Sunday, September 30, 2012



Note: This just Appeared in Milenio, one of the major media
organizations in Mexico.
Some of the minor details may be a bit shaky. But as we have been
pointing out for couple years now, details on firearms recovered have
been systematically suppressed, by both federal governments. By
some unusual coincidence, about the same time the next shipment of
U.S. taxpayer money started coming to the Mexican government. Very
difficult to get any details anymore, especially make, model and
serial number. All critical for learning what happened. As is
usual, we can expect any future documentation to have been "edited".

The short trip from an AK-47 to Mexico.

This is the reconstruction of a journey of an AK-47 from the U.S. to
Mexico. Undertake a journey that thousands of weapons every year and
that has fueled the war and against the drug cartels. Death begins in
a Phoenix store.

Feature: The short path of one rifle
By Victor Hugo Michel

We are in the north of the state Sonora, on the state road linking
the towns of Saric with Tubutama, in a desert canyon in the Altar
area. It's the first of July 2010 and there are dead everywhere. A
total twenty-one found dead, officials said.

Our subject-Russian-born, American-trained but whose presence in
Mexico is illegal - is in the midst of what has all the earmarks of
being a battleground between fired cases used and broken bodies.

Virtually all vehicles, about 50 in total, are shot. Then they will
know what happened: from the cliffs, the Beltran Leyva gunmen
intercept a Sinaloa cartel convoy traveling north.

The character in question would be at the bottom of the body of the
white van filled with bullet holes, lying near a body with skull
partially destroyed. Or in the front seat of a Ford pickup with the
doors open. Or maybe it could be the one held by a man dressed in
military fatigues lying face down in a pool of his own blood.

Who seek is one that three, because only three suspects covering the
necessary description were found there. We seek an Avtomat
Kalashnikova model 1947, better known as AK-47 and even more popular
by it's alias Mexican goat's horn. The deadliest assault rifle and
widely used in the world, favored by guerrillas, gunmen and armies
for its firepower.

In this case, we look for a rifle produced in a factory in Arizona
under Russian license, bought by a U.S. citizen in a store in Phoenix
and then sold illegally to the Sinaloa cartel for use in Mexico.
Everything under the supervision of the Bureau of Alcohol, Snuff and
Firearms U.S. (ATF for its acronym in English).

Numerous attempts have been made over recent years to track a single
weapon, purchased at a particular point in the United States, to a
crime scene in Mexico. So far, the authorities of both countries have
been reluctant to reconstruct that trip. Have revealed neither the
serial numbers and date of sale or origin of the weapons seized in
Mexico, data which could establish a roadmap of how guns are flowing
from north to south.

But at last we can finally trace the journey of an assault rifle from
one country to another. It was not until this week that the last of
the items needed to complete the puzzle fell into place, to present
the final report of the internal inspector of the Department of
Justice United States on Operation Fast and Furious.

In addition to data contained in documents of the Federal Court of
Arizona and independent investigations of the Supervisory Committee
of the U.S. Congress, the Justice Department report allows for almost
complete accuracy with the path taken by one of those assault rifles,
from the day it was purchased and the name of the store where it was
purchased, until the identity of the buyer, the price and its
endpoint, in Mexico, with a score of bodies.

In its independent investigation into Fast and Furious, the U.S.
Congress had been close to creating that map: reported that after the
battle of Tubutama a gun bought in Arizona had been recovered in
the town in Sonora. But they declined to answer key questions: what
kind of gun was it? Who bought it?

And further: where exactly was it acquired?

A Joshua David Moore can be defined as a "straw buyer" means a person
who gives his name to purchase a gun in the U.S. but then transferred
illegally to a third party.

This American citizen could be indirectly responsible for an
undetermined number of deaths in Mexico. It is one of 20 co-
defendants in the judicial process of USA vs Jaime Avila et al, which
currently run by the U.S. government to gunrunners responsible those
who have sold a hundred assault rifles to the Mexican drug cartels.
His case is part of the disaster called Operation Fast and Furious.

Along with his teammates, Moore will be sentenced Oct. 15 in federal
court in Phoenix for his role in the purchase of more than a thousand
different assault rifles in gunshops in Arizona. However, that is a
fact that the Justice Department wanted to keep secret. The names of
the stores involved in the Fast and Furious scandal have been kept
under strict confidentiality.

But the court case against the traffickers of Fast and Furious,
contained in the file CR-11-126-PHX, overcomes this absence. And
details on where they bought the bulk of weapons trafficked into
Mexico under the consent of the ATF: the Lone Wolf Trading Company
the 5140 West Peoria Avenue in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix.

It was at that store where Moore purchased the November 2, 2009 the
first of a hundred AK-47 rifles that later lead to Mexico. The
Justice Department report details why Andre Howard, owner of Lone
Wolf, had no complaints whatsoever opposed to repeated purchases of
assault rifles by Moore, as he was a government informant and had
instructions to sell as many weapons as he was asked .

Moore returned on November 10th to buy 10 more rifles. From the
beginning, he was observed closely by agents of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Snuff and Amas U.S. Fire (ATF for its acronym in English),
who were in the shop right at the time of the transaction. The whole

"When officers visited (Howard) observed an individual later
identified as Moore would buy 10 AK-47 type weapons. At the end of
November, had bought 67 AK-47 rifles ... at a price of about $ 32,000. "

That translates to Moore spent $ 477 per weapon. By the end of March
2010, he had purchased at the same store another 30 rifles. In total,
up to the time of his arrest, he acquired 141 AK-47, of which only 50
have been found. The rest are still missing.

Despite the responsibilities he may have, to Moore does not expect a
sentence too long. A plea agreement or plea agreement dated 24 April,
details already negotiated with the federal attorney and pled guilty
for not more than 10 years in prison.
The purchase that concerns us, the Moore linking with the slaughter
of Tubutama, was held on November 11. That day he returned to Lone
Wolf and acquired five AK-47 rifles which were then taken to a safe
house in a auto shop in the south of Phoenix.

The weapons were kept for several days in the American company
facilities, Autobody, located at 3501 West Lincoln Avenue from, from
where they were later transported to the Mexican border via Nogales.

The trace of the weapons purchased by Moore fades once in Mexico,
where the assault rifles were sent to different places.

But seven months later, a portion of that shipment reappeared. It was
an AK-47 rifle which was found about 30 kilometers from the border,
in a desert landscape, site of a battle between drug cartels.

"In July the first, 2010, about a dozen guns were recovered in
Sonora, following a shootout between two rival Mexican cartels which
resulted in 21 deaths. One of the recovered weapons had been
purchased by the suspect Joshua Moore of Operation Fast and Furious,
on 11 November 2009, "the Justice Department determined.

The Ak-47 was from Lone Wolf. It had traveled 371 kilometers from
point of sale and point of end use.

Victor Hugo Michel
Book Reporter 2.0.
Journalist specializing in US-Mexico relationship. National Award for
Research and Information Access 2011. Honorable Mention National
Journalism Prize Fernando Benitez. Special Affairs Reporter
Millennium Group in its various platforms (Milenio Diario, Weekly
Goals, Millennium Radio Television and Multimedia). He has worked in
national newspapers Reforma and Excelsior. He has collaborated with
international correspondents Dallas Morning News and The World,
National Public Radio in the United States. Partner of Leopard and
Esquire magazines and W Radio.



Note: A short, basic look at the cartel business. BTW, the
acquisition of the immigrant smuggling business left quite a few
bodies on both sides of the AZMEX border. A major factor left out
is the part pervasive corruption plays in all this.

Drug crime at the border achieves corporate status

Osiel Cardenas Guillen's masterstroke was creating the Zetas. This
"changed the whole panorama of drug trafficking and organized crime
in the hemisphere," says one expert.
Associated Press

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - When a regional manager for Mexico's Gulf Cartel
moved his operation to a more lucrative territory on the border, he
took along not only his armored trucks and personal army, but also
his department heads and a team of accountants.

In the grotesque violence that has enveloped Mexico, it's easy to
lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, these criminal groups are
complex businesses that rely on careful accounting as much as assault
rifles. The structures underlying the most successful criminal
organizations are stable in a way that means capturing or killing the
man at the top may only be a temporary setback, and pinching one
revenue stream will only drive a search for others.

Rafael Cardenas Vela, a Gulf Cartel member who ran three important
"plazas," or territories, testified in detail last week about the
organization's structure and operations.

When prosecutors asked Cardenas to walk jurors through a decade of
moves in the cartel's command and control structure, he turned to a
giant organizational chart that would be recognizable to anyone in
the corporate world except for spaces at the bottom for those
"arrested" and "deceased."

Cardenas explained that in his plaza he had managers in charge of
each revenue stream, including marijuana, cocaine and "cuota," or
extortion payments demanded of legal and illegal businesses.

Each department had an accountant. An additional accountant tracked
the "piso," or tax that was charged on any drug loads moving through
his territory. Another accountant supervised them all.

"I can't do everything myself," Cardenas said. "That's why we have
someone in charge of every department."

That structure means simply removing the head is often not enough.

"You have to keep attacking the command and control elements again
and again," said Will Glaspy, who oversees the Drug Enforcement
Administration's operations in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, across the
border from Gulf Cartel territory.

Drug cases build

Since Osiel Cardenas Guillen, Rafael Cardenas' uncle, was extradited
to the U.S. in 2007, the cases have been building on themselves.

The man who took over for Osiel Cardenas was captured this month.
Osiel Cardenas' brother was killed by Mexican marines in 2010. Most
recently, a third brother was arrested in Mexico this month. Juan
Roberto Rincon-Rincon, the plaza boss convicted Friday in
Brownsville, is one of three Gulf Cartel plaza bosses arrested in the
U.S. last year. And Mexican authorities captured another alleged boss
this week.

"It's the government of Mexico that has had such tremendous success
targeting the Gulf Cartel over the last five or six years," Glaspy
said. "They're the ones who have continued to attack and focus on the
command and control of the Gulf Cartel."

"(The Gulf Cartel's) corporate structure doesn't exactly look like a
Fortune 500 company, but it's probably not far off," he said.

The structure reflects diversified interests. The cartel is still
known primarily as a drug-trafficking organization, but it receives
important revenue from smuggling immigrants and its extortion rackets.

The U.S. Border Patrol sector that covers much of the Gulf Cartel's
territory seized just over 1 million pounds of marijuana in 2011 and
apprehended nearly 60,000 illegal immigrants. The cartel receives a
cut for every kilogram of drugs and every illegal immigrant passing
through its territory.

Creating the zetas

Guadalupe Correa- Cabrera, chairwoman of the government department at
the University of Texas-Brownsville, says Osiel Cardenas led the
cartel's structural evolution. She said his nephew's testimony
revealed the similarities between today's drug-trafficking
organization and a legitimate corporation with transnational networks
and diversified interests.

Osiel Cardenas' biggest move was creating the Zetas, former special
forces troops, as a new department to handle the cartel's security
and enforcement, she said.

"When (Osiel Cardenas) introduced the Zetas he changed the whole
panorama of drug trafficking and organized crime in the hemisphere,"
she said. Their expansion into other criminal enterprises beyond drug
trafficking served as a lesson for their longtime patrons and other
criminal organizations.

The Zetas split from the cartel in 2010 and became an independent
criminal organization.

Without the critical smuggling corridors controlled by the Gulf
Cartel or its supply lines, the Zetas initially couldn't count on
drug-trafficking revenue, so they diversified to piracy and
extortion, Glaspy said.

"It's all about the money, and if they're not making the money from
drugs they will seek out other criminal activity to reinforce or find
other revenue streams," he said.

The younger Cardenas is cooperating with U.S. authorities in other
cartel cases with the hope of receiving a shorter sentence.

Details of drug smuggling through Valley emerge at Gulf Cartel trial
Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:00 pm | Updated: 10:32 pm,
Sat Sep 29, 2012.
Mark Reagan/The Brownsville Herald

BROWNSVILLE — Border Patrol field agents who spend their days playing
an intense game of cat-and-mouse with smugglers for the Gulf Cartel
revealed this past week what it ' s like to track down and chase drug
smugglers, who spend as much time watching the Border Patrol as the
agents spend watching the smugglers.
Field agents made 32 marijuana seizures across from the Rio Bravo
plaza in September and October of 2011, but only 14 of those seizures
were entered into evidence in the narcotics trafficking trial of Juan
Roberto " Commandante " Rincon Rincon, 41, according to testimony.
Rincon was found guilty Friday of multiple federal drug conspiracy
charges from January 2002 until his capture on Oct. 26, 2011.
Those 14 seizures entered into evidence totaled more than 11,000
pounds of marijuana, Luis Flores, the Homeland Security Investigation
case agent for Rincon, testified.
The men who testified were all personal witnesses and participants in
the 14 seizures across the Rio Grande from the Rio Bravo Plaza in
Mexico where Rincon was plaza boss for the two-month period. Rafael "
El Junior " Cardenas Vela testified during the trial that September
and October are a peak time of the year for the Gulf Cartel ' s
marijuana importation activities.
On Sept. 10, 2011, Border Patrol Field Agent Jose Treviño was hiding
in brush in a swampy area near the river when he saw five people,
with what looked like bundles of marijuana, walk into a sugar cane
field. After calling his partner, they searched the ground and found
four people with five bundles of marijuana that weighed just under
300 pounds.
After the people were detained, he said the marijuana was loaded into
a service vehicle and Treviño and the other agents who responded
formed a convoy and went to process the drugs and people at the
Harlingen Border Patrol Station.
During the trial, prosecutors entered a map of the Rio Bravo plaza
and the land across from it in the United States into evidence. After
each Border Patrol agent testified about the seizures they
participated in, the prosecution had them place a red sticker on the
map designating where the bust happened.
Cardenas Vela testified that during his time as Rio Bravo plaza boss
from 2009 to 2011, he only allowed marijuana to be crossed on the
eastern half of his territory. The majority of the 14 seizures the
field agents testified about were on the eastern half of the United
States, across from the Rio Bravo plaza.
About five days later, Treviño was again hiding in the brush when he
observed a blue minivan traveling south, toward the river, at a high
rate of speed and then heading north a short time later at about 60
mph on a caliche road nestled between sugar cane fields.
He used a cell phone to call his partner, because the Gulf Cartel is
known to listen to scanner traffic, who intercepted the van between
the river levee and Highway 281. Treviño said there was more than 800
pounds of marijuana in the van that ultimately crashed into an
irrigation canal.
Many of the agents who testified told the court that they were either
hiding in the brush or patrolling just north of Highway 281, which is
where the smugglers want to get to.
Elias Lee Gonzalez, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent based in
Mexico, who interviewed Rincon on Oct. 27, 2011, testified that
Rincon told him a smuggler paid to move more than 1,000 pounds of
marijuana a week. Rincon mentioned that he has someone who
coordinated about 15 smugglers for him, Elias Lee Gonzalez testified.
Border Patrol Field Agent Albert Gonzalez told the court that he came
into contact with marijuana about once a week.
On Oct. 3, 2011, he observed a truck traveling north at 50 mph toward
Highway 281. Since he didn ' t recognize the vehicle as one belonging
to someone who owns land or works out there, Albert Gonzalez said he
went to check out the truck, which had plywood in its bed.
Albert Gonzalez testified that plywood is a common indicator that
someone is trying to conceal something, at least in areas so close to
the river.
When he activated his emergency lights, the driver of the truck sped
up and a routine chase with a possible drug smuggler began when the
vehicle veered off into a field in an attempt to outmaneuver Albert
Gonzalez. He said he stayed on the field road and was working to head
the truck off at the pass when it crashed into 5 feet of mud in a
ditch. The driver, who was apprehended, also found himself stuck in
the mud, he testified.
Albert Gonzalez said agents seized more than 500 pounds of marijuana
from the truck.
Border Patrol Field Agent John Brown, who works near the Santa Ana
Wildlife Refuge, a popular attraction for outdoor-loving locals and
tourists, said the area is notorious for having narcotics come through.
On Oct. 15, 2011, he was working near the refuge when he drove up
into a face-to-face confrontation with a smuggler on a caliche road
south of Highway 281.
Brown said he came right up on a van and looked directly through its
windshield and observed the driver, whose eyes widened, and bundles
of marijuana stacked so tightly in the van, which didn ' t have any
back seats, that the bundles were nearly falling over the driver.
The man immediately threw the van into reverse and drove backwards at
a high rate of speed toward the river levee where he made a hard
right and sped at a high rate of speed in an easterly direction on
top of the levee, kicking up an enormous amount of dust and rocks.
Several agents testified that kicking up dirt and rocks is a common
tactic used to evade American law enforcement, because the smugglers
know that Border Patrol agents will back off if visibility is reduced
and because agents know that some smugglers have been known to slam
on the brakes and bail, causing a chance for a bad accident.
On this day, the smuggler sped down the levee and then turned north
of a dirt road and made it to Highway 281. He drove at a high rate of
speed right into the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, which was crowded
with birders and joggers that day, Brown testified.
The man eventually came to a stop once he cornered himself at a
barricade. Brown said Border Patrol seized more than 1,500 pounds of
marijuana from inside the van.
And the stories go on and on as agents testified to multi-hundred-
pound marijuana seizures during September and October of 2011.
Much of the testimony was the same. An agent hiding in the brush
spots a vehicle traveling south then north at a high rate of speed.
Then the driver tries to get to Highway 281 and out-maneuver Border
Patrol. And according to testimony from agents during the trial,
smugglers do get away by crashing the cars into or near the river and
then swimming across the Rio Grande, and back into Mexico.
After the verdict Friday, United States Attorney Jody Young said the
government will continue to pursue members of the Gulf Cartel and
other individuals who try to smuggle drugs into the United States.



Note: Updated information. But don't forget the thousands of
weapons provided to Mexico by U.S. aid programs, so many that have
also found their way into cartel hands. Estimates of Mexican deaths
via F&F range into the hundreds.

Univision has been running promos for the Sunday fast & furious
special, tonight on Sabado Gigante the most watched TV variety show
in N. America.
Also promos on network news show Sat. night.

Video: Preview of Univision's "bombshell" report on Fast & Furious

The Obama administration clearly hoped that the Department of
Justice's Inspector General report on Operation Fast and Furious
would be the last word on the scandal. which has been tied to
hundreds of deaths in Mexico and the murders of two American law-
enforcement officials. However, a new report from Univision to be
broadcast tomorrow, previewed here by ABC News, may put the issue
back on the front pages. One source called Univision's findings
the "holy grail" that Congressional investigators have been seeking:

Often lost amid the rancor in Washington are the stories of dozens of
people killed by guns that flowed south as part of the undercover
operation, and later slipped out of view from U.S. officials.
Univision's Investigative Unit (Univision Investiga) has identified
massacres committed using guns from the ATF operation, including the
killing of 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of
Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.

The guns didn't stop in Mexico, either:

Additional guns, previously unreported by congressional
investigators, found their way into the hands of drug traffickers
across Latin America in countries such as, Honduras and Colombia, as
well as the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A person familiar with
the recent congressional hearings called Univision's findings "the
holy grail" that Congress had been searching for.

The Daily Caller also reports on Univision's findings and the impact
they may have on the scandal:

"The consequences of the controversial 'Fast and Furious'
undercover operation put in place by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009 have been deadlier
than what has been made public to date," the network said. "The
exclusive, in-depth investigation by Univision News' award-winning
Investigative Unit — Univision Investiga — has found that the guns
that crossed the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious caused
dozens of deaths inside Mexico."

Among other groups of Fast and Furious victim stories Univision says
it will tell in the special to air Sunday evening at 7 p.m., is one
about how "16 young people attending a party in a residential area
of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010″ were gunned down with weapons
the Obama administration gave to drug cartel criminals through Fast
and Furious.

"Univision News' Investigative Unit was also able to identify
additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used
in different types of crimes throughout Mexico," the network
added. "Furthermore, some of these guns — none of which were
reported by congressional investigators — were put in the hands of
drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person
familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision's
findings 'the holy grail' that Congress had been searching for."

Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News reminds us that the Obama administration
is still hiding Kevin O'Reilly, a key figure in Operation Fast and

O'Reilly, then a White House National Security staffer, had phone
and email exchanges about Fast and Furious from July 2010 to Feb.
2011 with the lead ATF official on the case: ATF Special Agent in
Charge Bill Newell. Just days after Newell testified to Congress on
July 26, 2011 that he'd shared information with O'Reilly, whom he
described as a long time friend, O'Reilly was transferred to Iraq
and not available for questioning. Thereafter, he declined interviews
with congressional investigators and the IG.

In a letter sent to O'Reilly's attorney Thursday, Issa and
Grassley state that O'Reilly's "sudden transfer" to Iraq took
him out of pocket in their investigation, and placed him in a
position that had already been given to somebody else, raising
"serious questions about O'Reilly's assignment in Baghdad (and)
the motivation for his transfer there." …

"Given that O'Reilly was the link connecting the White House to
the scandal, and that the President subsequently asserted executive
privilege over the documents pertaining to Fast and Furious, it is
imperative that the American people get to the bottom of
O'Reilly's involvement with Fast and Furious," says the letter
to O'Reilly's attorney.

It goes on to say that if O'Reilly does not agree to an interview
within 30 days, congressional Republicans will have no choice but to
"use compulsory process" or subpoena power to require his testimony.

The Univision report will air at 7 pm ET tomorrow night, with English-
language subtitles.

Saturday, September 29, 2012



Univision has been running promos for the Sunday fast & furious
special, tonight on Sabado Gigante
the most watched TV variety show in N. America.




Note: Anyone else notice the news on these always come out at the
end of the week?

Updated Sep 29, 2012 - 9:12 am
Sentencing reset in Fast and Furious case
By Associated Press
Originally published: Sep 29, 2012 - 9:11 am

PHOENIX — A judge has set a new sentencing date for a man who pleaded
guilty to participating in a gun smuggling ring that was monitored in
the government's botched investigation known as Operation Fast and

U.S. District Judge James Teilborg set Alfredo Celis' new sentencing
date for Dec. 12.

Celis has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and admitted to
falsely claiming that more than 130 guns he bought were for him, when
they were actually purchased for the ring.

Three other people who pleaded guilty in the case also will be
sentenced on Dec. 12.

Federal investigators have faced criticism for allowing suspected
straw gun buyers to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather
than arrest the suspects and seize the guns there.

Fast & Furious special on TV SUNDAY at 6:00 pm Arizona Time

Important for many of us who still have family and friends in Mexico.
Hundreds of Mexicans have been killed, directly attributed to arms
from BATFE
with their "fast & furious" fiasco.

Which many of us, familiar with many of the people involved, are
convinced that it was scheme to manufacture "evidence" that the ban
on semi auto firearms and more, had to be brought back.

Link the to the show scheduled for SUNDAY 6:00 pm AZ time on
Univision, the largest Spanish language broadcast TV network.

In Phx Area is KTVW Ch. 33, 19 on cable.
This station happens to have the highest viewership in AZ

Tucson KUVE Ch. 46 ?

Do not have info on other stations in the network.

There may be English subtitles, but not sure
We don't have the capability to record the program, so hope those who
can, will.

The link again:

We do not know the content of the program .

As Univision is owned by NBC:
A. We don't know if it will get to the truth of the hundreds of
Mexicans killed
B. We don't know if it will be a whitewash of the administration
C. We don't know if it will make it onto the air.

Univision: The untold story of what 'Fast and Furious' wrought in Mexico
Sunday evening, Univision airs an investigative report on how the
botched 'Fast and Furious' program resulted in a deadly toll in
Mexico when US authorities allowed guns to 'walk' across the border.
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / September 29, 2012

Part of a cache of seized weapons displayed at a news conference in
Phoenix. The ATF is under fire over a Phoenix-based gun-trafficking
investigation called "Fast and Furious," in which agents allowed
hundreds of guns into the hands of straw purchasers in hopes of
making a bigger case.
Matt York/AP

When a journalist for Univision asked President Obama last week why
he hasn't fired Attorney General Eric Holder over the "Fast and
Furious" gun walking fiasco, the reporter, it turns out, had an
inside scoop that added urgency to the question.

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Univision says it'll air a blockbuster
investigation detailing the impact of the deeply flawed gunrunning
investigation, which operated between Oct. 2009 and January 2011.

The Spanish-language channel says the "Aqui y Ahora" program will
expose the true deadly toll of a covert program where US officials
allowed over 2,000 high-powered rifles to "walk" into the hands of
violent Mexican cartels. Expecting American interest, Univision will
caption the program in English.

In the US, "Fast and Furious" is most noted for its ties to the death
of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and for political fallout over the
extent of involvement of the Obama administration, including Attorney
General Holder. But in Mexico, the program may reignite furor over
how a US government that had promised to try to halt the border gun
traffic instead covertly contributed to it.

"Americans have been getting a lot of information about the possible
cover-up in the Justice Department, the tragedy of Brian Terry
getting killed, but what about the Mexicans?" says Miami-based
Gerardo Reyes, Univision's director of investigative reporting, in an
interview Saturday with the Monitor.

"The sinister part of this, and I know it sounds very hard, is that
the success of this operation depended in part on the fact that the
guns were used in Mexico to kill," says Mr. Reyes. "In order to reach
the target of the operation, which was identifying the drug
traffickers who were using the guns, [ATF agents] were waiting for
the guns to be used. And how are guns used in Mexico? Killing people.
I talked to an ATF agent who said there was no other way to explain it."

ATF is the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

By cross referencing gun tracing data, Univision identified 57
weapons linked to murders and crimes in Mexico, and used that data to
highlight "the face of the tragedy in Mexico," says Mr. Reyes.

Reyes said the program will detail Fast and Furious ties to the
massacre of 16 teenage boys and girls in Ciudad Juarez, the nation-
shaking murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez, the brother of the former
Chihuahua attorney general, the extent to which the Mexican
government knew about the program, and an interview with a drug
trafficker who says he heard from colleagues that the US government
was selling guns to the cartels.

The program comes two weeks after a long-awaited DOJ inspector
general report was met with bipartisan approval as it chided the
Justice Department and ATF for allowing Fast and Furious to ever
happen, identified 14 people who should be held responsible, and
suggested that the program was ultimately what Obama and Eric Holder
originally said after Agent Terry's murder: The product of an ill-
advised ATF gambit in Phoenix, where employees later tried to cover
up the fact that gunwalking was occurring.

The author of the report, Michael Horowitz, did note to the House
Oversight Committee that a person who could have possibly connected
Fast and Furious to the White House refused to be interviewed. Mr.
Horowitz also faulted the Department of Justice for failing to pick
up on what the program entailed, which could have been easily gleaned
from wiretap applications sent for approval to the department in

Under the program, about 2,000 mostly AK-47s and some .50 caliber
guns were allowed to be purchased by known straw buyers and "walk"
without trace into Mexico. The gunwalking was at first denied by the
Justice Department, which then had to concede that the government did
indeed knowingly allow guns to cross the border.

President Obama has called the program a mistake, but it had an
honorable intent: Under intense pressure to stymie tens of thousands
of illegal guns flowing across the border, ATF, building on a smaller
Bush-era program that cooperated with Mexican authorities, hoped
agents could trace the guns beyond low-level straw buyers and to the
highest levels of cartel. Some 40 people were indicted on charges
brought using intelligence gleaned from Fast and Furious.

The question remains how far up in the Justice Department knowledge
of the program went. Some Republicans suspect that it was a ploy
brewed up at the highest levels, including Holder and President
Obama, to foment support for more domestic gun restrictions.

But Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, found only blame at the
lower reaches of justice, positing that it was the product of a
regional taskforce not a national subterfuge intended by the
administration to sway policy.

No matter how far up knowledge of Fast and Furious actually went,
exposure of its true toll in Mexico will likely raise new questions
about how such a fatally flawed operation could ever have happened.

In a press release for Sunday's program, Univision says, "Univision
News' Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns
that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different
types of crimes throughout Mexico. Furthermore, some of these guns –
none of which were reported by Congressional investigators – were put
in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and
Colombia. A person familiar with the recent Congressional hearings
called Univision's findings 'the holy grail' that Congress had been
searching for."

AZMEX UPDATE 28-9-1212


Note: Another video with one of the shootout in PN, across river
from Eagle Pass, TX
Sounds like pretty good fire discipline overall with some full auto.

Note: or because it can be used as evidence? Very close working
relationship or many years with former US Atty. Dennis Burke.

Napolitano: I Don't Use E-mail. At All.
By Josh Smith
September 28, 2012 | 9:58 AM

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is a key player in
national cybersecurity efforts, said on Friday she doesn't use e-mail.

"Don't laugh, but I just don't use e-mail at all," she said during a
discussion at a Cybersecurity Summit hosted by National Journal and
Government Executive. She didn't explain what communications tools
she does use.

President Obama, who appointed Napolitano, broke precedent by
carrying his own BlackBerry device. But in response to a question
about her personal cybersecurity practices, Napolitano said she
avoids many online services. "I don't have any of my own accounts.
Some would call me a Luddite," she said.

Napolitano is at the forefront of government efforts to better secure
American computer networks. A draft executive order is being
developed that could boost government oversight of certain private
networks, but Obama has yet to review or sign off on the draft, she
said at Friday's event.

Legislation aimed at giving DHS more authority to enforce security
standards for some private networks faltered in Congress over the
summer. Napolitano said that legislation is still needed and that she
doesn't see the proposals as government overreach.

"I don't view this as the government coming and telling you what to
do. Far from it," she said. Any standards would be administered
within a partnership between businesses and government, Napolitano said.

Jury convicts Gulf cartel manager in drug case
Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 6:26 pm
Associated Press |

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A federal jury in Texas convicted a manager
in Mexico's Gulf drug cartel on Friday of conspiring to possess and
import cocaine and marijuana.
Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon had risen from the cartel boss' right-hand
man to plaza boss, controlling a lucrative stretch of smuggling
routes across the Rio Grande from Texas.
Jurors deliberated for more than two hours after prosecutors closed
their case by highlighting incriminating statements Rincon-Rincon
made shortly after he was captured last October.
"I am a commander of the Gulf cartel," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody
Young told jurors in Spanish at the start of his closing argument.
The comment reflected the response that Rincon-Rincon eventually gave
agents when they asked who he was, Young said.
Rincon-Rincon then went on to explain how much of a cut he got from
each kilogram of marijuana that crossed the border from his territory
and said he had one smuggler working for him who moved 500 kilograms
per week into the U.S.
When you're a cartel member controlling your territory, you're
fighting for the market, Young said. "You're fighting for control of
the border, because you're fighting for us in this country."
He was captured by Border Patrol last October with three other men
near the river. He told authorities he was fleeing cartel infighting.
Prosecutors alleged that in his time as plaza boss, he oversaw the
smuggling of 1,100 pounds of marijuana per week into Texas and
collected taxes from those moving additional loads.
His attorney, Richard Zayas, had emphasized to jurors that the
government had not presented any evidence definitely linking Rincon-
Rincon to loads of drugs that entered the U.S.
Cooperating witnesses testified they saw Rincon-Rincon in Mexico with
drug loads and money received from drug smuggling, but the only
connection made to him and loads captured in Texas by Border Patrol
was the location where they were seized. They were found across the
Rio Grande from territory he allegedly controlled for a short period
in 2011.
Zayas tried to get Rincon-Rincon's statements to agents suppressed
before trial. He argued that his client hadn't slept in several days,
was fleeing for his life from cartel rivals and was told he would
only be prosecuted for illegal entry.
On Friday, the attorney argued that Rincon-Rincon took a cut of drugs
that other people moved through his territory, but was not
responsible for importing them.
"The Gulf cartel is not just about drugs. The Gulf cartel is about
extorting people," Zayas said. "Anything that is transported through
their area, they want you to pay the piso (toll)."
Prosecutors said they did not need to show that Rincon-Rincon brought
the drugs into the U.S. himself because the charges are for
conspiring to make that happen.

Mexico finds cartel radio network, 300-foot tower
The Associated Press
Posted: 09/28/2012 08:38:22 PM MDT

MEXICO CITY—Mexican navy personnel say they have found a radio
communications network operated by a drug cartel, complete with a 300-
foot (90-meter) transmission tower.
The navy says the radio equipment and several towers were found in
the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The system reached into the
neighboring state of Tamaulipas.
The navy says the system was detected last week and marines moved in
to dismantle it.
Friday's statement does not say which cartel had operated the system.
But the Gulf cartel and the Zetas gang operate in the area and have
been known to operate such sophisticated communications systems.

Thursday, September 27, 2012



Note: Audio of one of last night's shootouts across the river from
Eagle Pass, TX. Interesting that there was no full auto heard. Fire

Other details from Vanguardia, in Spanish (grenade on bridge was a dud)

More cartel snapshots emerge in capo's trial
September 26, 2012 11:04 PM
Mark Reagan
The Brownsville Herald

A witness testified Wednesday that Juan Roberto "Comandante" Rincón
Rincón would pick up drug proceeds, as well as deliver payment
intended for the witness from a now-detained Gulf Cartel boss.

Alejandro Jimenez Mendoza, 45, of Brownsville, testified that he
worked for his brother-in-law Fernando Sanchez, who was a cousin of
the recently arrested Jorge Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla Sanchez.
Rincón is on trial, charged with two counts of conspiracy to
transport cocaine and marijuana, according to court records.

The cartel sent Mendoza to pick up 28 vacuum-sealed packages full of
cash in Houston to bring back to Matamoros for drug payment. Mendoza
said after he successfully hid the money under the hood of a vehicle
in Brownsville and brought it into Mexico, Rincón arrived at
Sanchez's house two days later with a $5,000 payment from Costilla
for him.

Mendoza also testified that Rincón delivered his payment to Sanchez
in February of 2004. Mendoza told the court that he needed money and
talked to "Sergio," whose last name he couldn't remember, to ask
Costilla for the work.

Mendoza, who spent two stints in prison for smuggling marijuana,
testified Wednesday that he had already spent several years in prison
near San Antonio before first seeing Rincón in 2001 at a funeral of a
fallen comrade in Matamoros.

Mendoza testified about two separate loads of marijuana in November
and December 2003 that he said he and Sanchez paid Costilla for
permission to smuggle. Mendoza testified that on one occasion in
December, Sanchez gave a bag of money to Rincón, who arrived to pick
it up for Costilla.

On the occasion in November, Mendoza testified that he paid a $78,000
fee to Costilla, in person, so he could smuggle nearly 6,000 pounds
of marijuana. Mendoza testified that Costilla gave the bag to Rincón
and one other person — whom Mendoza could not remember — to count.

Mendoza is currently in custody on drug trafficking charges and
testified that he hopes for a reduced sentence because of his


During the trial, the prosecution has called several witnesses to the
stand who knew Rincón from the time they were children, including one
who testified Wednesday that in 2000, 2001 and 2002 Rincón worked for
the local police in Matamoros, but that he sold cocaine to drug
houses from his patrol car while he was in uniform.

Adalberto Nunez Venegas, 40, was called to the stand Wednesday
afternoon. He pleaded guilty in April to trying to bribe a public
official. Venegas and six other men offered $800,000 to a federal
undercover agent to ensure that Gulf Cartel operative Juan Carlos de
la Cruz Reyna be released to members of the cartel rather than
Mexican authorities upon the completion of his federal sentence,
federal authorities have said.

Venegas testified that he had known Rincón since they were children.

Venegas described a carwash in Matamoros that he frequented where
known members of the cartel, including Rincón, would congregate to
drink beer, cook and to conduct the monthly "poya."

According to testimony from Rafael "El Junior" Cárdenas Vela, poyas
are investment opportunities his uncle Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the
now-imprisoned former head of the Gulf Cartel, extended to members,
letting them buy cocaine at the same price as the cartel and then
make extra money — beyond their salaries — by selling it.

Cárdenas Vela was arrested in Port Isabel in October and pleaded
guilty to drug trafficking charges. He testified that he hopes his
cooperation might sway a judge to give him a lenient sentence. He is
facing life in prison.

Venegas testified that Rincón would organize the poya by taking down
how much cocaine each person participating wanted, entering it into a
little black book and then returning when he had the cocaine. Venegas
testified that Rincón would walk out of those meetings with $500,000
to $700,000 in cash. He testified that he witnessed Rincón take money
and deliver drugs on several occasions in 2003, 2004 and in 2010.

He testified that cartel members paid Rincón in $100, $50 and $20
bills vacuum-sealed in bags with the amount written on it. When
Rincón came back with the cocaine, he would have about four suitcases
filled with 220 to 440 pounds of cocaine to distribute to cartel
members, Venegas testified.

The prosecution also called several Border Patrol agents who made
large marijuana seizures across from the Rio Bravo cartel plaza in
September and October of 2011. In all the incidents, agents testified
that they did not know whom the marijuana belonged to.

Prosecutors say Rincón was the plaza boss of Rio Bravo in September
2011 — a peak marijuana importation time.

Rincón was arrested with Jose Luis "El Wicho" Zúñiga Hernandez and
three other men in October after fleeing a gunbattle in Mexico
against rivals within the Gulf Cartel, federal agents say.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



Note: Another good article by Sylvia Longmire. There is one very
similar characteristic of both, besides a culture of rampant
corruption. That culture of corruption, as in Cd. Juarez, cannot be
under estimated as a major factor. In both, honest citizens have
been disarmed by government and are virtually helpless to fight back
against the criminal gangs. Testifying against them is considered
suicidal. Another factor not usually reported is the very high
incidence of crime is black on black. Chicago is the most criminal
friendly city in the country, not counting Washington DC.

September 26, 2012

Is Chicago Becoming America's Ciudad Juárez?
"At least seven people…have been killed and 24 others wounded in a
string of shootings in the US city of Chicago in the past two days."
This was one very stark headline the morning of August 26, 2012. The
attacks occurred in different parts of the city, with several in the
south and west parts of the city. Shockingly, the statistics and
incident details were reminiscent of grisly headlines emerging daily
from a foreign city 1,500 miles away—Ciudad Juárez, arguably the
deadliest place in the Western Hemisphere.

Juárez has been the epicenter of violence in Mexico's drug war since
2007, when leaders of two major drug cartels—the Sinaloa Federation's
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán and the Juárez cartel's Vicente Carrillo
Fuentes—failed to see eye-to-eye on a few things and went to war. The
annual murder rate skyrocketed, hitting the plateau of 3,622 people
killed in 2010 (according to New Mexico State University researcher
Molly Molloy) before dropping precipitously to 1,976 in 2011. The
trend seems to be continuing into this year, with only 602 murders
through August 14.

Chicago, however, is following a different trend. A 2011 report by
the Chicago Police Department shows the murder rate held relatively
steady between 2004-2011, with a "low" of 433 in 2011 to a high of
513 in 2008. However, this occurred after over a decade of annual
murder totals topping 900 during three years in the 1990s. And it
looks like 2012 is taking a turn for the worse again. Between the
first of the year and August 23, 351 shooting deaths occurred in the
city: 37 of those in July, 47 in June, and 51 in May.

The comparison to homicides in Ciudad Juárez this year is stunning—45
were killed there in July, 49 in June, and 74 in May.

Of course, there are several ways in which Chicago and Ciudad Juárez
differ that makes the similar numbers sit on footing that isn't
equal. Chicago has a population of roughly 2.7 million people, which
is more than twice that of Ciudad Juárez at 1.3 million residents.
The geography, industries, and average income levels are very different.

But the two cities might just have more in common than not. Ciudad
Juárez is notorious for its corrupt politicians and police officers,
with an entire enforcement arm of the Juárez cartel, known as "La
Línea," being comprised almost completely of dirty local cops.
Chicago doesn't exactly have a squeaky clean record in this
department, either. In February 2012, University of Illinois at
Chicago professor Dick Simpson, who served as alderman of the 44th
Ward in Lakeview from 1971 to 1979, found that Chicago is the most
corrupt city in the US through using US Department of Justice

It should come as no surprise that Chicago has a gang problem. Just
over half of this year's 297 victims so far had gang affiliations.
While most of Ciudad Juárez's violence has been attributed to the war
between big cartels, the truth is more subtle. There are more than
500 gangs operating throughout the city's 800 colonias, or
neighborhoods. And the gangs are all doing the same thing, regardless
of country or nationality—fighting for turf and drug profits.

According to the US Department of Justice, Mexican cartels dominate
most trafficking of wholesale quantities of cocaine, heroin, and
marijuana in the Chicago area. DEA Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley
told CBS news last month that Mexican cartels have a significant
influence on gang violence in Chicago, with three major cartels
operating here and "turning parts of this Midwest city into a Mexican
border town."

Chicago's increasing murder rate isn't as simple as it seems—
something that can just be labeled "typical gang violence" and
addressed with more police patrols and neighborhood watches. The
roots of the violence run more deeply than some officials might be
willing to acknowledge, and stem from another violent part of the
hemisphere that is dangerously starting to look more and more similar
to "The Windy City." Residents can only hope that city officials
recognize the potential implications of the Chicago-Mexico connection
and address them before the murder rate soars even higher.



Note: Texas

San Juan men arrested in undercover operation
September 25, 2012 10:43 PM
Jacqueline Armendariz
The Monitor

A father and son duo accused of attempting to sell firearms were
arrested Tuesday after police executed two search warrants, one at
their home and another at a tire shop, San Juan Police Chief Juan
Gonzalez said.

The men, ages 21 and 37, face state and federal unlawful possession
of firearms charges, he said.

Authorities found an "Uzi-type" gun at the men's home at 215 E. 2nd
Street after one of them attempted to sell weapons to an undercover
officer, Gonzalez said. The other weapons to be sold for $525 were a
38 Super and a sawed off shotgun, which were both fully loaded. The
men were also selling a military grade bullet proof vest, he said.

"The good thing about this case is that they sold to an undercover
officer," Gonzalez said. "That's when we're able to take them off the
street. … They will sell to anybody."

The chief said the type of weapons confiscated can be used in a home
invasion or robbery, whereas the "Uzi-type" gun is often used in
drive-by shootings, he said.

The gun found at the home also had its serial number filed off, which
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is
investigating, Gonzalez said.

The tire shop, at 126 W. Business 83, was the site where two weapons
were stored, so when it was under surveillance one of the suspects
was spotted picking them up there, he said.

The meeting with the undercover officer was set for Tuesday
afternoon, but the suspects were under surveillance for two days.

The regional SWAT team here carried out the search warrants, while
the San Juan Police Department's Special Investigative Unit developed
the case.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012



Note: "and the local press"

Former cartel boss: Bribes were set up in days
September 25, 2012 12:11 PM

BROWNSVILLE (AP) — Motivated by an internal rivalry and the hope of
avoiding a life sentence, the nephew of a former Mexican Gulf cartel
kingpin testified Tuesday that he has been cooperating with U.S.
authorities since his arrest in October.

Rafael Cardenas Vela, nephew of former Gulf cartel boss Osiel
Cardenas Guillen, made it clear to jurors that he hopes his
cooperation, which includes weekly interviews over a period of
months, will translate to less time in prison. He also said he has no
qualms about testifying against Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon, a cartel
colleague who stood on the opposite side of an internal rift and is
charged with conspiring to possess and import cocaine and marijuana.

Cardenas Vela pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess
and distribute cocaine and marijuana in exchange for the government
dropping money laundering and immigration charges in March. He is
awaiting sentencing that could bring him 10 years to life.

During three days of testimony, Cardenas Vela has laid out a decade
of cartel hierarchy and transition.

Cardenas Vela pegged Rincon-Rincon as a former bodyguard and plaza
boss loyal to Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, also known as "el
Coss," who took over the cartel after Guillen was captured. Although
Cardenas Vela continued to rise under Costilla — moving from near the
U.S. border to Rio Bravo, a lucrative territory on the Rio Grande —
he felt Costilla played favorites and was unsupportive.

Cardenas Vela believed Costilla was setting him up for a fall in
early 2011 when he took over the cartel's Matamoros territory. He
couldn't find a safe place to hide, because the Mexican military was
constantly on his tail and so he crossed to the U.S. in May 2011, he

After Cardenas Vela was arrested in October in Port Isabel on his way
to South Padre Island, where he had been hiding out, he told federal
agents he would help them find Costilla.

Mexican marines arrested Costilla earlier this month in Tampico.

Cardenas Vela's distinctive pedigree, detailed descriptions of cartel
operations and experience running three different "plazas," or
territories, enable him to expound on everything from building rural
landing strips for cocaine-laden planes to arranging bribes for law

When he established the cartel's San Fernando plaza in 2001, he
arrived with $10,000 and, more importantly, the backing of Osiel
Cardenas Guillen.

"When I arrived, I did it step by step," he said of a series of
meetings with law enforcement and the local press.

Richard Zayas, attorney for Rincon-Rincon, asked how long it took
Cardenas Vela to control the highway police, state police, preventive
police, the Army, the Navy and the strippers who passed on
information from their clients.

"Less than 10 days," Cardenas Vela said.



Note: Given the committed and attempted crimes, very light
sentences. Precedents from/for F&F?

'Masterminds' in guns theft sent to jail
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:34 am
By Curt Prendergast
Nogales International

The two so-called "masterminds" behind an incident in which four
teenagers threw a brick through the window of a Nogales Police
Department vehicle and stole weapons and ammunition that they then
tried to sell to a man from Mexico were sentenced on Monday in Santa
Cruz County Superior Court.
Alan K. Palau, a 19-year-old Nogales resident, was sentenced to 180
days in the county jail and four years of probation as part of a plea
agreement. His cohort, another Nogales resident who was a juvenile at
the time of the June 4, 2011 crime, was also sentenced to four years
of probation, which includes 150 days in jail. He was given credit
for 33 days of time served and permitted release to attend high
school while serving his remaining jail time.
Judge Anna Montoya-Paez called both of them "spoiled" during two
separate sentencing hearings.
"What I see here, actually, is a spoiled child. I would call it
criminally spoiled," she said to Palau during a morning hearing.
Palau wiped away tears as he told the judge that he was "sorry" for
committing a "childish and foolish act."
His co-defendant, who broke down in tears when his mother spoke in
his defense during an afternoon hearing, told the judge that he
wanted "to apologize to all the people affected by my actions."
Both teens were ordered to undergo outpatient treatment for substance
abuse, paid for out of their own pocket, and attend Alcoholics
Anonymous meetings. Montoya-Paez also ordered both to pay $4,232 in
restitution, a $1,000 fine, and a $65 monthly probation fee.
Prosecutor Kimberly Hunley requested that the second defendant, now
18, receive a slightly less severe sentence because he is the only
one of the four original co-defendants who has not had any new
charges filed against him since the initial incident.
"However, (he) and Alan Palau are the two masterminds of what
happened in this case," she said.
The two teens were convicted of third-degree burglary, a Class 4
felony, for stealing an assault rifle, a pistol, and ammunition from
a Nogales Police Department vehicle that was parked outside an
officer's home.
Hunley said that Palau's lack of respect for authority stemmed from
the fact that he "has never had a job in his entire life."
In addition to jail time and probation, Montoya-Paez ordered Palau
and his co-defendant "to obtain and maintain a job" while on
probation and to perform 90 hours of community service, either as
manual labor or working with the poor.
"You need to open your eyes to see what's out there. You got it good,
kid, you have it really good. You've got to see people who don't,"
she said to Palau.
"There's no reason for you to have committed this crime, there was no
necessity," she said. "It was your choice that night, nobody else's.
You could have walked away, but you didn't."
She said that the prosecutor's requests were appropriate and urged
Palau's family to not be an "enabling" force in his life.
Palau's attorney Saji Vettiyil called the theft "an immature act by
two kids" and asked the judge to be lenient in her sentencing. He
noted that Palau agreed to testify against his co-defendants.
He said that having a felony on his criminal record will be its own
form of punishment.
"He will have a felony branded for the rest of his life that he has
to live with," Vettiyil said.
Vettiyil told the judge that Palau showed police officers where to
find the stolen pistol, but Hunley noted that Palau and the other
three defendants "attempted to sell the rifle to a confidential
informant who they believed to be someone who lived in Mexico."
Jim Lagatutta, lawyer for the second teen sentenced on Monday, called
the attempt to sell the guns to a Mexican man a "comedy of errors,"
saying "my client has no real background as an arms trader."
"They made a really bad judgment," he said.
The others
A third co-defendant, 20-year-old Sean Patrick Beall, of Nogales, has
pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a Class 6 undesignated offense,
and is set to be sentenced by Montoya-Paez in October.
Another co-defendant, who the NI is also not identifying because he
was a juvenile at the time of the offense, pleaded guilty to
trafficking stolen property in the second degree, a Class 6 felony.
He was sentenced by Judge Kimberly Corsaro in May to three years
probation, including 120 days in jail.



Note: One more time boy and girls. What is the primary method of ID
for purchase of a firearm?
Yes, it is the driver's license. If citizens have to come up with a
birth certificate, do illegals have to also? And, who can actually
check it? The NICS system for firearm purchase criminal background
checks only sees if someone is in the system. If not, all is ok

States make fake IDs quick and easy
Feds test forged birth certificates
By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times Sunday, September 23, 2012

Federal investigators were able to get fraudulent driver's licenses
in all three states where they tried, according to a report released
Friday that shows continued problems with states' ID programs more
than 11 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks highlighted the

States are particularly flummoxed by out-of-state documents,
according to investigators from the Government Accountability Office
who conducted the audit.

The investigators used forged birth certificates purportedly issued
by Ohio and New York, and successfully submitted them in three other

"In most of these five attempts across the three states, we were
issued permanent or temporary licenses in about 1 hour or less," the
audit says. "In only one case did a front-counter clerk appear to
question the validity of one of the counterfeit documents, but this
clerk did not stop the issuance process."

The GAO did not name the three states it targeted, but it said states
across the country are likely vulnerable to the out-of-state document-
fraud issue.

A full verification system that would help states perform checks on
out-of-state identities could be a decade away, the investigators
said in their report.

The auditors also faulted the Homeland Security Department, which it
said has failed to tell states how to carry out key parts of Real ID,
the 2005 law that is supposed to tighten rules on how states issue
identification cards and driver's licenses.

In its official response, the Homeland Security Department rejected
auditors' recommendations, saying states are free to collaborate and
come up with their own state-to-state systems. The department said it
is using federal taxpayer money to help some states that are trying
new methods but that it will not push them.

The Homeland Security Department "supports states having the
flexibility to adopt innovative solutions and leverage emerging
technologies to implement strategies best suited to their individual
needs," said Jim H. Crumpacker, Homeland Security's point man for
responding to the GAO.

Overall, federal agencies pointed fingers at one another.

The Social Security Administration, which controls the databases for
its all-important numbers, said it was up to Homeland Security and
the Transportation Department to deal with driver's license laws,
while Homeland Security said birth certificate fraud is a problem for
the Health and Human Services Department.

The GAO said states need national leadership to encourage
coordination and that Homeland Security officials aren't providing it.

"States need new interim solutions and alternatives now," the
auditors say.

They pointing to the chorus of state officials who said they are
still searching for solid guidance on how to conform with Real ID.

Part of the problem is that the federal government always has been
lukewarm on Real ID, which was enacted to carry out the 9/11
Commission's recommendations after the terrorist hijackers used valid
IDs to board the four planes that killed 2,977 people.

The law set federal standards for driver's licenses intended to be
used for federal purposes, such as boarding planes.

But the Bush administration and the Obama administration repeatedly
have extended deadlines for states to comply with some of the

Governors from both parties have applauded the delays, but
congressional Republicans who pushed the legislation say each
extension is a setback for security.

The current deadline is Jan. 15 — nearly five years after the initial

Most states have adopted requirements that those seeking licenses
prove they are in the country legally, but they are now grappling
with how to handle President Obama's new nondeportation policy for
younger illegal immigrants.

Under that policy, those illegal immigrants will be granted tentative
legal status and work authorization, but Homeland Security says they
are not considered to be here legally — a status that has states
confused about how to treat them for purposes of identification.

Read more: States make fake IDs quick and easy - Washington Times

Vulnerabilities Exist In Detecting Counterfeit Documents To Get
Driver's License
By: Anthony Kimery
09/24/2012 (10:28am)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), on Sept. 21, sent a new
audit report to lawmakers that recommended the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) work with its partners to take interim actions to help
states address cross-state and birth certificate fraud.

However, the GAO report stated "DHS did not concur with these
recommendations, saying its ongoing efforts are sufficient."

In response, GAO said it " has demonstrated that vulnerabilities
remain as long as national systems are not yet fully operational,"
and "therefore, GAO continues to believe additional DHS actions are

GAO explained to Congress that in order "to verify license
applicants' identity, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have
procedures that may detect counterfeit documents. For example, all
states are now verifying key personal information, such as Social
Security numbers (SSN) through online queries to a Social Security
Administration (SSA) database," which GAO noted is "a significant
increase from about a decade ago."

This effort helps to ensure that the identity information presented
by a person actually "belongs to a valid identity and also is not
associated with a deceased person," GAO said. "Additionally, most
states verify non-citizen applicants' immigration documents with" DHS
"to ensure these individuals have lawful status in the United States.
Many states are also using facial recognition techniques to better
detect attempts to obtain a license under another's identity. While
most states have taken steps required by the REAL ID Act of 2005
(Act), officials in some states indicated that they may not comply
with certain provisions -- such as re-verifying SSNs for license
renewals -- because of state laws or concerns that these requirements
are unnecessary and burdensome."

State officials interviewed by GAO reported to the agency's
investigators "that identity verification procedures have been
effective at combating certain kinds of fraud," but that important
vulnerabilities remain.

For example, "officials in most of the 11 states GAO contacted
reported a decline in the use of counterfeit identity documents, and
officials in states using facial recognition said they detected a
number of identity theft attempts."

Both of these problems are among scores of identify fraud issues that
DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officials have told
Homeland Security Today in recent months during background interviews
that they are very concerned about – an admission that contradicts
DHS' official position to GAO that its ongoing efforts to combat
these problems "are sufficient."

But DHS HSI officials said "that just isn't the case," as one had
said several months ago during interviews about these problems.

And according to the GAO, "criminals can still steal the identity of
someone in one state and use it to get a license in another because
states lack the capacity to consistently detect such cross-state
fraud. A system for addressing such fraud would enable states to
comply with the Act's prohibition against issuing licenses to
individuals who already have a license from another state, but may
not be fully operational until 2023."

"Furthermore," GAO informed lawmakers, "officials in many states said
they have difficulties detecting forged birth certificates. Verifying
date of birth is also required by the Act, and a system exists for
doing so, but no licensing agencies are using it because of concerns
about incomplete data, among other reasons. Partly because these two
systems are not fully operational, GAO investigators were able to use
counterfeit out-of-state drivers' licenses and birth certificates to
fraudulently obtain licenses in three states."

The federal auditing agency said that "by improving their respective
verification systems, SSA and DHS have helped states enhance their
identity verification procedures. For example, SSA has established
timeliness goals for responding to state SSN queries and DHS has
addressed data accuracy issues."

DHS has also provided funding for states to develop new systems, but
the department "has not always provided timely, comprehensive or
proactive guidance to help states implement provisions of the Act
related to identity verification," GAO concluded. For example, "DHS
did not issue formal, written guidance in this area for more than
four years after issuing final regulations, even though officials
from most states GAO interviewed said they needed such guidance," the
report states. "Additionally, even though relevant national systems
are not yet fully operational, DHS has no plans to promote certain
alternatives states can use to comply with the Act's identity
verification requirements and combat cross-state and birth
certificate fraud. Officials in some states indicated they needed
direction from DHS in this area."



Guatemalan President to world: Legalize drugs
Sept. 25, 2012 01:53 PM
Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS - Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is advocating
the international legalization of drugs even as he is moving to fight
narcotics cartels with the biggest military buildup in the Central
American country since its long and bloody civil war.

There's no contradiction, the president said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Tuesday, a day before he plans to address the
U.N. General Assembly.

"We can't take unilateral action, it will be gradual," Perez said,
referring to his push for legalization. "Meanwhile, while we're
taking these steps, we're not going to let Guatemala become an open
corridor for trafficking and consuming drugs."

Perez Molina said he may be the first head of state to propose
legalizing drugs before the General Assembly, but the Organization of
American States already is studying the idea, with a report due in a

"With cocaine and heroin, for example, they're substances that are
damaging and addictive," he said. "We would have to regulate the
procedures for selling them: a prescription or series of things that
would come out of the discussion."

The legalization proposal came just a month after the retired general
took office in January with promises of an "iron fist" against crime,
and it provoked strong criticism from the United States, as well as
intense discussion within Guatemala.

The president said the traditional war on drugs had failed over the
past half century, and that the United States' inability to deal with
its drug consumption problem left Central America with no option but
to promote legalizing drugs in some way.

Meanwhile, to battle Mexican drug cartels that have overrun parts of
Guatemala, Perez said he needed military equipment, and put a top
priority on ending a longstanding U.S. ban on military aid that was
imposed over concerns about human rights abuses during the Central
American country's 36-year civil war.

Perez Molina has approved the creation of two new military bases and
the upgrading of a third to add as many as 2,500 soldiers. He also
signed a treaty allowing a team of 200 U.S. Marines to patrol
Guatemala's western coast to catch drug shipments.

He says the measures don't exceed limits imposed on Guatemala's
military under the 1996 Peace Accords, which he helped negotiate.

Since the war's end, the military force has fallen by 60 percent,
Perez Molina said, and the growth of the civilian police force has
not been sufficient to fight the security threat.

"What you saw was an imbalance and parts of the country that were out
of control of the state," he said. "Organized crime took advantage of
those areas, as well as drug traffickers and criminals and now we're
trying to take back that territory."

Mexican drug cartels or their local allies have taken over large
swathes of Guatemala and other Central American countries, fueling
some of the highest murder rates in the world.

A May 2011 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service said
that 95 percent of all cocaine entering the United States flows
through Mexico and its waters, with 60 percent of that cocaine first
coming through Central America.

The new Marine operation is the largest in Guatemala since President
Jimmy Carter sharply cut U.S. military aid to the country due to
concerns over atrocities committed during the country's civil war.

U.S. law says that Guatemala can regain military aid once Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton certifies Guatemala's military is
"respecting internationally recognized human rights" and cooperating
with judicial investigations of former military personnel.

Since Guatemala's civil war ended in 1996, the U.S. has spent $85
million fighting drug traffickers in Guatemala. The level of spending
was relatively low, less than $3 million a year, until 2007, when it
shot up to $14 million. Last year spending peaked at $16 million, and
is budgeted to decline to about $9 million in 2013.

The new operations fall under the Central American Regional Security
Initiative, a multinational U.S. effort to fight crime in the region,
so officials do not categorize them as direct aid to the Guatemalan

"We continue to uphold the military aid ban as well as the Leahy Act
which prevents the US from training people suspected of having
committed human rights violations," said William Ostick, a spokesman
for the State Department's Western Hemispheric Affairs Office.

But he added that "narcotics trafficking is of great concern in the
region ... it is clear that interdiction has demonstrable and
measurable effects."

Perez said he plans to increase the national police by 10,000,
allowing the military to focus on securing the borders and fighting
drug trafficking.

Read more:



Note: Some would suggest additional digging under the Burke rock.

Blog: Brian Terry's parents call for firings after Fast & Furious report
Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star Comments

The parents of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry called
today for the U.S. Attorney General to fire some employees in the
light of an internal investigation released last week.

In a written statement put out by the family's public relations firm,
Kent and Josephine Terry said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer
should resign because of his role in misinforming Congress about
Operation Fast and Furious. They said he is responsible for the
infamous Feb. 4, 2011 letter in which the Justice Department denied
"gun walking" took place in Fast and Furious — a letter the
department later retracted.

They also said that in the day after Brian Terry was shot, on Dec.
14, 2010, someone should have told Attorney General Eric Holder that
the guns found at the scene were bought by a suspect in Operation
Fast and Furious.

"Those DOJ personnel that were notified of this critical information
in the following hours and days and subsequently failed to pass it on
immediately to the Attorney General were derelict in their duties and
exhibited horrible professional judgment," the Terrys, who are
divorced, said in their statement.

They also accused former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke of
deliberately misleading them about the origin of the weapons found at
the murder scene.

"Mr. Burke traveled to Michigan to brief the family in the murder
investigation and specifically told the family that the weapons found
at the murder scene were not related to Operation Fast and Furious,"
the statement says. "We call upon the the Attorney General to
investigate whether Dennis Burke attempted or conspired to keep the
connection between the two cases secret."

Josephine and Kent Terry also questioned why the Secretary of
Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was not told about the
operation, when an agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement was
intimately involved with it. And they concluded that had the federal
agencies on the border shared information about the flow of weapons
from Fast and Furious, the shooting might have been avoided altogether.

"If Brian and his team had known about this information, they would
have been on a far more defensive posture and would have taken
appropriate proactive measures to protect themselves from harm the
night they initiated contact with the rip crew."

While Brian Terry's brother, Kent Terry Jr., and father Kent Terry
Sr. have occasionally accused Holder of wrongdoing in the case, the
new statement does not revive old critiques and accepts the report's
conclusion that Holder was in the dark about Operation Fast and
Furious till it had ended in early 2011.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012



Note: Dial (something old folks can tell you about) 1-800-COVERUP ?
Again, civil servants, employees, et al, do not make these kind of
decisions. The politicians and political appointees do that. Have
to wonder how many of those involved have been promised pardons for

'Furious' report slams 'disregard' for public safety as DOJ officials
Published September 19, 2012

A bombshell report released Wednesday on Operation Fast and Furious
faulted a range of federal agencies for the failed anti-gunrunning
program and accused officials in charge of a "disregard" for public
safety. In the wake of the report, one Justice Department official
resigned and another retired.
The sprawling report by the department's inspector general is the
most comprehensive account yet on the deadly operation which allowed
weapons to "walk" across the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in
hundreds of firearms turning up at crime scenes in both countries.
The report says Attorney General Eric Holder was not made aware of
potential flaws in the program until February of last year. But the
report cites 14 other department employees -- including Criminal
Division head Lanny Breuer -- for potential wrongdoing, recommending
the department consider disciplinary action against them.
One congressional source told Fox News the report was "more brutal
than was expected."
The report also marked Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney
general for the Criminal Division, as the highest-ranking DOJ
employee in a position to stop the program. Weinstein, who disputes
the findings, is nevertheless resigning in the wake of the report.
Another official criticized for not asking enough questions about the
Furious operation, former ATF acting director Kenneth Melson, retired
after the report came down.
The nearly 500-page report was completed after investigators reviewed
100,000 documents and interviewed 130 people.
The report slams both ATF Phoenix and the U.S. Attorney's Office for
not taking action. The program caught the attention of Congress and
the rest of the country after weapons from Fast and Furious were
found at the crime scene of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
"Indeed, no one responsible for the case at either ATF Phoenix Field
Division or the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona raised a serious
question or concern about the government not taking earlier measures
to disrupt a trafficking operation that continued to purchase
firearms with impunity for many months," the report said. "Similarly,
we did not find persuasive evidence that any supervisor in Phoenix,
at either the U.S. Attorney's Office or ATF, raised serious questions
or concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the continuing
firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting individuals who were
engaging in the trafficking.
"This failure reflected a significant lack of oversight and urgency
by both ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, and a
disregard by both for the safety of individuals in the United States
and Mexico," the report said.
The report faults both Breuer and Weinstein for not notifying
superiors about a prior Bush-era program called Wide Receiver when
questions about Fast and Furious arose. The report also said
Weinstein knew about Fast and Furious from discussions with an ATF
official in early 2010 and his review of wiretaps that year.
Weinstein told Fox News that he's resigning so as to not "distract"
from the department's work. But he took issue with the report's
conclusions about him -- he gave the inspector general a 32-page
document laying out alleged errors and suggested changes for the
draft report, but "virtually none" of those were incorporated,
according to Michael Bromwich, who is representing Weinstein.
The inspector general's report cites a conversation Weinstein had
with ATF official Bill McMahon in April 2010.
At the time, the department was trying to bring indictments in the
Wide Receiver investigation. Weinstein said he was so upset to learn
that ATF walked guns that he met with McMahon and others on April 28,
2010 to talk with them about it. After the meeting, McMahon told
Weinstein about another operation ATF Phoenix was conducting,
describing it to McMahon as "the opposite of Wide Receiver," and
insisting it didn't involve gun-walking and that ATF was aggressively
interdicting guns, according to Weinstein. That was Fast and Furious.
Months later, according to Weinstein, McMahon told Weinstein that
some ATF officials in Phoenix felt wiretap applications were moving
too slowly and the delay was having an effect on the investigation,
so Weinstein helped push that along. Weinstein says he only read the
cover sheets of wiretap applications. But the IG report says
Weinstein was in a position to stop the program.
The report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz found the ATF and
U.S. attorney's office in Arizona shared equal responsibility for the
gun-walking programs. It also said senior leaders did little
immediately after Terry's death to inquire about Operation Fast and
Furious. It faulted ATF headquarters for insufficient oversight of
the program. And it cited the "inappropriate" effort to encourage
dealers to sell firearms in transactions they knew were unlawful for
weapons they did not intend to seize.
DOJ officials Monty Wilkinson and Gary Grindler were also criticized
for failing to inform Holder that two guns connected to Fast and
Furious were found at the Terry murder scene.

Read more:

NOTE: Link to the report - if it works.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

AZMEX I3 17-9-12

AZMEX I3 17 SEP 2012

Note: would suggest checking this site again

Jeb Bush, Phoenix attorney to write book on immigration fixes
Bolick will write a book with ex-Florida governor
by Daniel González - Sept. 16, 2012 10:29 PM
The Republic | azcentral

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is teaming up with conservative Phoenix
attorney Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute to write a book
detailing their take on how to solve illegal immigration and fix the
nation's broken immigration system.

Bolick, known nationally for his work promoting school-choice
policies, said he shares Bush's views on immigration and believes the
harsh enforcement stance taken by some Republicans, including many
GOP leaders in Arizona, is driving away Latinos, whom the party
should be trying to attract.

"Jeb Bush has obviously been a national proponent of immigration
reform, and over the years it became clear that his views and mine
were very similar," Bolick said in an interview with The Republic.

Bush, considered by many to be a potential GOP presidential candidate
in 2016, is among a growing number of influential Republicans who
want to see the party drop the harsh rhetoric on illegal immigration
and adopt what they consider to be a more practical, market-driven
approach that helps businesses and doesn't break up families.

Bush, whose wife is Hispanic, is the brother of former President
George W. Bush, who unsuccessfully pushed for similar immigration
reforms during his administration. They are the sons of former
President George H.W. Bush.

"There has long been a wing of the Republican Party that has been
very forward-looking in terms of a compromise on immigration," and
that wing includes both Jeb Bush and George W. Bush, said Louis
DeSipio, a political-science professor at the University of Califoria-

"The dilemma, of course, is that the vast majority of the members of
the House of Representatives who shape policy these days are really
not part of that wing," DeSipio added.

DeSipio said the GOP, however, is facing growing pressure to change
its stance on immigration from industries experiencing labor shortages.

Some Republicans also are recognizing that harsh rhetoric on
immigration is driving a growing number of Latino voters to the
Democratic Party, he said.

"The recognition is that over time, nationally the Republicans will
not be able to win if they are routinely losing Latinos" to
Democrats, DeSipio said.

Bolick said Arizonans have legitimate concerns about illegal
immigration, and he agrees with those who believe the federal
government isn't doing a good job policing the border. He also agrees
that states have a "vitally important" role in enforcing the law.

"But going out and rounding up people for no other offense than
having broken taillights on their cars, that shows hostility rather
than a genuine desire to solve the problem," Bolick said.

The book, called "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,"
will be published in the spring by Threshold Editions, an imprint of
Simon & Schuster that publishes books with conservative viewpoints.

Bolick said he is writing the book as part of his work as a research
fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

The details are still being worked out, but one of the major points
the book will make is that America needs more immigrants, both high-
and low-skilled, to help pay for public welfare benefits because more
people are retiring and fewer people are being born, he said.

Bolick said the book will oppose amnesty, which he defined as
allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens without facing
penalties. Instead, the book will call for letting illegal immigrants
become legal permanent residents as long as they have clean records
and pay substantial fines. Those who wanted to become citizens would
first have to return to their home country and apply from there, he

The book is sure to rankle conservatives who oppose any kind of
lawful status for illegal immigrants.

Bolick said the book will also advocate that the United States revamp
its visa system by giving green cards to immigrants based more on
their job skills to meet labor demands in the U.S. and less on family
ties. That idea is similar to a proposal included in an overhaul of
the nation's immigration system that Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., helped
draft in 2007 as part of a compromise with Democrats. The legislation

Under the current system, immigrants who become legal permanent
residents or naturalized citizens can petition for a wide circle of
family members, including parents, children and siblings. Bolick
would like to see the family-based visa system limited only to
parents and non-adult children.

"Chain migration has been the 800-pound gorilla," Bolick said. "It
shuts out people we desperately need."

Bolick said that instead of states passing enforcement laws, such as
Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, he would like to see them partner more
with the federal government through programs such as Secure
Communities and 287(g) to deport illegal immigrants who commit state
crimes. Those programs, however, have drawn criticism from
immigration advocates who say they encourage racial profiling by
police and have led to the deportation of large numbers of illegal
immigrants who committed only minor offenses such as driving without
a license.

Bolick said the Republican Party ought to be reaching out to
Hispanics but the illegal-immigration stance by GOP leaders in
Arizona is driving them away from the party.

"Ronald Reagan once said that 'Hispanics are Republicans, they just
don't know it yet,' " Bolick told 12 News. "We share an awful lot of
values, like entrepreneurship and conservative social values. But
Republicans in Arizona, it almost seems like their goal in life is to
alienate Hispanics."

Read more: