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Tag: Drugs

Federal Agents Seize $30M Worth of Drugs in ‘Sophisticated’ Smuggling Tunnel

Drugs found inside a half-mile tunnel. Via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents seized thousands of pounds of drugs in a “sophisticated” smuggling tunnel that extends from a warehouse in Mexico to another warehouse in San Diego.

Inside the half-mile tunnel were 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than two pounds of fentanyl worth nearly $30 million, ICE announced in a news release.

The tunnel included reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.

“I’m proud of the excellent work performed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, as well as U.S. Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement Administration agents as integrated partners of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force. Their tenacity made the difference in shutting down this tunnel,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Diego. “I hope this sends a clear message that despite the ongoing public health crisis, HSI and our law enforcement partners will remain resilient and continue to pursue criminal organizations responsible for the cross-border smuggling of narcotics into the United States.”

DEA Arrests 600+ As Part of 6-Month Investigation of Fast-Growing Drug Cartel

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The DEA agents arrested more than 600 people nationwide as part of a six-month investigation into members of one of the world’s fastest growing drug-trafficking organizations.

The joint DEA-DOJ operation, dubbed “Project Python,” targeted members of the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), led by the drug lord known as “El Mencho.”

The cartel is known for transporting massive amounts of methamphetamine.

“Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski, of the Criminal Division, says in a news release.  “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG.  We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face.  And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.”

Added DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, “This strategic and coordinated project exemplifies DEA’s mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations around the world and bring their leaders to justice. Today, DEA has disrupted CJNG’s operations, and there is more to come as DEA continues its relentless attack on this remorseless criminal organization.”

Authorities Investigating Bombshell Allegations that U.S. Officials Were Involved in Murder of DEA Agent Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are investigating new bombshell allegations that a CIA operative and DEA official conspired with a drug kingpin to torture and murder DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.

Multiple witnesses who have been re-interviewed in the case told USA Today that Camarena may have been betrayed by his own country.

Whether American operatives were involved remains unknown, but the allegations are too explosive to ignore, officials said.

“You can’t just put it in a drawer and forget about it,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Camarena’s widow, Mika, said authorities have told her they are investigating the allegations.

“I want the truth to be out,” told the publication. “At this point, nothing would surprise me.”

Witnesses who were re-interviewed shared startling allegations that U.S. officials had been secretly helping drug cartels. Those witnesses, former Mexican police officers Ramon Lira, Rene Lopez and George Godoy, who had worked as security guards for cartel kingpins, shared their accounts with the USA Today.

Ex-DEA Agent and Wife Charged With Laundering Colombian Drug Money

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-DEA agent Jose I. Irizarry has been charged with working with Colombian drug dealers to launder money seized from undercover drug operations, the Justice Department announced Friday. He allegedly used the cash to buy a Tiffany diamond ring, a $135,000 Land Rover and a home in Cartagena.

The 19-indictment unsealed in Tampa, Fla., also named his wife Nathalia Gomez-Irizarry (Gomez), 36.

Authorities charged the scheme involved diverting money from undercover money laundering investigations into bank accounts the couple controlled along with family members and criminal associates.

Authorities allege that Irizarry was in personal bankruptcy proceedings for nearly the duration of this criminal conduct and failed to disclose any of his illicit income to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Irizarry is charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, honest services wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft and aggravated identity theft.  Gomez is charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

 

DEA: Sinaloa Cartel Is Biggest Criminal Threat to U.S., Despite Ex-Leader’s Arrest

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The biggest criminal threat to the U.S. is Mexico’s deadly Sinaloa Cartel, a notorious drug trafficking syndicate whose leader is serving life behind bars, according to a new DEA report.

The cartel, founded in 1988, “maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States,” according to the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment, reported by The Daily Mail.

The Sinaloa Cartel generates an estimated $11 billion annually through sales of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine that are smuggled into the U.S. through borders in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and West Texas.

In July 2019, the cartel’s notorious leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was sentenced to life in prison. Despite his arrest and conviction, the cartel remains strong and is led by his sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and Jesus Alfredo Guzmán.

Border Agents Find Liquid Meth inside Gas Tank of Chevy Truck Driven by American

Liquid meth found inside a gas tank. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP agents arrested a 36-year-old American citizen after finding 222 pounds of liquid meth hidden inside the gas tank of his Chevrolet Silverado at the Calexico East port of entry in California.

A CBP canine team alerted agents to the gas tank about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, CBP says in a news release.

When the gas tank was removed, agents found a strange liquid that was beginning to crystalize. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

“Drug trafficking organizations have one goal in mind, which is to get their product across,” Sergio Beltran, CBP officer in charge, says. “Concealing narcotics in gas tanks is one tactic and by utilizing our layered enforcement, we were able to stop this before it plagued our communities.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to ICE agents.

The meth has a street value of $266,000, CBP says.

U.S. Teen Arrested for Using Remote-Controlled Car to Transport Meth Across Border

Remote-controlled car seized by Border Patrol, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A 16-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested after Border Patrol agents said he was transporting methamphetamine across the border using a remote-controlled car.

Agents on Sunday arrested the boy, who was spotted walking along a secondary border wall with two duffel bags stuffed with 50 packages of meth weighing nearly 56 pounds. He also had a remote-controlled car.

Meth found in duffel bags, via CBP.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $106,096, according to CBP.

The arrest comes two years after agents foiled drug traffickers who were using a remote-controlled drone to fly the narcotics across the border. In that case, a 25-year-old drone operator was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison.

“I am extremely proud of the agents’ heightened vigilance and hard work in stopping this unusual smuggling scheme,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said in a news release.

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.