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Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category

Mexican Incursions into the US!

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Via(Michael Yon)

Mexican Government in the Drug Business?

A concerned reader sent me this CNN video link on Youtube.  Please view this very disturbing piece: Mexican Incursions into the US.

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Mexican Cartel Use US Teens as Hit Men!

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Via(National Terror Alert)

Police: U.S. Teens Were Hit Men For Mexican Cartel

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Prosecutors say they quickly discovered these two teenagers were homegrown assassins, hired to carry out the dirty work of the notorious Gulf Cartel.

“There are sleeper cells in the U.S.,” said Detective Garcia. “They’re here, they’re here in the United States.”

The cases against Cardona and Reta — both are in prison serving long prison sentences for murder — shed new light into the workings of the drug cartels.

Prosecutor and investigators say Reta and Cardona were recruited into a group called “Los Zetas,” a group made up of former members of the Mexican special military forces. They’re considered ruthless in how they carry out attacks. “Los Zetas” liked what they saw in Cardona and Reta.

Both teenagers received six-month military-style training on a Mexican ranch. Investigators say Cardona and Reta were paid $500 a week each as a retainer, to sit and wait for the call to kill. Then they were paid up to $50,000 and 2 kilos of cocaine for carrying out a hit.

The teenagers lived in several safe houses around Laredo and drove around town in a $70,000 Mercedes-Benz.

Source

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

U.S. Citizen Beheaded In Mexico!

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Via(NationalTerrorAlert)

U.S. Citizen Beheaded In Apparent Mexico Drug Hit

A U.S. citizen was one of the three men who were found decapitated this week in Tijuana, Mexican authorities said Friday.

The body of George Harrison, a 38-year-old former Chula Vista resident, had been dismembered and mutilated and was dumped in a vacant lot near Tijuana’s beachside bullring.

Authorities said they suspected that it was an organized crime hit.

Harrison had several drug-related convictions in the United States and was suspected of drug trafficking in Mexico, Baja California Assistant Atty. General Rafael Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said Harrison had been living in the Tijuana area since his release from a U.S. prison six months ago. He owned a pizzeria in Tijuana, from which he was abducted, Gonzalez said.

Authorities who searched Harrison’s business found four weapons, including a .38-caliber handgun.

Alongside the bodies, authorities discovered a taunting narco-message similar to others left at crime scenes in the battles among rival organized crime groups.

Source

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Due to Drug War, Help Needed On U.S. Border!

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Via(Washington Times)

Homeland security: Help needed on U.S. border

The drug war is on.

On the same day that the secretary of homeland security told Congress that drug-related violence along the Mexican border had grown beyond the ability of the department to handle, the DEA announced an operation against a major Mexican drug cartel that netted more than 750 suspects – almost all of them in the U.S.

“I believe this is going to require more than the Department of Homeland Security,” Janet Napolitano said Wednesday during her first Capitol Hill appearance since her confirmation last month as homeland security secretary.

“So we are reaching out to the national security adviser, to the attorney general and others about how we within the United States make sure we are doing all we can in a coordinated way to support the president of Mexico,” said Ms. Napolitano, explaining that containing border-related drug violence will require more than the 22 agencies and 200,000 employees in her department.

TWT RELATED STORY: 755 arrested in drug cartel operation

Border violence, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in January and about 6,000 in 2008, is already on the radar of Pentagon and CIA officials, who have told The Washington Times of their involvement in the current crisis in Mexico and say they are watching developments closely.

U.S. intelligence officials told The Times that the effects of the global economic crisis on Mexico have helped narcotics traffickers recruit more people and corrupt more Mexican officials.

At his first meeting with reporters Wednesday, new CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said that Mexico was a “priority” for the agency.

“Mexico is an area of concern because of the drug wars going on there,” Mr. Panetta said. “The president [of Mexico] has courageously taken on that issue, but nevertheless, it’s an area that we are paying attention to, a lot of attention to.”

Meanwhile Wednesday, Justice Department officials announced the arrest of 755 people associated with Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel as part of a two-year probe dubbed “Operation Xcellerator.” The operation also netted $59 million, 12,000 kilograms of cocaine, 16,000 pounds of marijuana and about 1.3 million Ecstasy pills.

But as a measure of how thoroughly Mexico’s deadly drug gangs have entrenched themselves in the U.S., Justice Department officials said only 20 of the arrests took place in Mexico, with the rest taking place north of the border.

And in a specific example of the spread of Mexican drug-gang violence across the U.S., a confidential Department of Homeland Security advisory said an assassination attempt on a South Carolina deputy sheriff was the work of three illegal immigrants as part of a Mexican-American gang with ties to the drug trade.

Lexington County, S.C., Deputy Sheriff Ted Xanthakis and his K-9, Arcos, both survived the ambush by three men armed with a 12-gauge shotgun during a Feb. 8 incident in West Columbia, S.C.

Two of the men were identified in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report as members of the Surenos gang, or SUR-13, a collection of hundreds of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California and which federal law enforcement agencies accuse of involvement in smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants.

Violence on the Mexican border and its reverberations throughout the U.S. are emerging as one of the gravest and least expected problems confronting the Obama administration, a point that was made by President George W. Bush in a late December interview with The Washington Times.

Mr. Obama will need to deal “with these drug cartels in our own neighborhood,” Mr. Bush said. “And the front line of the fight will be Mexico. The drug lords will continue to search for a soft underbelly. And one of the things that future presidents are going to have to make sure of is that they don’t find a safe haven in parts of Central America.”

In her testimony Wednesday, Ms. Napolitano sounded a similar note, saying: “I’ve actually found the situation in Mexico one of the top priority items on my desk. It was on my desk when I was governor of Arizona, but as the secretary of homeland security, I see it in a much broader way.”

Thousands of Mexican troops have been sent to the border by President Felipe Calderon to patrol drug routes and bust drug runners.

But the drug cartels have retaliated at levels of violence never before seen, and Ms. Napolitano warned that failure could turn Mexico’s border areas into a war zone that the central government cannot effectively control, as happened in Colombia.

“They’ve been targeting in some of those homicides public officials [and] law enforcement officers as a process of intimidation,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The homeland security chief has already met with Mexico’s attorney general and the U.S. ambassador there, and said the U.S. is “working to support President Calderon in his efforts.”

“That is primarily the product of the president of Mexico and his government going after these large drug cartels, so that we never run the risk, never run the risk of Mexico descending into, say, where Colombia was 15 years ago,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The cocaine trade turned Colombia into a battle zone, with the Medellin and Cali cartels able to attack the highest levels of Colombian politics with kidnappings and assassinations.

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars on anti-drug efforts, and teamed up with the Colombian government to knock down cocaine production, but to this day the national government in Bogota does not effectively control large parts of the country, where the drug-linked Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is the de facto government.

U.S. officials will focus in particular on the traffic of guns and cash from the U.S. to Mexico to support “these very, very violent cartels,” Ms. Napolitano said.

“I believe our country has a vital relationship with Mexico, and I believe that Mexico right now has issues of violence that are of a different degree and level than we’ve ever seen before,” she said.

“But in my view, from a homeland security standpoint, this is going to be an issue, working with Mexico, that is going to be of real priority interest over these coming months,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The Obama administration says that the drug-gang violence on the U.S. side of the border does not match what is going on in Mexico’s border states, but says there is a contingency plan in place that will not include militarizing the U.S. side of the boundary.

• Sara A. Carter, Ben Conery and Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R Bootie

Texas Preparing For Mexican Drug Violence!!

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Via(NationalTerrorAlert)

Mexican Drug Violence Has Crossed U.S. Border, State Officials Say

mexican_police

The violence associated with Mexican drug cartels is now spilling over onto the America side of the border in Arizona and Texas, state officials have admitted.

The New York Times reports that Arizona has seen a dramatic spike in drug-related abductions, home invasions, and even men dressed in SWAT gear wielding military-grade weaponry.

A home invasion here last year was carried out by attackers wielding military-style rifles and dressed in uniforms similar to a Phoenix police tactical unit. The discovery of grenades and other military-style weaponry bound for Mexico is becoming more routine, as is hostage-taking and kidnapping for ransom, law enforcement officials said.

The Phoenix police regularly receive reports involving a border-related kidnapping or hostage-taking in a home.

The Maricopa County attorney’s office said such cases rose to 241 last year from 48 in 2004, though investigators are not sure of the true number because they believe many crimes go unreported.

The violence, said Commander Dan Allen of the State Department of Public Safety, is “reaching into Arizona, and that is what is really alarming local and state law enforcement.”

In Texas, state Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw told the El Paso Times that drug violence has indeed crossed the border.

“Yes, absolutely it has occurred; there’s no question about it,” he said.

The violence has led Governor Rick Perry to request an additional $135 million for border security from the state legislature.

This admission comes after news that Texas activated the lowest stage of its border security plan after protests and violence broke out in Mexican border towns last week and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, told reporters last Thursday that drug-related violence has not crossed the Mexican-American border.

“Right now it has not (crossed the border). But it is a contingency we have in mind because it could,” she said. “We have contingency plans should violence spread into the United States.”

Read Full Article

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Top Ten Terror Threats

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Via(Homeland Security News)

CIA Director: Top Ten Terror Threats

homegrown_terrorism

Outgoing CIA Chief Michael Hayden lists Top Ten Terror Threats

1. Al Qaeda: “It is the organization that has the capacity to most threaten the physical safety of America and Americans. So it remains job No. 1. And we have talked about some successes and so on, but it is resilient, and therefore we have to continue to keep an eye on Al Qaeda,” he said.

2. Violence in Mexico: “Our good friend and neighbor Mexico had this horrible surge in violence that may cause — in fact has caused — us to talk with our Mexican friends, in more meaningful and deeper ways, to discover ways that we can cooperate against what we now view to be, and has always been, a common problem. …

“What you’ve got is President Calderon, very heroically, taking on drug cartels that I think everyone agrees threaten certainly the well-being of the Mexican people and the Mexican state, and taking them on in a very, very progressive way. Now, it is not quite the same thing as Colombia, where you had a politically motivated movement, the FARC, merging with narcotics organizations. Here it is largely in the business of crime but the effects could be just as dangerous, certainly to the well-being of the Mexican people.”

3. Iran’s nuclear program: “I included Iran, in terms of as they move forward in their own decision-making process, as they continue to churn out LEU, low enriched uranium, they do it at great cost, diplomatically and economically with regard to sanctions. They seem to be doing it with a purpose. As that quantity of that stockpile grows, you would think that at some point in that process, they are going to have to make a decision as to what it is they are going to do with it. So that is something we have to keep a close eye on as well.”

Read the rest of the Top 10 here:

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

‘Greatest Organized Crime Threat’ to U.S.

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Mexican Drug Traffickers Now ‘Greatest Organized Crime Threat’ to U.S.

By Ryan Byrnes

(CNSNews.com) – Mexican drug trafficking organizations are now the greatest organized crime threat to the United States, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The National Drug Threat Assessment for 2009, released last month by the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, says Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) operate in more than 230 cities across the United States.

These drug syndicates not only smuggle drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, they also produce drugs here in the United States. Their smuggled products include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana, and their domestically produced products include methamphetamines and marijuana.

The power of the Mexican DTOS in the U.S. is growing as they expand into new markets, the threat assessment said.

“Mexican DTOs represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States,” said the threat assessment. “The influence of Mexican DTOs over domestic drug trafficking is unrivaled. In fact, intelligence estimates indicate a vast majority of the cocaine available in U.S. drug markets is smuggled by Mexican DTOs across the U.S.–Mexico border.

“Mexican DTOs control drug distribution in most U.S. cities, and they are gaining
strength in markets that they do not yet control,” the threat assessment said.

“Mexican DTOs control a greater portion of drug production, transportation and distribution than any other criminal group or DTO,” the assessment said. “Their extensive drug trafficking activities in the United States generate billions of dollars in illicit proceeds annually.”

The Mexican groups often work with urban gangs and outlaw motorcycle groups (OMGs) inside the United States. “Mexican drug traffickers affiliated with the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez, and Tijuana Cartels maintain working relationships with at least 20 street gangs, prison gangs, and OMGs that operate in urban and suburban communities throughout the country,” said the threat assessment.

The activities of the Mexican drug syndicates, other drug-crime organizations and their customers result in a wide array of crimes.

“The violence, intimidation, theft and financial crimes carried out by DTOs, criminal groups, gangs and drug users in the United States pose a significant threat to our nation,” the threat assessment concluded.

More than 1.8 million drug-related arrests took place in the U.S. in 2007 and about 52 percent of federal prisoners were sentenced for drug-related offenses.

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

UPS Delivering Drugs Now?

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Arizona Police Seize 2,118 lbs. of Marijuana from Cloned UPS Truck

2,118 lbs. of Marijuana from this Cloned UPS Truck

2,118 lbs. of Marijuana from this Cloned UPS Truck

We’ve mentioned the dangers of cloned vehicles and their potential for being used in a terror attack numerous times on this site. ( see Security Officials On The Lookout For Cloned Emergency Vehicles ). Although this truck was used for drug smuggling, it could just as easily been used for even more nefarious purposes. For this reason, we continue to encourage you to immediately report any type of suspicious activity regardless of how ‘authentic’ the vehicles, uniforms, people, etc… appear.

Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Detectives assigned to the Pima County Counter Narcotics Alliance (CNA) conducted an investigation which resulted in the seizure of about 2,118 pounds of marijuana from a cloned United Parcel Service (UPS) truck.

When a DPS officer and narcotics canine attempted to stop the truck, a suspect fled from the vehicle. A search of the truck found bundles of marijuana which were attached to burlap straps that human drug carriers known as “mules” use to carry the loads through the desert.

The suspects painted the truck to look similar to a UPS vehicle and attached reflective yellow decals as an authorized UPS truck would appear. The truck displayed a homemade Arizona license plate and the number was assigned to an actual UPS truck in Phoenix that services the Tucson area.

Check out MyFox Phoenix for the rest:

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Liquid Cocaine Seized From Vessel

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3,800 Gallons Of Liquid Cocaine Seized From Vessel

The milky-white syrup was in the fish hold of a vessel named the Emperador that was intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard on April 25, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph K. Ruddy, who oversees the Tampa-based international investigation of Colombian drug trafficking.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie