Friday, December 7, 2012



Note: Of particular interest to gun & civil rights folks. Some
serious questions of just what is the criteria for seizing firearms
and ammunition. Not to forget cash and the rest. How much ammo,
cash, etc are citizens allowed to possess in the area?

Again, just why are NPD cars on I-19?
Courtesy of Nogales Police Department
NPD cash
Some of the $824,745 in currency that the Nogales Police Department
has taken in from its efforts on southbound I-19.
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:32 am
By Manuel C. Coppola
Nogales International

In return for a grant investment of $314,300, the Nogales Police
Department has taken $824,745 in currency – presumably the proceeds
from illegal proceeds – off the southbound lanes of Interstate 19.
The grant came from the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering
Alliance Group, and pays for all those officers in NPD patrol
vehicles you see on I-19 outside the city limits.
The currency seizures came over a period of 14 months. Some of it
goes to the Arizona Attorney General's Office and another portion to
the Santa Cruz County Attorney's Office, which funnels it back to
local law enforcement.

Working with other agencies, an additional $118,880 in currency was
confiscated in that same 14-month period, as were 30 pre-paid debit
cards loaded with unspecified amounts;
27 vehicles;
34,380 rounds of miscellaneous ammunition;
53 felony arrests; 36 misdemeanor arrests;
and 15 narcotics seizures, including a briefcase full of vials of
opiate extract that raised intelligence queries as to why it was in a
vehicle headed toward Mexico. Usually those loads are seized heading
north to distribution points in the U.S.

With more than 1,500 lawmen on the Nogales border, occupants and
their vehicles on the southbound lanes of I-19 may be among the most
photographed and monitored by the most amounts of law enforcement
Drivers' and passengers' mugs and plates are zapped by license
readers and cameras at the checkpoint and then they run the gauntlet
of U.S. Border Patrol, Arizona Department of Public Safety and now,
Nogales police patrol cars before they even get to the border where
they are again greeted by Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border
Protection officers.
Also looming in the area are special investigation and enforcement
officers from the DEA, the BP's Disrupt unit, U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE); and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area (HIDTA) program.

While the benefits of the NPD's highway Interdiction team, dubbed "S-
Ball," can be easily quantified, it does not set well with some local
residents, said Nogales Police Chief Derek Arnson. He said increased
awareness by the public about his officers' role hopefully will allay
some of the concerns as the program is to continue thanks to a second
round of funding for $326,717.
Unaware of the grant constraints, some residents wonder why those
officers are not patrolling streets within city limits.

Also, Arnson acknowledges, all those seizures came at a cost of
perpetuating a perception of a police state.

One can see why. In the first 14 months, the NPD officers who are
working on their days off and earning overtime pay funded by the
grant, stopped 4,504 private and commercial vehicles (about 375 a
month) and searched 1,185 of them.

NPD Capt. Heriberto Zuniga, who has been with S-Ball since its
inception said, "We never, ever (racial) profile. That is completely
against what this is about. There has to be either a moving violation
or an equipment violation in order to get pulled over."
However, Chief Arnson said, "We criminal profile all the time. It's
not someone's race, ethnicity or gender or anything like that. It is
how we've been taught to look at a vehicle, look at an individual" to
detect suspicious behavior or abnormalities.

"As I see it, the benefit to the community is that we are enabled by
a grant to use our resources to interdict ammunition, large cash
seizures and other drug and criminal proceeds that otherwise come
into our city."

He cited a recent case in which a cache of AK-47 assault rifles and
ammunition were seized at a local trailer park.

The team of 15 certified S-Ball officers is now connected to the
license-plate readers at the southbound checkpoint. "If a vehicle has
a hit on the plate from anywhere in the U.S. in the DEA system, our
guys get it on their phones," Capt. Zuniga said. "Our units will
automatically scramble to specific choke points. If they are going to
bail out, they will get out and run into the woods as opposed to
going into the city" where people may be placed in harm's way during
a pursuit.
Assistant Chief Roy Bermudez pointed out another ancillary benefit; a
motivation for safer driving. "Any time the (NPD) officers are
deployed in the area of operation there have been no fatalities."
Drivers are more apt to wear seatbelts, drive within the speed limit
and avoid drinking and driving, he said.
A Thanksgiving weekend DUI detail throughout the city conducted by
NPD revealed 29 designated drivers among the motorists who were
pulled over. "We've never seen that many," Zuniga said.
Arnson said in response to citizens' concerns the S-Ball operation
has been scaled back. Originally it extended beyond Palo Parado Road
in north Rio Rico. Now the officers normally do not go beyond the
Ruby Road exit.
If their assistance is needed at any time within the city, they can
and do answer calls with faster response times than if they had to be
called at home on their days off, he said.
"I look at our crime statistics and they are not crazy. Everyday
we'll try to improve that to lessen crime to make people feel safer
and to be safer," Arnson said.

"People need to understand that there is always going to be a police
presence. With the absence of police presence criminals know they are
free to wander and go anywhere they want. If the guns and weapons are
missed, where do they go? I would say a large percentage is going
into Mexico. But I would also say some divert and come into our
community. Our concern is that if we miss those and they get into the
hands of people who want to do harm to others, then what culpability,
what responsibility do we have now as a law enforcement entity?"

The program funding is derived from a 2010 $94 million settlement in
a lawsuit Arizona filed against Western Union alleging it was
facilitating money laundering operations.
The court set aside $50 million to create the Southwest Border Anti-
Money Laundering Alliance among Arizona, California, Texas and New

Border Patrol agent arrested in smuggling probe
Source: United States News
Originally published: Dec 4, 2012 - 12:48 pm
Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been arrested after
authorities say he used his patrol vehicle to smuggle drugs while on
duty in southwest Arizona, according to a federal complaint.

Aaron Anaya was on patrol Sunday evening when he stopped along the
international border, then loaded up several bundles of marijuana
that had been dropped over the fence from Mexico, according to the
complaint filed this week in federal court in Arizona.

Agents assigned to the Southwest Border Corruption Task Force had
been conducting aerial surveillance in the area between Yuma and
Wellton, about 185 miles southwest of Phoenix, when they spotted
Anaya stop along the fence and retrieve the bundles, the complaint
states. It does not say whether Anaya was the target of the initial
surveillance or merely observed during the overall operation.

Authorities say the task force continued to track Anaya for several
hours as he appeared to return to normal patrol duties.

The complaint says the agent was later arrested with nearly 147
pounds of marijuana found in three black duffel bags in his Border
Patrol vehicle.

He is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and
carrying a firearm- his service weapons- while committing the crime.

Asked if he was willing to speak to investigators, Anaya responded
with an expletive, then said, "You guys got me on video," before
asking for an attorney, according to the complaint.

Anaya's federal public defender didn't immediately return a telephone
message Tuesday. His telephone number wasn't listed. Union
representatives for the Border Patrol's Yuma sector didn't respond to

The FBI, which was part of the task force, declined to discuss the case.

Yuma Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Stephen S. Martin said the
agency will fully cooperate with investigators.

"While I am sorely disappointed by the alleged conduct of one of our
own, I appreciate the efforts by our law enforcement partners and our
own agents to uncover those that violate their oath of office, and
hold them accountable for their actions," Martin said in a statement

Note: AZ taxpayers on the hook once again.

Nogales, Sonora, asked to pay up on $350K Tucson hospital bill
8 hours ago • Joseph Treviño Arizona Daily Star

The city of Nogales, Sonora, owes the University of Arizona Medical
Center $350,000.

The debt stems from treatment given to three Mexican police officers
from 2009 though 2011, said UAMC spokeswoman Katie Riley. She added
that some months ago, the hospital turned over the bill to a Mexican
collection agency, a standard procedure.

But for new Nogales Mayor Ramón Guzmán Muñoz the UAMC debt is much
more than a standard procedure: It is a scandal. Muñoz is a member of
Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), the party that for 70
years ruled Mexico, lost the presidency in 2000 to the conservative
Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and regained it last July after a
sweeping victory.

The new mayor said that this is just one more example of how
negligent PAN was while in office. He added that since he took office
in September, a new scandal with roots to past mayors surfaces every
day, and he blamed former Mayor José Ángel Hernández Barajas, a PAN
member, and his administration for allegedly leaving Nogales in debt.

"It's a mess," he said.

The PAN leaders countered that this is just a political ploy of
incoming PRI leaders to justify not achieving their campaign goals.
They added that instead of working to build a better Nogales, the
mayor and new PRI office holders are investing time and money in a
smear campaign.
"It looks like all they want to create is a media circus," said
Reynaldo Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, a city councilman and a local PAN leader.

While the fracas between both parties continues, the UAMC debt remains.
Initially, some payments were made, but a $350,000 balance remains,
Riley said.

"One of our hospital executives will be making contact with the
Nogales, Sonora, mayor's office to discuss this issue in person,"
Riley said.

Still, UAMC values the relationship it has with Nogales, Sonora,
Riley said.

In 2003, UAMC helped establish a trauma triage and stabilization unit
for Nogales' General Hospital with federal funds, she added.

Muñoz said that the UAMC debt came out of a good cause -treating
officers wounded during Nogales' recent drug-violence span.

In February 2009, Officer Jose Alfredo Martínez, then 46, was taken
to UAMC after being treated at a Nogales hospital for gunshot wounds
to the back of his neck. Martínez, who never fully recovered, died
two years later at a hospital in Los Mochis.

In February 2010, commander Daniel Bautista Borboa was wounded when
gunmen attacked him as he traveled in a pickup with his family. In
July 2011, motorcycle officer Carlos Bustamente was treated for head
wounds. Both were treated at UAMC.

Muñoz said that he would do his best to settle the debt, but that he
will try to get low payments, because he is still in the process of
balancing the budget.
"The thing is to reach an agreement with the hospital to see how we
can make some comfortable installments," Muñoz said.

Contact reporter Joseph Treviño at or 807-8029.

Note: couldn't resist this one, sorry. Even with recession still
hard to find good help.

Courier loses drug cash, asks cops for help
24 minutes ago • Kimberly Matas, Arizona Daily Star

A man travelling through Tucson International Airport called police
last month to ask if an officer could write a note to the local
cartel explaining that he lost $20,000 in drug money.

It was the third time Demarco Alonzo Thomas transported money from
his home state of North Carolina to Tucson for drug dealers, but the
first time he'd misplaced a chunk of cash, according to a search
warrant requested by the Tucson Airport Authority Police Department.

The 30-year-old was afraid he'd be killed for losing the money. He
thought it might help smooth things over if he could show cartel
members a phony receipt from the local police stating they had seized
the money, according to the warrant.

Thomas told police he was paid $1,000 for each suitcase full of drug
money he flew to Tucson. He would receive a text on his cell phone
about an upcoming trip, and pick up a suitcase full of cash and a
prepaid debit card to purchase airline tickets.

When he flew into TIA around 9 p.m. Oct. 31, Thomas received a text
telling him a vehicle would pick him up curbside. The driver took him
to a nearby hotel parking lot where the money was counted before
Thomas and the drug dealers parted ways. About an hour later, Thomas
received a threatening phone call from his contact in North Carolina
telling him his delivery was $20,000 short.

Fearing for his safety, Thomas returned to the airport the next
morning and called police. He explained his situation and asked for a
phony receipt.

Instead, police arrested the courier on suspicion of money laundering
and racketeering, and searched his suitcase and personal property.
They found $17,000 in hundred dollar bills in the pockets of a pair
of blue jeans packed in the suit case, and another $3,020 in hundreds
in his wallet.

However, when officers asked Thomas to sign paperwork stating they
really were going to seize the cash, he refused.

Posponen en San Diego audiencia para presunta hija de "El Chapo"
Lunes, 3 de diciembre de 2012

San Diego.- La audiencia de Alejandrina Guzmán, presunta hija de
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, fue reprogramada para el 20 de
diciembre en la corte federal de San Diego, donde se presentará
frente a la juez Cathy Ann Bencivengo.

Entrevistado en su despacho en el centro de esta ciudad, su abogado
Guadalupe Valencia, informó que su presentación ante la corte fue
pospuesta por acuerdo entre las partes acusatoria y defensora, para
continuar recopilando información.

Alejandrina fue detenida el pasado 12 de octubre de este año por
autoridades migratorias cuando intentaba ingresar a Estados Unidos
con documentación falsa, según refiere la acusada en su declaración,
para que su hijo naciera en Los Ángeles, California.

Aunque las autoridades estadounidenses no han confirmado oficialmente
que Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar es hija del capo más buscado
del mundo, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, fuentes extraoficiales confirman la

Guadalupe Valencia y Alejandrina Guzmán se presentarán el próximo 20
de diciembre en la sala 2, de la corte del distrito sur de San Diego,
según se refiere en el documento 15 del caso 312-cr-04386-CAB.

En éste se notifica el cambio de fecha de la audiencia de la acusada,
Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar, a la petición de las partes. La
audiencia de peticiones y preparación del juicio programada para el
30 de noviembre del 2012 a las 11:00 horas, queda vacante y
reprogramada a las 10:30 horas.

El documento también especifica que si las partes no están preparadas
para ese día deberán contactar al personal de la corte para
reprogramar la audiencia.

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