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Tag: Zetas

Weekend Series on Crime: Zetas Drug Cartel in Mexico

http://youtu.be/wcQDEexlkWc

‘Madman’ Daniel Elizondo Arrested in Case of Mexican Massacre

The logo of the Los Zetas Cartel/baltimore city paper

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Mexican authorities have arrested a high ranking member of the Zeta drug cartel in connection with the massacre of 49 people whose dismembered bodies were recently found dumped on the highway between Monterrey and Reynosa, near the entrance to San Juan.

Reuters reports that Daniel Elizondo, the leader of the Zetas drug cartel known as “The Madman,” has been detained.

Elizondo headed the Zetas trafficking operations in Cadereyta, an industrial town near the spot where the bodies were dumped, an army spokesman told Reuters.

Though Mexico’s drug war has raged intensely since President Felipe Calderon launched a national offensive against the cartels in 2006, this massacre is among the worst atrocities,  Reuters reports. Since Calderon took office, around 55,000 have died in drug related violence in Mexico. Another 5,000 have disappeared.

Officials are using  DNA to try and ID the victims in the absence of their heads, hands, and feet. A week later, they have yet to identify any of them. It is possible they were migrant workers passing through the area, adding to the difficulty of tracing their roots.

To read more click here.

Is Mexico’s War on Drugs Working?

By Mariano Castillo
CNN

Mexico has landed some hard punches against the drug cartels that have stirred violence in parts of the country — at least on paper.

In 2011, against just the notorious Zetas cartel, Mexico ended the reign of 16 leaders who ran cartel operations at the state or national level. Thugs with nicknames like “El Piolin,” “El Lucky” and “El Amarillo.”

But the violence attributed to the Zetas has not decreased even after these busts, and critics wonder if names are meaningless if they are so quickly replaced.

To read the full story click here.

Guilty Verdicts Returned for Mexican Cartel Affiliates

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Things did not go the way Gerardo Castillo-Chavez and Armado Garcia had hoped in Laredo, Texas, on Wednesday.

Both men saw guilty verdicts returned on all charges against them, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced. Castillo-Chavez, a 25-year-old from Tamaulipas, Mexico, was convicted of “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, interstate travel in aid of racketeering (ITAR) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime or a crime of violence,” according to the Justice Department.

The guilty verdicts were returned unanimously after a four-day trial and six-hours of deliberation.

A Feb. 17, 2010 indictment charged Castillo-Chavez and 33 other individuals with 47 counts of conspiracy to kidnap and murder U.S. citizens in a foreign country, drug conspiracy, kidnapping conspiracy, firearms conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, use of juveniles to commit a violent crime, accessory after the fact and solicitation as well as substantive money laundering, drug trafficking and ITAR charges, according to the Justice Department. To date, 14 of those charged have been convicted.

Several witnesses in the trial tied Castillo-Chavez to the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, and implicated Castillo-Chavez, also known as “Cachetes,” in a double murder on April 2, 2006, as well as other attempted murders a violent attacks in Mexico.

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ATF Home Raid Yields Dozens of Guns, Drugs at Houston Home Used Mexican Cartel

The logo of the Los Zetas Cartel/baltimore city paper

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Houston ATF agents hit a small jackpot recently when they raided the home used by a Mexican cartel member.

The local KPRC-TV reports that agents seized dozens of guns and 45 pounds of marijuana. Agents were lead to the home by Juan Garcia, who had been arrested after purchasing high-powered rifles at a gun show on New Year’s Eve. Garcia told agents he had shipped 250 weapons to the home in the past two years.

After agents found 26 rifles and $5,000 in Garcia’s trunk, he told agents he was a ranking member of the Zetas, a group of  former Mexican military servicemen that run one of the country’s most violent drug trafficking cartel. On January 4, Garcia led agents to the Houston home, where they seized 34 assault rifles, 21 AR-15s, 13 AK-47s and 45 pounds of marijuana, according to the KPRC report.

To read more click here.

 

San Antonio Drug Bust Nets Cash, Cars Including Hot Pink Low Rider

 
By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The powerful Zetas drug cartel took another blow in San Antonio, Tex., says a report from local KENS5.com.

A DEA bust recovered high quality cocaine and millions of dollared allegedly linked to the Zetas,  the station reported. Authorities claimed the bust crippled a powerful drug operation in San Antonio . Five were charged with cocaine trafficking.

A 1968 red Impala and a hot-pink low-rider classic automobile were among four vintage “hot rides” seized in the bust, the station reported.

“We had a seizure of about $2 million and another seizure of $50,000,” said Mauricio Fernandez, DEA special agent. “We also seized about 5 kilos of high quality cocaine.”

To read more click here.

20 Charged in Chicago-Mexico Drug Network, Ties to Zetas Drug Cartel

The logo of the Los Zetas Cartel/baltimore city paper

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The tentacles of the Mexican cartels can be found throughout the U.S.

The latest: 20 defendants — five of them suspected members of a Chicago cell of the violent Zetas Mexican drug cartel — were charged in major drug indictment in Chicago following a joint FBI-DEA investigation, Chicago’s US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office announced Wednesday.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than $12.4 million in cash and about 250 kilograms or more than 500 pounds of cocaine during 2010 in the Chicago area.

Arrests were made on Tuesday in Chicago and Laredo, Tex. Along with the Tuesday arrests, an additional $480,000 in cash and two kilograms of heroin were also seized.

“The extensive cash seizures made during the course of this investigation illustrates how lucrative the illicit drug trade can be,” said Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Chicago Office in a statement. “Combined with the apparent presence of the Zetas in the Chicago area, the charges announced today should serve as a wake-up call to law enforcement throughout the state.”

Five of the defendants in the case remain at large.

 

 

Threatening Graffiti Targeting DEA Found in Mexico


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A sign of the ongoing hostile feelings of Mexican drug gangs toward the DEA surfaced last week.

The New York Daily News reports that a Mexican drug gang spray-painted a message Friday near a school in Chihuahua, about 220 miles from the U.S. border:

“Gringos (D.E.A.), We know where you are and we know who you are and where you go. We are going to chop your [expletive] heads.”

Officials did not immediately comment on the message, the Daily News reported.

The Daily News reported that the message was discovered the same day Mexican marines battled suspected members of the Zeta drug cartel, and killed 15 cartel suspects. Six marines were injured.

The Daily News reported that on Texas authorities over the weekend urged Americans not to cross into the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo because they had info the Zetas could be targeting Americans.

“According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortions, car-jackings and vehicle theft, specifically against U.S. citizens,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement, according to the Daily News.

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