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Tag: Mexico

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.”

Coronavirus Fears Don’t Stop Construction of the Border Wall in Arizona

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Construction on the wall on the Arizona border with Mexico has not stopped as the coronavirus outbreak spreads rapidly across the U.S.

Work crews are filling up motels, Airbnbs and mobile home camps in the town of Ajo, while nonessential construction has stopped in most of the country, The New York Times reports.

The theory is that the wall will prevent the spread of the virus from Mexico to the U.S., even though health experts are skeptical.

In the meantime, residents in Ajo are worried that the influx of workers make them more susceptive to the coronavirus.

“This administration’s priority is to get the wall done. The rest of us might as well be damned,” Ajo resident Maria Singleton told the Times.

According to an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Raini Brunson, the agency is following “government and CDC guidelines” as construction increases.

“As the guidance changes, decisions will be made as to how contractor employees will be affected,” Brunson added.

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.

Border Agents Discover Third Underground Tunnel in Southern Arizona Since December

New tunnel found in Nogales, Ariz. Via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found another illegal tunnel between the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona.

The 30-foot-long tunnel opened up in Nogales, Ariz. and is about 15 to 20 feet deep. It’s at least the third tunnel discovered in the area since December, ABC News first reported.

Border officials have not yet made any arrests.

It’s believed the tunnels are used for smuggling drugs.

Agents filled in the latest tunnel with concrete following the investigation.

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 Officials Discover Longest Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Ever Found Along Southwest Border

Longest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials said Wednesday they discovered the largest drug-smuggling tunnel ever found along the southwest border.

The intricate, bending tunnel stretches more than three-quarters of a mile and features a rail system, forced air ventilation, elevator and a complex drainage system.

The 5-and-a-half-foot tall tunnel begins in an industrial area in Tijuana, Mexico, and meanders more than 4,300 feet into a San Diego neighborhood, CBP said.

“I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in a news release.

“The sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego.

Officials first discovered the tunnel in August.

“As efforts to strengthen security on our Southern Border increase, Mexican drug cartels are forced underground to smuggle their deadly drugs into the United States,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery. “The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels.  And although the cartels will continue to use their resources to try and breach our border, the DEA and our partners on the Tunnel Task Force will continue to use our resources to ensure they fail, that our border is secure, and that tunnels like this are shut down to stem the flow of deadly drugs entering the United States.”

Man Sentenced to Life for 2010 Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A sixth man convicted for his role in the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, a Mexican gang member, was convicted by a jury in February of nine criminal counts, including first- and second-degree murder.

The case led to the discovery of the Fast and Furious scandal.

Terry was fatally shot during a firefight with a seven-men “rip crew” that robbed smugglers crossing the Arizona-Mexico border.

“A life sentence for Agent Terry’s murder cannot eliminate his family’s suffering. But it is our hope that this sentence brings some degree of comfort to Agent Terry’s family in knowing that the individuals responsible for his murder will be held accountable,” said Robert Brewer, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, according to AZCentral.com.

Roy Villareal, the chief patrol officer for Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, applauded the sentencing.

“Today brings us one step closer to justice for Agent Brian Terry’s murder,” Villareal said. “The sentencing brings a painful time closer to an end and serves as a reminder of the grave dangers our agents face in their selfless commitment to the safety of their communities and country.”