence of the CIA and the DEA is “illegal and unacceptable” and a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty.

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

DEA’s Joseph Evans Who Heads Up Mexico Operation Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year

Joseph Evans/dea photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year for 2010.

Faced with one of the more daunting tasks in  the DEA — battling the violent Mexican Drug Cartels — Evans is credited with developing key partnerships with the Mexican Federal Police and the Mexican government. He is known as an innovative leader and is well respected among colleagues.

A 19-year veteran of the DEA, he was assigned to the Mexico City post in October 2009. The DEA credits his partnership with helping apprehend or kill several key drug kingpins including Arturo Beltran Leyva, Harold Mauricio Poveda Ortega and Narario Moreno Gonzalez.

His area of responsibility also includes Central America and Canada.

The former Marine previously worked for the DEA in Miami, New York, Panama, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

The Fed of Year in 2008 was Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. In 2009, the award went to Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI.

U.S. Military Ties Growing with Mexico’s Armed Forces in Battle Against Drug Cartels

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — To help battle Mexico’s increasingly violent and dangerous drug  cartels, the U.S. military is getting more involved, the Washington Post reports.

Mary Beth Sheridan of the Washington Post reports that the U.S. military is sharing information and training soldiers in an expanding effort to help that country battle its violent drug cartels.

The Post reports that U.S. military officials have been reluctant to publicly discuss the growing ties, fearing Mexico’s residents might voice concern about the U.S. meddling in Mexico’s affairs.

Citing the Government Accountability Office, the Post reported that the Pentagon’s counternarcotics funding for Mexico has nearly tripled, from $12.2 million in 2008 to more than $34 million in 2010.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Mueller Pushes to Expand Telecom Wiretap Laws

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is pushing to update laws to help agents keep up with the rapidly changing technology so they can effectively conduct surveillance of communications in anti-terrorism and other cases.

At a conference of intelligence experts in Washington, Mueller said there have been instances in which companies have not been able to comply with court orders and turn over electronic communications.

“One lesson we have learned in recent years is the need to ensure that the laws by which we operate keep pace with new threats and new technology,” he said.

“By way of example, let us turn to court-ordered intercepts,” he said. “In some instances, communications providers are not able to provide the electronic communications we seek in response to a court order.

“Many providers are not currently required to build or maintain intercept capabilities in their operating systems. As a result, they are often not equipped to provide timely assistance,” he said.

He cited one example in which “a Mexican drug cartel was making use of a communications system that we were not able to intercept. We had to use other investigative techniques that were far more risky.”

Some civil liberties groups are concerned about the FBI expanding its reach. But Mueller said that there is a balance that needs to be struck.

” Some have suggested there is an inherent tension between protecting national security and preserving civil liberties, ” Mueller said. ” I do disagree. Yes, we have a right to privacy. But we also have a right to ride the subways without the threat of bombings.”

Battle Against Gun Smuggling into Mexico Plagued by Problems

US Mexican borderBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More frustrating news about guns, drugs and Mexico.

The Washington Post reports that efforts to crack down on the flow of guns from the U.S. to the Mexican drug cartels “have been frustrated by bureaucratic infighting, a lack of training and the delayed delivery of a computer program to Mexico, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.”

The paper reports that Mexico has submitted information about more than 74,000 guns seized that authorities suspect came from the U.S.

“But much of the data is so incomplete as to be useless and has not helped authorities bust the gunrunners who supply the Mexican mafias with their vast armories, officials said,” the Post reports.

The bottom line, the Post reports, is that U.S. agents in Mexico say Mexican prosecutors haven’t come up with one major arms trafficking case.

To read more click here.

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