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Tag: drug smuggling

Border Patrol Agents Tricked into Providing Protection for Convicted Drug Smuggler

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are furious that they were tricked into providing “armed security for a cartel wedding” of a convicted drug smuggler who has been banned from Mexico.

The groom, Brian Houston, is awaiting sentencing after he was accused of smuggling large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in February.

“The agents are upset, feel like they were taken advantage of, feel like they were duped,” Joshua Wilson, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Turns out we provided armed security for a cartel wedding.”

The wedding took place at steel border gate that enables people who cannot cross the border to meet for about three minutes each.

“It’s a statement that love has no borders,” Houston told the newspaper.

A Border Patrol screening did not show any criminal activity, so agents were unaware they were protecting a convicted drug smuggler.

Other Stories of Interest

Drug Smugglers Face Stiff Penalties for Trying to Smuggle Meth in Penis-Shaped Candles

Penis-shaped candles were stuffed with crystal meth.

Penis-shaped candles were stuffed with crystal meth.

A group of drug smugglers was arrested Wednesday and face stiff sentences after trying to hide crystal meth in penis-shaped candles.

Five suspects, including three Mexicans who were in the country illegally, were arrested after authorities found 1,300 pounds of candles stuffed with drugs in a New Jersey warehouse, the New York Daily News reports

“It’s kind of a cross between ‘Breaking Bad’ and a ‘Sex in the City’ case,” mused one law enforcement source.

They face up to five years in prison.

The sting was a joint operation by the DEA, Homeland Security and NYPD.

“DEA has seen drugs smuggled in numerous ways: concealed in puppies, lollipops, furniture and produce. But secreting a million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine in wax candles of various shapes is shocking,” said DEA Special Agent in charge James Hunt. “This seizure signifies that drug trafficking organizations are determined to create a stronghold of meth users in the Northeast.”

Border Patrol to Test New Drones in Arizona, Texas And Vermont

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol plans to test new drones in Arizona, Texas and Vermont in September as part of an increased effort to curb illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

The different models range from quadcopters that are capable of flying for 30 minutes to larger aerial vehicles that can stay airborne for hours, Arizona Public Media reports

Border Control currently uses large drones that are flown out of an airstrip at Fort Huachuca in Cochise County.

No specifics were given about the time and locations of the tests.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Cleared of Wrongdoing in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting an unarmed man accused of smuggling drugs in southern Arizona, the Associated Press reports.

Agent Daniel Marquez’ actions appeared to be “justified under the circumstances,” the Pima County Attorney’s Office said.

The shooting came after a 15-mile chase on May 30, when Marquez shot 31-year-old Jose Luis Arambula.

According to reports, Marquez firef nine shots at Arambula before striking him once in the head.

Arambula’s car was later found with about 500 pounds of marijuana.

Other Stories of Interest


Ex-Border Patrol Officers Accused U.S. Politicians of Protecting Mexican Drug Cartels

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Border Patrol officers accused some U.S. politicians of protecting Mexican drug cartels with lenient immigration laws and sanctuary cities, Newsmax.com reports.

“We must never lose sight of the fact that the United States is the market place for the bulk of transnational criminal businesses engaged in human trafficking and the smuggling, distribution and sale of illegal drugs,” the former officers wrote. “Organized crime on this scale we are speaking about cannot exist without political protection.”

The letter was signed by William Glenn, a retired southwest region Chief Intelligence Agent; Claude Guyant, who held various leadership positions throughout the agency; and Gene Wood, who once ran the agency’s San Diego station.

Writing on behalf of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, the letter writers indicated that “vicious transactional crime syndicates” exist in more than 2,000 American cities.

“These transnational criminals present a real and present danger to all Americans, and they live among us,” according to the letter.

Drug Smugglers Try Wigs, Secret Pockets

Seized in the investigation/ICE photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Suspected drug couriers from the east coast and Panama apparently used some innovation, smuggling cocaine and heroin in small pockets sewn into Lycra shorts and in their hair weaves and wigs, according to the website Government News Service.

GNS reports that 12 individuals were charged in a 20-count indictment, the results of a three year investigation of ICE, Homeland Security and the DEA, allege the individuals.

ICE officials called the investigation a game of cat and mouse. Law enforcement officials would crack down on the smuggling ring, only to have smugglers adapt to new law enforcement techniques, and so on.

Ronaldo Edmund, Kelvin Cook and Julio Archer, of the US, allegedly recruited mostly female couriers, reports GNS, to smuggle heroin and cocaine by the kilo from Panama to the U.S.

To read more click here.

Sharp Increases in Drug-Cash Seizures in Caribbean

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Tides of troubled water are lapping Caribbean shores it seems.

Federal agencies have seen a sharp increase in drug-money seizures in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands over the past year, the AP reports, “an apparent sign that more drug proceeds are flowing through the US island territory and the Caribbean as a whole.”

A division of ICE known as Homeland Security Investigations reported a 68 percent increase in cash seizures in Puerto Rico–nearly $2.4 million in total–for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.

The DEA saw seizures more than double as well, to $18 million. The numbers pale in comparison to what is seized along the US-Mexico border. Still, the Justice Department considers  Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands “major bulk cash movement center,” says AP.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, asked the House of Representatives for more aid recently, saying, according to AP:  “We are in a crisis in the Caribbean.” The island set a new homicide record this year as drug-related violence spiked. More than 1,100 have been killed.

Pedro Janer, the acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s Caribbean division, says the trends are the result of stricter enforcement along the US-Mexico border, AP reported. “Every time we put a major squeeze at the border they have to go someplace else,” Janer said. “Well, the second preferred route is the Caribbean. They are always going back and forth.”

To read more click here.

One More Tunnel Found on US-Mexico Border in Growing Trend

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The latest in a series of secret passages used to smuggle drugs from Mexico to the US was found on Tuesday, linking warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana, reports the Associated Press.

“It is clearly the most sophisticated tunnel we have ever found,” Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego, said, according to AP.

The Tijuana warehouse, next to a packaging company and a tortilla distributor, sits on the same block as a federal police office.

Less than two weeks ago US authorities seized 17 tons of marijuana when they discovered a 400-yard passage linking the two towns, according to the AP. The passage had lighting and ventilation.

Tunnels have emerged as U.S. authorities increased on-land enforcement. More tunnels have been found along the border since October of 2008 than in the previous six years, many clustered around San Diego, California’s Imperial Valley and Nogales, Ariz., AP reported.

To read more click here.