Friday, May 25, 2012



Note: first big bust in this area for awhile. Unsanctioned?

Published: 05/24/2012 10:08 By: Agencies
driver with 93 kilos of meth in SLRC
The 85 packages containing 93 kilograms of methamphetamine or crystal.

The Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) reported 93 kilograms
seized of the drug known as crystal and the arrest of a person in
federal highway Sonoyta-San Luis Rio Colorado.

In one report, commanders of the Military Zone 45 indicated that
their items reviewed a Kenworth trailer, yellow-registered 180AF3
Federal Public Service.
They noted that this unit on the trailer carrying a cargo of chayote,
but were found 85 packages containing the 93 kilograms of
methamphetamine or crystal.

They explained that the tractor driver was arrested, who said he had
41 years of age and come from Guadalajara, Jalisco, bound for the
city of Tijuana, Baja California.

The seizure was yesterday in the Cucapá military checkpoint located
at kilometer 176.5 of the federal highway Sonoyta-San Luis Rio
Colorado, they said.

They added that the civil parked vehicle and the drugs seized were
made ​​available to the competent authorities to be responsible
for continuing the investigation.

Note: AZrep discovers SLRC. Been a significant uptick in smuggling
activities and killings along AZMEX border in past few weeks. El
Chapo's control of AZMEX border doesn't seem to be that total.

Killing of Sonora police chief stirs alarm
Cartel violence appears to be edging close to Arizona
by Daniel Gonzalez - May. 24, 2012 11:22 PM
The Republic |

The killing of the police chief in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora,
last weekend has alarmed officials on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican
border and raised fears that the vicious drug-cartel violence that
has plagued other regions may be spreading to an area that, for the
most part, has been spared the bloodshed.

Luis Fredy Rodriguez Soqui, 40, a former federal prosecutor who
became director of public safety two years ago, was killed days
before the city was scheduled to be recognized as one of the safest
in Sonora, the state south of Arizona.

He is the first police chief killed in Sonora in recent memory,
Mexican officials said.
"Obviously, this is some violence that hits pretty close to home,"
Yuma Police Chief John Lekan said. Until now, drug-cartel violence
"seems to have avoided our neck of the woods, so it's a cause of

San Luis Rio Colorado is just across the border from San Luis, Ariz.,
and about 26 miles south of Yuma.

The fourth-largest city in Sonora, San Luis Rio Colorado is home to
about two dozen maquiladoras, foreign-owned plants that take
advantage of cheaper Mexican labor to assemble products for export,
including a plant for Bose speakers.

The city is also the gateway for tourists from Arizona and California
who travel to beaches along the Golfo de Santa Clara. The city's
downtown, located just steps from the border, is lined with
pharmacies and dental offices. Many Americans shop, buy prescription
drugs and have dental work done there.

Rodriguez Soqui was credited by Mexican officials with reducing crime
in San Luis and keeping the city safe from cartel violence.

He was driving from his home Saturday night when two gunman in a
Dodge Durango SUV opened fire with high-powered assault-style rifles,
according to Mexican authorities. Rodriguez Soqui was hit 18 times in
the face and other parts of his body. He was killed instantly,
authorities said.

As of Thursday, no one had been arrested.
"Safety has a price, and I believe (the police chief) has paid the
price for turning San Luis into the safest city in Sonora," Mayor
Joel Ricardo Aguirre Yescas said in a written statement.

Vow to maintain peace

According to news accounts, the killing of the police chief prompted
more than 100 residents to take to the streets Monday evening,
calling on government officials to prevent the city of 160,000 from
turning into another Juarez or Nuevo Laredo, two cities along the
Texas border where thousands have been killed in cartel-related

Such killings are rare in Sonora compared with other border states.
There were 320 cartel-related homicides in Sonora in 2011, compared
with 2,925 in neighboring Chihuahua the same year, according to a
March report by the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute.

San Luis also has a low homicide rate compared with other cities in
Sonora, according to the Sonora Attorney General's Office. In 2011,
the city had a homicide rate of 3.9 per 100,000 compared with 4.3 in
Hermosillo, the capital, 9.8 in Obregon, the second-largest city, and
20.9 in Nogales, the third-largest. Rocky Point, a popular beach
resort, had a homicide rate of 8.9 last year.

On Tuesday, San Luis' mayor promised to maintain peace after meeting
with state and federal prosecutors and members of the Mexican military.

Santiago Barroso, the city's director of social communications,
called the police chief's killing an "isolated incident." He said
city officials want to assure investors and U.S. tourists that the
city remains safe. "What happened was really awful, but until now,
this has been a very safe city," Barroso said. "It's been many years
since anything like this happened."

Concerns rekindled

Police officials in Arizona said the killing of the police chief in
San Luis Rio Colorado rekindled concerns of cartel violence spilling
across the border.

Within an hour of the chief's death, Mexican authorities forwarded a
description of the suspects' vehicle to law-enforcement agencies in
Arizona, Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden said.
"One of our biggest concerns was that the suspect would enter the
U.S.," he said.

Ogden said several recent heroin seizures suggest that tighter border
security in the Nogales and western-desert areas is pushing drug
trafficking into the Yuma area following years of declines there in
both drug and human smuggling. "We have had indications that the
drugs have been moving this way," he said.

Lekan, the Yuma police chief, said crime in the city has fallen in
recent years or remained stable. Yuma, which has a population of
about 88,000, had three murders in 2010, up from two in 2009,
according to the most recent FBI crime statistics. Yuma had a total
of 550 violent crimes in 2010, down from 570 the year before.

More than 50,000 people have been killed in cartel-related violence
in Mexico since President Felipe Calder�n launched a crackdown in
2006. Most of the violence is related to cartels battling with the
government or with other cartels over control of smuggling routes
into the U.S.

In Sonora, drug trafficking is controlled by the Sinaloa cartel,
which is headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, said Elizabeth
Kempshall, director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area, a federal program that coordinates drug-control efforts among
local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies.

Kempshall speculated that Rodriguez Soqui was killed because he
refused to cooperate with the cartel or "didn't do something that he
promised he would do."

Police killings rise

Rodriguez Soqui is the latest victim in a string of high-ranking
police officials killed in Mexico in recent months.

In January, gunmen killed the director of public safety in Zacatepec,
in the central state of Morelos.

In February, the director of police investigations in Culiacan,
Sinaloa, and his brother were gunned down in a parking lot.

In March, the bullet-riddled body of the police chief of the city of
Juan Aldama in Zacatecas was found in the neighboring state of Durango.

Officers have been targeted in Sonora, as well.

In 2011, the deputy police chief in Nogales and a Sonoran state
police officer were killed. In 2010, the police chief in Rocky Point
and his bodyguard were shot in an ambush but survived.

Ernesto Munro Palacio, Sonora's secretary for public safety, said
several officers have been killed in Sonora in the past few years.
But he said this was the first time in recent memory a police chief
has been killed.

Munro Palacio said he had seen Rodriguez Soqui five days before he
was killed, at a meeting in Hermosillo. He characterized Rodriguez
Soqui, a father of three, as a dedicated police officer and credited
him with making San Luis one of the safest cities in Sonora. He
speculated that the police chief may have been targeted for his anti-
drug smuggling work.
"We have bad eggs and good eggs, and this was one of the good ones,"
Munro Palacio said. "Probably he was trying to stop the drugs from
going to the U.S., and they killed him."

Carlos Navarro, attorney general of Sonora, declined to speculate on
a motive.

"There are many ideas floating around at the moment," Navarro said.

Mexican and U.S. news outlets reported that the attack was captured
by video-surveillance cameras mounted in the neighborhood where the
police chief lived, but Navarro could not confirm that. At the scene,
investigators found more than fifty 7.62x39mm shell casings fired
from an AK-47-style assault rifle, he said.

The number of police officers killed by drug-cartel violence in
Mexico has escalated in recent years, according to the Trans-Border
Institute report. Since 2008, the year the newspaper Reforma began
tallying police deaths, 2,147 officers have been killed in clashes
with organized criminals, the report said. Last year, 572 officers
were killed, down from 718 the year before but up from 475 killed in
2009 and 385 killed in 2008, the report said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the San Luis City Council unanimously
approved a replacement for the slain Rodriguez Soqui.

During a special meeting, Ramon Armando Leon Feliz, 45, a San Luis
native, was sworn in as the new police chief. Leon Feliz has been a
member of the city's Police Department since 1997 and most recently
served as commander.

Read more:

Pinal County crackdown nets more than $830,000 in drugs
by Patrick Ryan - May. 24, 2012 02:53 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

More than 1,500 pounds of marijuana was found in a stolen pickup
Thursday morning as part of a three-day crackdown in Pinal County in
which authorities seized more than $830,000 in drugs, Pinal County
Sheriff's Office said.

Pinal County deputies working with the West Desert Task Force located
the pickup at about 8 a.m. traveling east on Interstate 8. The truck
turned north at mile marker 150, and the driver attempted to conceal
the vehicle in heavy brush, Sheriff's Office public information
officer Elias Johnson said.

Task force members tracked the truck from the air but have been
unable to find the two passengers that were in it, Johnson said.

Another bust occurred Wednesday when a 13-year-old boy brought
marijuana to school in Florence. The boy told police he got the drugs
from his father, 36-year-old Jason Kendrick, Johnson said.

Kendrick had $28,000 worth of marijuana stashed in a plastic box in
his home, and told police he got the marijuana from family members
out of state, according to Johnson.

In another incident, Joshua Beets, 23, who had been arrested on
charges of marijuana possession in late March, was arrested again
Tuesday on suspicion of methamphetamine possession and manufacturing,
Johnson said.

Beets and Clerissa Guanajuato, 26, are Casa Grande residents who are
accused of dealing drugs out of a Toltec residential home.

The two were arrested during a traffic stop, where $4,000 worth of
meth was being transported in a plastic bag, Johnson said.

Read more:

Publicada: 24/05/2012 10:08 Por: Agencias
Cae chofer con 93 kilos de 'cristal' en SLRC
Los 85 paquetes contenían los 93 kilogramos de metanfetamina o cristal.

La Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena) informó del
aseguramiento de 93 kilogramos de la droga conocida como cristal y la
detención de una persona, en la carretera federal Sonoyta-San Luis
Río Colorado.

En un reporte, mandos de la 45 Zona Militar indicaron que sus
elementos revisaron un tráiler marca Kenworth, color amarillo con
matrícula 180AF3 del Servicio Público Federal.

Señalaron que esa unidad en el remolque transportaba un cargamento de
chayotes, pero fueron localizados 85 paquetes que contenían los 93
kilogramos de metanfetamina o cristal.

Explicaron que el chofer del tractocamión fue detenido, quien dijo
tener 41 años de edad y venir procedente de Guadalajara, Jalisco, con
destino la ciudad de Tijuana, Baja California.

El aseguramiento se dio la víspera en el puesto de revisión militar
Cucapá, localizado en el kilómetro 176.5 de la carretera federal
Sonoyta-San Luis Río Colorado, precisaron.

Agregaron que el civil detenido, el vehículo y la droga incautada
fueron puestos a disposición de las autoridades competentes que se
encargarán de continuar con la indagatoria.

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