Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Cameras and police will guard Obama visit to DF
The SSP-DF will provide the elements required of safety of U.S.

Operation"monitor" (Photo: File / El Universal)
Related Notes
Big brother Chilango 19/04/2013 Cameras 800 thousand housing units
18/07/2012 44.15% decrease Cameras Metro insecurity
06/03/2013 They use cameras to catch suspected thieves
April 29, 2013

In coordination with the Mayor, the Secretariat of Federal District
Public Security (SSP-DF) participate in the safety and security of
the U.S. president, Barack Obama, during his stay in Mexico City from
Thursday May 2.

In this regard, the local Public Security Secretary, Jesus Rodriguez
Almeida said: "We are in coordination with the Presidential, will be
watching so that everything goes well although the federal level is
operating, yes we will participate."

Rodriguez Almeida will be responsible for coordinating with security
officers of the Presidency of the Republic, in order to protect the
perimeters surrounding the places where have scheduled to attend the
U.S. president and his entourage.

When asked how many soldiers would participate in the collaborative
arrangement, the official said that it depends on what they ask for
but said surveillance cameras will be ready along with the operation
"Monitor". 24SUP

This is the second visit of the American president in our country
since April 2009 was received by the then President of Mexico, Felipe
Calderon Hinojosa.

On that occasion, the local agency had three thousand personnel,
while the capital's Attorney supported with another 300, to carry out
surveillance activities, inspections and road blocks, in areas
surrounding the hotel where Obama was staying and also reinforced the
Security at the official residence of Los Pinos. ( Mexican "white


Note: would this include flow of US and European weapons to Mex. govt?

Mexican activists release blimp to urge US to stop arms from pouring
into Mexico
Published April 29, 2013
Associated Press

Mexican poet and activist Javier Sicilia walks past a blimp with a
message that reads in Spanish: "Post for Peace, #goodbyetoweapons"
after it arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, City, Monday April
29, 2013. The blimp, flown remotely by the Post for Peace
organization, attempted to fly to the U.S. Embassy to deliver
thousands of signatures condemning the illegal sale of U.S. weapons
into Mexico and to contribute to the U.S. gun control debate. The
blimp was unable to fly to the embassy due to technical problems so
organizers pushed the blimp there and delivered the signatures. (AP
Photo/Marco Ugarte) (The Associated Press)

A blimp with a message that reads in Spanish: "Post for Peace,
#goodbyetoweapons" flies over the Juarez Monument in Mexico, City,
Monday April 29, 2013. The blimp, flown remotely by the Post for
Peace organization, attempted to fly to the U.S. Embassy to deliver
thousands of signatures condemning the illegal sale of U.S. weapons
into Mexico and to contribute to the U.S. gun control debate. The
blimp was unable to fly to the embassy due to technical problems but
the signatures were eventually delivered by the organizers. (AP Photo/
Marco Ugarte) (The Associated Press)

Mexican poet and activist Javier Sicilia walks past riot police as he
tries to make his way to the U.S. Embassy to deliver thousands of
signatures and a letter in Mexico, City, Monday April 29, 2013. The
signatures and the letter, condemning the illegal sale of U.S.
weapons into Mexico were supposed to have been flown by a blimp flown
remotely by the Post for Peace organization but was unable to fly to
the embassy due to technical problems. The signatures were eventually
hand delivered by the organizers. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) (The
Associated Press)
Next Slide Previous Slide
MEXICO CITY – Mexican anti-violence activists have released a blimp
as part of a campaign to urge President Barack Obama to stop arms
trafficking into Mexico.
Peace activist Javier Sicilia and the Mexico chapter of Amnesty
International say the blimp is part of a "virtual" campaign to put
attention on the problem of guns ahead of Obama's visit to Mexico on
Sicilia and other activists are urging Mexicans to tweet with the
hashtag "Goodbye to weapons." The slogan is printed on the blimp,
which traveled from outside the Museum of Memory and Tolerance to the
U.S. Embassy.
Sicilia said Monday that activists hope to collect 1 million
signatures urging Obama and Mexican President Pena Nieto to discuss
halting the flow of weapons into Mexico.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/29/mexican-activists-

Cámaras y policías del DF resguardarán visita de Obama
La SSP-DF pondrá a disposición del Estado Mayor Presidencial los
elementos que le soliciten para seguridad del mandatario estadounidense

Se utilizará el operativo "monitor"(Foto: Archivo/EL UNIVERSAL)
Notas Relacionadas
19/04/2013 Big brother chilango Cámaras en mil 800 unidades
18/07/2012 Cámaras disminuyen 44.15% inseguridad en Metro
06/03/2013 Usan cámaras para capturar a presuntos ladrones
29 de abril 2013

En coordinación con el Estado Mayor Presidencial, la Secretaría de
Seguridad Pública del Distrito Federal (SSP-DF) participará en los
operativos de resguardo y seguridad externa del presidente de los
Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, durante su estancia en la Ciudad de
México a partir del jueves 2 de mayo.

Al respecto, el Secretario de Seguridad Pública local, Jesús
Rodríguez Almeida dijo: "estamos en coordinación con el Estado Mayor
Presidencial, estaremos al pendiente para que todo salga bien aunque
el operativo es de nivel federal, sí tendremos una participación".

Rodríguez Almeida será el responsable de coordinarse con los
encargados de la seguridad de la Presidencia de la República, a fin
de resguardar los perímetros aledaños de los lugares donde se tiene
programado asista el mandatario estadounidense y su comitiva.

Al preguntarle cuántos uniformados participarían en el dispositivo de
colaboración, el funcionario comentó que esto depende de lo que les
pida el Estado Mayor aunque dijo que las cámaras de videovigilancia
estarán listas junto con el operativo "Monitor". 24SUP

Esta es la segunda visita del Mandatario Norteamericano a nuestro
país pues en abril del 2009 fue recibido por el entonces Presidente
de México, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

En aquella ocasión, la dependencia local dispuso de tres mil
elementos, en tanto que la Procuraduría capitalina apoyó con 300; a
fin de realizar acciones de vigilancia, revisiones y cortes viales,
en zonas aledañas al hotel donde Obama se hospedó y también se
reforzó la seguridad en la Residencia Oficial de los Pinos.


Monday, April 29, 2013



Note the dates.

Citizens help apprehend fleeing drug smuggler
2013-04-26T10:39:00Z 2013-04-26T10:57:36Z
Arizona Daily Star
7 hours ago • Kimberly Matas

PINAL COUNTY — A suspected drug smuggler led a Pinal County sheriff's
deputy on a high-speed car chase, then a foot race before he was

Just after 2 p.m. April 16, 2013, the deputy saw two vehicles
traveling in tandem at a dangerously high rate of speed on Highway
84, just outside of Casa Grande, Tamra Ingersoll, spokeswoman for the
Pinal County Sheriff's Office, said in a news release. When he
attempted a traffic stop, one of the vehicles, a blue Chevy
Trailblazer fled.

The deputy pursued the Chevy, which accelerated to 80-miles-per-hour.
The driver of the Chevy turned onto a dirt road. When he attempted to
pass a car on the road, he lost control of the SUV and spun into a

The crash "kicked up a cloud of dust that obstructed the view of the
pursuing deputy," Ingersoll said. "When the dust settled, the deputy
saw a male fleeing from the vehicle on foot. The deputy … began
pursuing the suspect on foot in the direction of a cotton gin.

"Several workers inside the cotton gin had exited the business and
witnessed the man fleeing from the deputy. The employees of the
cotton gin began chasing the approaching suspect and assisted in
detaining the subject until the deputy was able to handcuff the man."

Once the suspect, 24-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernandez Mendivil of
Mexico, was in custody, the deputy looked in the SUV and found 27
bundles of marijuana weighing 567 pounds. The pot had an estimated
street value of $400,000, Ingersoll said.

Mendivil booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on
charges of possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of
marijuana and unlawful flight.


More arrests of Arizona undergarment drug smugglers
By Associated Press
Originally published: Apr 26, 2013 - 5:23 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's not exactly a new idea, but authorities say
people still are trying to smuggle drugs into Arizona hidden inside
their undergarments.

Nogales Station Border Patrol agents working the Interstate 19
checkpoint south of Amado referred a commercial shuttle for
inspection Wednesday. Agents say they found one pound of
methamphetamines concealed in underwear worn by an 18-year-old man.

On Thursday night, Customs and Border Protection officers from the
Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry arrested a 23-year-old woman with four
pounds of heroin concealed in her bra.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents working at the same I-19
checkpoint Monday arrested four teenage girls on a commercial shuttle
coming from Mexico.
The say the girls had heroin strapped to the front of their bodies
and tucked under the waistbands of their underwear.


Note: Just as with the Tucson Sector, no mention of IA apprehensions.

Border Patrol agents seize nearly $1 million worth of marijuana over
past week
Written by Staff
Friday, 26 April 2013 12:55
EAGLE PASS, Texas -- U.S. Border Patrol agents throughout Del Rio
Sector seized more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated
value of $977,272.

On April 18, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station
encountered a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup while patrolling on a local
ranch. While agents were conducting records checks on the driver and
passenger, another agent discovered a cache of marijuana nearby.
Agents seized five bundles of marijuana, weighing a total of 218
pounds, worth an estimated $174,536. The two subjects were turned
over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for prosecution.

In another seizure on April 18, agents working at the Highway 57
checkpoint encountered a Chrysler 300 suspected of transporting
illegal narcotics. After a search of the vehicle, agents found a
total of 43 cellophane-wrapped bricks. The bricks contained a total
of 42 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $33,728.

Tuesday, April 23, Eagle Pass North Station agents observed a Ford
Mustang, with two occupants, in an area known for narcotics
smuggling. When the agents conducted a vehicle stop, the driver
attempted to abscond. Agents apprehended the driver after a short
foot chase. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed three
military-style duffel bags in the back of the vehicle. The duffel
bags contained 264 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $211,280.
The driver, who is a U.S. citizen, the vehicle, and the marijuana,
were turned over to the FBI. The passenger was turned over to the
Eagle Pass Police Department.

In several separate incidents from April 17-24, agents from the Eagle
Pass South Station seized 695 pounds of abandoned marijuana worth an
estimated $557,728. In all of the seizures, Border Patrol agents
encountered foot sign along known narcotics smuggling trails. While
walking the trails, agents encountered a total of six military-style
duffel bags and four large sugar sacks containing mariuana.
All cases were tuned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration,
unless otherwise noted.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign,
which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat
transnational criminal organizations. For Fiscal Year 2013, the Del
Rio Sector has seized over 24,500 pounds of marijuana worth an
estimated $19.6 million dollars.



Note: Not important, but interesting look at upper class
neighborhood. A possibly undocumented immigrant doing the work
Mexicans won't do?
Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special S/n 84832; have to wonder if she
got it at a AZ gun show. BTW why do Mexicans must have a Voter ID,
but not Americans?

Foreign woman arrested with firearms and drugs in Polanco
A Czech citizen was arrested after a complaint from a resident of the
colony, for allegedly selling drugs
Filiberto Cruz Monroy / Photo: @ filibertocruz

MEXICO CITY, April 25. - Pospisilova Petra, 27 years old and a Czech
national was arrested with two hand bags which hid drugs and a
firearm and who was reported to police by a citizen in Polanco.

At the intersection of Horace and Hippolyte Taine, at approximately
12:00 pm yesterday, a citizen approached agents of the Ministry of
Federal District Public Security (SSP-DF) to reveal the presence of a
woman who allegedly selling drugs and acting suspiciously.

The person who made the complaint was described as a tall, thin, long
hair and who may be of another nationality because of her hasty
manner of speaking. With this data the agents moved to the area and
located Pospisilova, and told her they would do a inspection.

She resisted for a moment, but to be cornered agreed to open the
bags, one black and one color pink, where they were found ten
envelopes with white powder, suspected cocaine, and an envelope with
green grass, it could be marijuana.

Petra had hidden a .44 special revolver with black grips,
registration 84832, with the words "flat corp.prigeport.com
weapon" (Charter Arms Corp Bridgeport.com ) is known as a bulldog
and a cartridge containing expansive bullet. Among the items seized
were a scale for so-called "grameras" a BlackBerry cell, 1,072 pesos
presumably from the sale of the drug.

The Czech was transferred to the Central Intelligence Agency of the
Attorney General of the Federal District (PGJDF).

When the accused was taken to the offices of the PGJDF in Doctors
Colony, was approached by Excelsior. She seemed intoxicated, and
with very brief Spanish said:

"The gun is not mine, and so I'm going to say and when ... when I go
to talk exactly right, I will talk and let's go see (sic) who will
win and who is better and who is worse, period. God knows where the
truth (sic). "

The woman was identified with a voter ID which could be fake, to name
Petra Patricia Perron de Luna, but really is Petra Pospisilova,
born in the Czech Republic.

In the coming hours city authorities determine the legal status of
women of Czech origin, presumably model, since it should be mentioned
that it might be accused of federal crimes to carry a gun and several
doses of cocaine and marijuana.

Confirm arrest

The Secretary of Public Security of the Federal District, Jesus
Rodriguez Almeida, confirmed yesterday the police made preventive
detention of a foreign woman operating under the Polanco Three Phase
Monitor, which was launched since last Monday.

"What we have today, there is the arrest of a person of Czech
nationality (captured) with different narcotics and a firearm," said
the official capital in an interview after participating in the
announcement of the celebrations for the 110th anniversary of a brand
of motorcycles.

Operating replicated in other delegations

In addition, in the event, Jesus Rodriguez Almeida said yesterday
that surveillance operations by the capital police and Research, the
PGJDF, Colonia Polanco can be replicated in other of the 16 boundaries.

"We focus our devices at different points, as we have done in Benito
Juárez, Iztapalapa ... in some housing units earlier this year and
now Miguel Hidalgo touched, "he explained.

The Attorney General of the Federal District launched the security
operation that seeks to bring down the crime rate in the area mainly
in four crimes, especially theft.

Meanwhile, unable to provide crifras PGJDF foreign women who have
been arrested and consigned for engaging in selling drugs and if they
could be victims of trafficking, activity performed in Europe Los Zetas.

Trade subject to tranquility

No effect a cumbersome operation, the City Police Research performs
the Polanco neighborhood watch through continuous patrols.

The Avenida Presidente Masaryk, which houses restaurants, boutiques
and jewelry is the busiest by bailiffs units, as well as the streets
Homer, Horace, and Moliere, where most activity takes place in this

According to tenants, employees, guests and passersby, the constant
police presence, far from frightening, gives some comfort to this
heavily guarded area.

"They take two days, barely noticeable, but we're used to have a lot
of vigilance," said one of the residents of Taine.

The Attorney capital deployed this week from 230 agents and 65
patrols to reduce crime rates in Polanco, such as vehicle theft,
robbery passer and assaults business account holders.

The Three Phase Monitor operating Polanco is perceived more by those
working in the area (not for visitors), so accustomed to the agents
in almost every shop, in every house, embassy, ​​plaza,
convenience store or restaurant.

One of the busiest spaces, restaurants Polanquito area has police
presence and is more noticeable. Jules Verne is the streets, Emilio
Castelar, Anatole France and Virgil where legal vehicles.

On foot and by motorcycle, perform preventive police patrols around
Lincoln Park that morning shines with athletes.

"In the morning assault people who come to run, wear their iPods,
their expensive watches, their physical monitors, and well yes draw
attention," said one of the employees of a café located, against
Lincoln Park.

According to depositors of branches of banks in Moliere, the Judicial
Police presence will serve to prevent attacks on those who take money
from ATM or window. "We used to see surveillance buildings, shopping
malls, banks, yet assaults occur, hopefully this will serve," said a
bank employee in Moliere, near Homer, where each minute passes a patrol.


Detienen a mujer extranjera con arma de fuego y droga en Polanco
Una ciudadana checa fue detenida, luego de una denuncia de un vecino
de la colonia , por presuntamente vender droga
Filiberto Cruz Monroy / Foto: @filibertocruz

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 25 de abril.- Petra Pospisilova, de 27 años de
edad y de nacionalidad checa fue detenida con dos bolsas de mano
donde ocultaba droga y un arma de fuego, y quien fue denunciada por
un ciudadano ante policías en Polanco.

En el cruce de las calles Horacio e Hipólito Taine, aproximadamente a
las 12:00 horas de ayer, un ciudadano se acercó a agentes de la
Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del Distrito Federal (SSP-DF) para
delatar la presencia de una mujer quien presuntamente vendía droga y
actuaba de manera sospechosa.

La persona que realizó la denuncia la describió como una mujer alta
y delgada, de cabello largo y quien podría ser de otra nacionalidad
debido a su manera atropellada de hablar. Con esos datos los agentes
se trasladaron a la zona y ubicaron a Pospisilova, a quien le
informaron que le harían una revisión.

Ella se resistió por unos momentos, pero al verse acorralada aceptó
abrir sus bolsas, una de color negra y otra rosa, donde fueron
encontrados diez envoltorios con polvo blanco, presuntamente cocaína,
y un envoltorio con hierba verde, que podría ser mariguana.

Petra tenía escondido un revólver calibre .44 especial con cachas
negras, matrícula 84832, con la leyenda "chata arma
corp.prigeport.com", es conocido como bulldog y contenía un
cartucho útil de tipo expansivo. Entre lo asegurado había una
báscula de las conocidas como "grameras", un celular BlackBerry y
mil 72 pesos presumiblemente de la venta de la droga.

La checa fue trasladada a la Agencia Central de Investigación de la
Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal (PGJDF).

Cuando la inculpada fue llevada a las oficinas de la PGJDF, en la
colonia Doctores, fue abordada por Excélsior. Se le apreciaba
intoxicada, y con un español muy escueto dijo:

"La pistola no es mía, y así lo voy a decir y el momento... cuando
voy a poder hablar exactamente bien, voy a hablar y vámonos a ver
(sic) quién va a ganar y quién es mejor y quién es peor, punto.
Dios que sabe dónde está la verdad (sic)."

La mujer se identificó con una credencial de elector, que podría ser
falsa, a nombre de Petra Patricia Perrón de Luna, pero aceptó
llamarse realmente Petra Pospisilova, nacida en la República Checa.

En las próximas horas autoridades capitalinas determinarán la
situación jurídica de la mujer de origen checo, presuntamente
modelo, pues cabe mencionar que podría ser inculpada de delitos del
fuero federal al portar un arma de fuego y varias dosis de cocaína,
así como mariguana.

Confirman detención

El secretario de Seguridad Pública del Distrito Federal, Jesús
Rodríguez Almeida, confirmó ayer la detención que hicieron
policías preventivos de una mujer extranjera en el marco del
operativo Monitor Fase Tres Polanco, que fue puesto en marcha desde
el pasado lunes.

"Lo que tenemos hoy, ahí, es la detención de una persona de
nacionalidad checa (apresada) con diferentes narcóticos y un arma de
fuego", señaló el funcionario capitalino en entrevista luego de
participar en el anuncio de los festejos por el 110 aniversario de
una marca de motocicletas.

Replicarán operativo en otras delegaciones

Además, en el evento, Jesús Rodríguez Almeida dijo ayer que los
operativos de vigilancia por parte de la Policía capitalina y de
Investigación, de la PGJDF, en la colonia Polanco se pueden replicar
en otras de las 16 demarcaciones.

"Nosotros orientamos nuestros dispositivos a diferentes puntos, ya
lo hemos hecho en Benito Juárez, Iztapalapa... en algunas unidades
habitacionales a principios de este año y ahora tocó a Miguel
Hidalgo", abundó.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal puso en
marcha el operativo de seguridad que busca abatir la incidencia
delictiva en la zona principalmente en cuatro delitos, principalmente
el robo.

En tanto, la PGJDF no pudo proporcionar crifras de mujeres
extranjeras que hayan sido detenidas y consignadas por dedicarse a
vender droga y si pudieran ser víctimas de trata de personas,
actividad que realizan en Europa Los Zetas.

Someten al comercio a la tranquilidad

Sin efectuar un operativo aparatoso, la Policía de Investigación del
DF realiza la vigilancia del barrio de Polanco mediante rondines

La avenida Presidente Masaryk, donde se ubican restaurantes,
boutiques y joyerías es de las más transitadas por las unidades de
agentes judiciales, así como las calles Homero, Horacio y Moliére,
donde se desarrolla la mayor actividad de este barrio.

De acuerdo con locatarios, trabajadores, comensales y transeúntes, la
constante presencia policiaca, lejos de atemorizar, da cierta
tranquilidad a esta zona fuertemente vigilada.

"Llevan dos días, apenas se nota, pero ya estamos acostumbrados a
que haya mucha vigilancia", explicó una de las vecinas de Taine.

La Procuraduría capitalina desplegó a partir de esta semana 230
agentes y 65 patrullas para reducir los índices de delincuencia en
Polanco, como el robo de vehículo, robo a transeúnte, negocios y
asaltos a cuentahabientes.

El operativo Monitor Fase Tres Polanco es percibido más por quienes
trabajan en la zona (no tanto para los visitantes), tan acostumbrados
a los agentes en casi en cada local comercial, en cada casa,
embajada, plaza, tienda de autoservicio o restaurante.

Uno de los espacios más transitados, zona de restaurantes de
Polanquito, tiene presencia policiaca y es más notoria. Es las calles
Julio Verne, Emilio Castelar, Anatole France y Virgilio donde hay
vehículos de judiciales.

A pie y en motocicleta, policías preventivos realizan rondines
alrededor del Parque Lincoln, que por la mañana luce con deportistas.

"En la mañana asaltan a gente que viene a correr, lucen sus Ipods,
sus relojes caros, sus monitores físicos, y pues sí llaman la
atención", dijo uno de los empleados de una cafetería ubicada,
frente al Parque Lincoln.

De acuerdo con cuentahabientes de sucursales de bancos en Moliére, la
presencia de la Policía Judicial servirá para evitar asaltos a
quienes sacan dinero de cajero o ventanilla. "Estamos acostumbrados
a ver vigilancia en edificios, plazas comerciales, bancos, y aún así
ocurren asaltos, ojalá esto sirva", dijo un empleado bancario en
Moliére, cerca de Homero, donde cada minuto pasa una patrulla.




Note: about 40 miles north of Phx. On road to Las Vegas. Small load.

4/23/2013 9:45:00 PM
Border Patrol, YCSO make 60-pound pot bust
The Daily Courier

CONGRESS - U.S. Border Patrol agents watching for human smuggling
stopped a pickup truck early Friday morning and found 60 pound of
marijuana in bricks, prompting them to call the Yavapai County
Sheriff's Office, sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

Jose Buenrostro, 34, from El Mirage, and Carlos Zepeda, 32, from Los
Angeles, were arrested as they drove on U.S. Highway 93 near Congress
at about 12:15 a.m., D'Evelyn said, when the Border Patrol agents
developed suspicions that the Chevy Silverado was being used to
smuggle people.

It wasn't, but the agents found three large buckets, each containing
various sizes of bricks of plastic-wrapped marijuana, D'Evelyn said.

Deputies took the men into custody and booked them on charges of
possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and
transportation of marijuana.

Buenrostro and Zepeda, both U.S. citizens from Mexico, are being held
in the Camp Verde jail on a $100,000 bond.

Mexican cartel 'queen' pleads guilty in US case
The Associated Press
Posted: 04/24/2013 09:27:55 AM MDT

MIAMI—A Mexican woman known as a drug cartel queen has pleaded guilty
in Miami to charges arising from a major cocaine trafficking case.
Court records show that Sandra Avila Beltran pleaded guilty Tuesday
to being an accessory after the fact in an organization once headed
by Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez. He was her boyfriend at the time.
Espinosa is the former leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He pleaded
guilty in 2009 to cocaine trafficking charges.
A statement signed by Avila, who was known as the "Queen of the
Pacific," says she provided money to Espinosa for travel and lodging
so he could evade arrest by authorities between 2002 and 2004.
The 52-year-old Avila faces a maximum of 15 years in prison at a July
25 sentencing hearing.

4 teens caught allegedly smuggling $90K of heroin into US
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 12:24 PM MST Updated: Apr 24, 2013 12:27 PM MST
By FOX 10 News - Staff Report

Four teenage girls were caught trying to smuggle heroin
through the Nogales border on Monday.
NOGALES, Ariz. -

Four teenage girls were caught trying to smuggle heroin through the
Nogales border on Monday.

A commercial shuttle was going through the I-19 Border Patrol
checkpoint and was referred for inspection.

Border Patrol agents say a 15-year-old passenger was acting nervously
during questioning and when they got consent to search her bags, they
found bundles of heroin. Agents searched the three other 15 to 17-
year-old passengers and allegedly found bundles of heroin tucked into
the their waistbands.

A total of 7.75 pounds of heroin worth $90,000 was recovered.

The teens were turned over to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

Border Patrol says transnational criminal organizations are going to
extreme lengths, like using teenagers, to bring illegal drugs into
the U.S.

Note: of local interest, near the fence.

They find bones of man gunned down in Sonoita
Written by Grupo AM

Sonoita, Sonora on April 23, 2013. - Around 12:20 pm yesterday
garrison staff of this population found a human skeleton in the
Federal Highway No. 2, section Sonoyta-San Luis Rio Colorado,
approximately 70 meters from the boundary with the United States.

The victim, who measured about 1.80 meters tall, wearing blue jeans,
black shirt and brown belt and black tennis.

According to the report issued by the Medical Examiner of the
Attorney General of the State, human remains belong to a male person,
which is estimated to have between 25 and 30 years old, and two to
three months have died.

Also, the Medical Examiner's report indicates that the person had
several injuries from firearm projectiles in different parts of the
body, and this is the cause of death.




Note: mostly local

Three arrested in BP pot seizure
April 24, 2013 3:15 PM
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested three suspected drug
smugglers and seized about 243 pounds of marijuana Tuesday southeast
of Gila Bend.
Border Patrol officials estimate the marijuana to be worth about

Using night vision equipment, agents spotted a group of backpackers
walking through the open desert. As agents approached, the group
allegedly attempted to hide under a tree.

Agents apprehended the group, all Mexican citizens, and reportedly
seized about 243 pounds of pot. The arrested individuals and the
marijuana were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Read more: http://www.yumasun.com/articles/agents-87044-group-

A man arrested with 27 kilos of drugs and three weapons
Details Published on Wednesday April 24 2013,
Written by Editorial Staff / El Diario


Derived from a complaint by a man was secured by possession of
different types of drugs which gave an approximate weight of 27 kg
and 3 firearms during a coordinated operation between the Public
Safety State Police (PESP) and the Mexican Army.

Francisco Lorenzo Mungaray Guerrero 51 years of age, manned a
vehicle when he was stopped by state police and military personnel.
The incident took place Monday on calle Arcoíris del Residencial La
Ventana, in place stopped a Ford sedan type vehicle.
When the driver got out of the car, inside the car they saw a .40
caliber pistol with a magazine and 15 rounds of ammunition stocked,
it was on the side of the seat.
Inside the glove box found two pistols, .38 Super
When inspecting, seized nine plastic bags adding an approximate
weight 1.8 kilos, each of them had with white powder-like substance
Later in the trunk of the vehicle 11 spotted glass bottles and
plastic one, with each of these residues apparently different liquid
Furthermore, they found hidden under the carpet 17 packages weighing
approximately 1.5 kilos each, which contained green grass and dried
marijuana physical characteristics seizing a total of 27 kilos of drugs.

Z-40 coach led the U.S. to tour their farms
Details Published on Thursday April 25 2013, Written by SUN / The
Mexico, Df

I did not know who it was until I returned to my home in California
and ran his name through internet. Thus ended his meeting with Miguel
Angel Treviño Morales, now top leader of Los Zetas cartel.

The meeting came a day in the summer of 2010. Adan Farias, a horse
trainer quarter mile from Los Alamitos, California, told a Texas
court that the man who hired him in the United States to train horses
took him to see the boss in Mexico in July of that year. There were
several times that they were together, visiting several ranches in
northern Mexico and talking about horses and racing across the
border, according to the report published in the journal My San
Antonio News.

When he returned home Farias searched Google about the man who
introduced himself in Spanish as Z-40, and even then he realized that
he had spent a few hours with one of the most wanted men by the
authorities of Mexico and United States, and leader of the violent
cartel Los Zetas. Adan Farias's testimony is part of the trial that
is carried against 20 people in a court of Austin, Texas, for
participating in a conspiracy to launder drug money in the industry
of horse racing in the southern United USA. A Farias struck him
during his journey along three ranches near the border between Mexico
and the U.S., were always accompanied by armed men in civilian
clothes. On the way, he says, were about 100 horses. Ranches were
very nice and the horses were well kept, told the court. According to
his testimony at the hearing, which is reproduced in the portal My
San Antonio, Miguel Angel Trevino asked Farias his opinion on
several of the horses he had in ranches and on the next quarter mile
race to be held in the United States and the 10 specimens that Farias
had to train.

Through this and other affidavits as U.S. prosecutors are trying to
have a broader view of how the money derived from drug trafficking
was washed in the formal economy of the U.S., using as a base the
horse racing popular in South Texas. Along with Adan Farias are also
facing trial José Treviño Morales, brother of Z-40, and Francisco
Colorado Cessa, a Mexican businessman who worked as a contractor for
a parastatal.

Trevino horse US income

While moving the money laundering trial against several suspected
members of Los Zetas, federal authorities decided to look into one of
the confiscated quarter horses belonged to Miguel Angel Trevino
Morales. Mr. Pilot, who in 2012 Trevino Morales is made millionaire
after winning the All American Futurity, is being used as a stallion
on a ranch in Texas with premiums of three thousand dollars for the
frozen sperm sample. Almost 400 horses were seized in June 2012 as
part of a joint operation to dismantle a network of money laundering
of Los Zetas. Most of these were seized at a ranch in Oklahoma.


Detienen a un hombre con 27 kilos de droga y tres armas
Detalles Publicado el Miercoles 24 de Abril de 2013, Escrito por
Redacción / El Diario


Derivado de una denuncia ciudadana un hombre fue asegurado por
posesión de diferentes tipos de drogas las que dieron un peso
aproximado de 27 kilogramos y 3 armas de fuego durante una operación
coordinada entre la Policía Estatal de Seguridad Pública (PESP) y el
Ejército Mexicano.

Francisco Lorenzo Mungaray Guerrero de 51 años de edad, tripulaba un
vehículo cuando fue interceptado por los policías estatales y
personal militar.
Los hechos se registraron el lunes sobre la calle Arcoíris del
Residencial La Ventana, en el lugar aseguraron un vehículo tipo sedan
marca Ford.
Cuando el conductor salió del automóvil, dentro del vehículo vieron
un arma de fuego, tipo pistola calibre .40 con un cargador abastecido
y 15 cartuchos útiles, misma que estaba a un costado del asiento.
Dentro de la guantera encontraron dos armas de fuego tipo pistolas,
calibre .38 Súper
Durante la revisión decomisaron 9 bolsas de plástico sumando un peso
aproximado a 1.8 kilos, cada uno de éstas tenía polvo color blanco
con sustancia similar a la cocaína.
Posteriormente en la cajuela del vehículo localizaron 11 botellas de
vidrio y 1 de plástico, cada una de éstas con residuos de líquidos al
parecer de diferentes químicos.
Además, encontraron ocultos bajo la alfombra 17 paquetes con un peso
aproximadamente al 1.5 kilos cada uno, los cuales contenían hierba
verde y seca con características físicas a la mariguana decomisando
un total de 27 kilos de droga.

Z-40 llevó a entrenador de EU a tour por sus ranchos
Detalles Publicado el Jueves 25 de Abril de 2013, Escrito por SUN/El

No sabía de quién se trataba hasta que regresó a su casa en
California y buscó su nombre en internet. Así culminó su encuentro
con Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, hoy líder máximo del cártel de Los

La reunión se dio un día del verano de 2010. Adan Farías, un
entrenador de caballos cuarto de milla originario de Los Alamitos,
California, dijo en una corte de Texas que el hombre que lo contrató
en los Estados Unidos para adiestrar a los equinos lo llevó a conocer
al jefe en México en julio de ese año. Fueron varias horas las que
estuvieron juntos, recorriendo varios ranchos en el norte de México y
hablando sobre caballos y carreras del otro lado de la frontera,
según publica en su reporte el diario My San Antonio News.

Cuando Farías regresó a su hogar buscó en Google información sobre el
hombre que se presentó a sí mismo en español como Z-40, y hasta
entonces se dio cuenta que había pasado unas horas con uno de los
hombres más buscados por las autoridades de México y Estados Unidos,
y líder del violento cártel de Los Zetas. El testimonio de Adan
Farías forma parte del juicio que se lleva en contra de unas 20
personas en una corte de Austin, Texas, por participar en una
conspiración para lavar dinero procedente del narcotráfico en la
industria de las carreras de caballos en el sur de Estados Unidos. A
Farías le llamó la atención que durante su recorrido a lo largo de
tres ranchos cercanos a la frontera entre México y EU, siempre
estuvieron acompañados por hombres armados vestidos de civil. En el
trayecto, dice, vieron aproximadamente 100 caballos. Eran ranchos muy
bonitos y los caballos estaban muy bien cuidados, dijo ante la corte.
Según su testimonio en la audiencia, que reproduce el portal My San
Antonio, Miguel Ángel Treviño le pidió a Farías su opinión sobre
varios de los caballos que tenía en los ranchos, así como sobre las
próximas carreras de cuarto de milla a celebrarse en los Estados
Unidos y los 10 ejemplares que Farías debía entrenar.

A través de esta y otras declaraciones juradas es como los fiscales
estadounidenses intentar tener una visión más amplia de cómo el
dinero derivado del tráfico de drogas era lavado en la economía
formal de EU, usando como base las populares carreras de caballos del
sur de Texas.Junto a Adan Farías también se encuentran enfrentando un
juicio José Treviño Morales, hermano del Z-40, y Francisco Colorado
Cessa, un empresario mexicano que se desempeñaba como contratista de
una paraestatal.

EU renta caballo de Treviño

Mientras avanza el juicio por lavado de dinero contra varios
presuntos miembros de Los Zetas, las autoridades federales decidieron
echar mano de uno de los ejemplares cuarto de milla decomisados y que
pertenecían a Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales. Mr. Piloto, con quien en
2012 los Treviño Morales se hicieron de una bolsa millonaria tras
ganar el All American Futurity, está siendo utilizado como semental
en un rancho de Texas con cuotas de tres mil dólares por la muestra
de su esperma congelado. Casi 400 caballos fueron decomisados en
junio de 2012 como parte de una operación conjunta para desarticular
una red de lavado de dinero de Los Zetas. La mayoría de estos
ejemplares fueron incautados en un rancho de Oklahoma.




Note:  from AZ Border Sources  As usual, compare these to media reports of apprehensions, if any.  

04/22/13 - 0000  thru  04/22/13 - 2400 - 29 groups - 228  Bodies - Lots of Activity
11 Minutes of condensed audio  (click on link below) 

Groups of: 3P,2,4,2,6P,11,5,3,12,21,2,12,2,5,10P,7,20,6,15,20,2,1,1B,4,8,15,20,4,3P

(P= "46" Drug Packers, A= Armed individuals, U= UltraLight Sighting, LV= Load Vehicle, B=Bailout. OTM= Other Than Mexican)


04/23/13 - 0000  thru  04/23/13 - 2400 - 30 groups - 234  Bodies -  "Bailout" with weapons - Chinese IAs in trunk of vehicle 
12 Minutes of condensed audio  (click on link below) 

Groups of: 3,25,1,4,1,2,15,13,2,7,30,6,1,1,2,1,10,1,6P,15P,12,55,1,2,2,1B-A,4,7,2

(P= "46" Drug Packers, A= Armed individuals, U= UltraLight Sighting, LV= Load Vehicle, B=Bailout. OTM= Other Than Mexican)

Significant Events in audio:
--  There were many groups being worked during this 24 hour period where the size of the group could not be determined.
-- 1700 - "Bailout" - State Route 86, west of Three Points - 2 individuals, 1 armed - BP in pursuit
-- 1700 - Report of vehicle leaving Pilot truck stop on Interstate 19 north of Nogales, AZ with 2 Chinese IAs in the trunk 

04/24/13 - 0000  thru  04/24/13 - 2400 - 33 groups - 156 Bodies -  (2) Fires, (2) "911" rescues,  (1) "Bailout" with weapons involved  
15 Minutes of condensed audio  (click on link below) 

Groups of: 31,4,8+.8,5,2,7,1,3,3,1,1,6,6,1,18,7,10,5,5,6,1,10,2,2,2,1LV-B-A,2 1LV,12,3,2

(P= "46" Drug Packers, A= Armed individuals, U= UltraLight Sighting, LV= Load Vehicle, B=Bailout. OTM= Other Than Mexican)

Significant Events in audio:
--  There were MANY groups being worked during this 24 hour period where the size of the group could not be determined.
-- 1700 - "911"  Rescue of 2 IAs  in distress near Queens Well, NW of Three Points on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation 
-- 1700 - 2 active fires spotted by BP agent - location and disposition unknown
-- 1900 - "Bailout" - Route 86, MP 144,  west of Three Points - 2 individuals, 1 armed - BP in pursuit
-- 2000 - "911" Rescue of lost female IA 


04/25/13 - 0000  thru  04/25/13 - 2400 -  23 groups - 133 Bodies -  High winds hampered air and ground enforcement activities   
8 Minutes of condensed audio  (click on link below) 

Groups of: 11,2,3P,1,1,11,5,5,10,2,10,14,6,11,2,3,2,7,11,6,6,2,2

(P= "46" Drug Packers, A= Armed individuals, U= UltraLight Sighting, LV= Load Vehicle, B=Bailout. OTM= Other Than Mexican)

Significant Events in audio:
--  There were MANY groups being worked during this 24 hour period where the size of the group could not be determined.
--   High winds hampered air and ground enforcement activities.... obliterating tracks of foot sign and limiting "close air support"
--  1800 - "911" Distress call from IA thought to be somewhere in the Baboquivari Mountains - disposition unknown. 

04/26/13 - 0000  thru  04/26/13 - 2400 -   27 groups - 187 Bodies - Another "Instant" US Citizen !
12 Minutes of condensed audio  (click on link below) 

Groups of: 7P,17,2,6,2,3,3,4,5,7,5,2,3,10,3,1,8,44,10P,4P,3,7,12,6,1,7,5
(P= "46" Drug Packers, A= Armed individuals, U= UltraLight Sighting, LV= Load Vehicle, B=Bailout. OTM= Other Than Mexican)

Significant Events in audio:
--  There were MANY groups being worked during this 24 hour period where the size of the group could not be determined.
--   Pregnant female "OTM" (other than Mexican) taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson. Border Patrol agent assigned
     to "Hospital Watch". 


Thursday, April 25, 2013



Padilla new chief of Border Patrol's Tucson Sector
8 hours ago • Arizona Daily Star

Manuel Padilla Jr., a native of Southern Arizona, was appointed chief
of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, federal authorities announced

Padilla has more than 26 years with the Border Patrol, including
serving as the Tucson Sector's acting chief since October 2012. He
had become deputy chief in November 2011.

The Tucson Sector has more than 4,500 employees who are responsible
for securing 262 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border, extending from the
New Mexico state line to the Yuma County line.

Padilla replaced Chief Richard A. Barlow, who accepted a position at
Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as chief of Strategic
Planning, Policy and Analysis Division.

Padilla said in a news release that the "Tucson Sector remains
committed to serving the communities" and "our agents are dedicated
to maintaining a safe and secure border environment."

He served in the Army for two years before he began his career with
the Border Patrol in August 1986, serving at the Sierra Blanca Border
Patrol Station in Texas' Big Bend Sector, then known as the Marfa

In August 1990, he became a member of the Border Patrol's Tactical
Unit, eventually teaching police forces tactical procedures in
Bolivia, El Salvador and Guatemala, according to the release.

Before coming to Tucson, Padilla was chief for the New Orleans Sector.

Carmen Duarte


Wednesday, April 24, 2013



Mexican cartel 'queen' pleads guilty in US case
The Associated Press
Posted: 04/24/2013 09:27:55 AM MDT

MIAMI—A Mexican woman known as a drug cartel queen has pleaded guilty
in Miami to charges arising from a major cocaine trafficking case.
Court records show that Sandra Avila Beltran pleaded guilty Tuesday
to being an accessory after the fact in an organization once headed
by Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez. He was her boyfriend at the time.
Espinosa is the former leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. He pleaded
guilty in 2009 to cocaine trafficking charges.
A statement signed by Avila, who was known as the "Queen of the
Pacific," says she provided money to Espinosa for travel and lodging
so he could evade arrest by authorities between 2002 and 2004.
The 52-year-old Avila faces a maximum of 15 years in prison at a July
25 sentencing hearing.

4 teens caught allegedly smuggling $90K of heroin into US
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 12:24 PM MST Updated: Apr 24, 2013 12:27 PM MST
By FOX 10 News - Staff Report

Four teenage girls were caught trying to smuggle heroin
through the Nogales border on Monday.
NOGALES, Ariz. -

Four teenage girls were caught trying to smuggle heroin through the
Nogales border on Monday.

A commercial shuttle was going through the I-19 Border Patrol
checkpoint and was referred for inspection.

Border Patrol agents say a 15-year-old passenger was acting nervously
during questioning and when they got consent to search her bags, they
found bundles of heroin. Agents searched the three other 15 to 17-
year-old passengers and allegedly found bundles of heroin tucked into
the their waistbands.

A total of 7.75 pounds of heroin worth $90,000 was recovered.

The teens were turned over to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

Border Patrol says transnational criminal organizations are going to
extreme lengths, like using teenagers, to bring illegal drugs into
the U.S.



Note: No names or other info given, usually from one of the media
protected groups.

Phoenix police find handcuffed, hooded man in truck
By Associated Press
Originally published: Apr 23, 2013 - 12:33 pm

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police are trying to sort out how and why a man
came to be handcuffed and with a bag over his head in the bed of a
stolen pickup truck.

Police said a resident of a mobile home park reported seeing the man
in the truck bed late Monday night.

The truck's driver bolted from the vehicle when police stopped it as
it was leaving the mobile home park but he was found later in a
nearby shed.
A passenger also was taken into custody as police found several guns
in the truck.

Lt. Greg Berghorst said the 39-year-old handcuffed man said he was
walking when somebody grabbed him and put him in the truck.

Police didn't immediately release the names of the two men taken into


Note: compared with AZMEX ACTIVITY report for same timeframe.

Agents nab 8 suspected smugglers, seize 355 pounds of pot
April 23, 2013 3:09 PM

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents from the Wellton Station arrested
eight suspected drug smugglers and seized about 355 pounds of
marijuana Monday. Border Patrol officials estimated the pot was worth
about $177,500.

The agents were patrolling south of the Interstate 8 Palomas exit
when they discovered footprints and tracked them for about a half
mile until they came upon a group of backpackers hiding in heavy brush.

The group, six Mexican citizens and two Honduran citizens, had
crossed through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge as they
made their way north, allegedly hauling the marijuana with them as
they walked.

The alleged smugglers and the marijuana were turned over to the
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Read more: http://www.yumasun.com/articles/agents-87024-smugglers-




Judge skeptical of dismissing Fast & Furious suit
Updated: Apr 24, 2013 11:48 AM MST

A federal judge seems skeptical of a Justice Department effort
to dismiss a congressional lawsuit seeking records related to a
bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge seems skeptical of a Justice
Department effort to dismiss a congressional lawsuit seeking records
related to a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sharply challenged the department's lawyer
during a hearing Wednesday in the Operation Fast and Furious case.

The government lawyer argued that federal courts have no jurisdiction
in the dispute involving documents, and that the battle should be
settled by the checks and balances between the legislative and
executive branches.

But the judge, an appointee of President Barack Obama, said, "I'm a
check and balance."

Fast and Furious was a flawed gun-tracking investigation focused on
Phoenix-area gun shops by the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013



Note: a closer look at some of the people involved and how it goes on.
From a sympathetic media outlet


Inside an Arizona Drug Smuggling Gang
By Weston Phippen Thursday, Mar 7 2013

His boss had just bought the white sedan he drove; it still was
fitted with Mexican license plates. He had no insurance, and his only
identification was a fake Mexican driver's license — now tucked
against $140,000 in cash in a black backpack resting on the floor of
the vehicle's passenger side.

"Oh, shit!" Rodrigo says in Spanish into the phone, speaking to his
boss in Mexico. "I'm getting pulled over. I got to call you back."

Maybe the officers had been tailing him. Maybe, he thought, they knew
what he was up to. He steered to the side of the road and placed the
phone on the driver's side armrest.

Rodrigo is 26 years old and six feet tall. He was born in Mexico but
grew up and graduated high school in Phoenix. His Mexican features
are his dark hair and eyes. He has light skin, bordering on pale, and
often wears Ray-Ban-style glasses with clear lenses. He can switch
effortlessly between Spanish and English. His favorite band is Green
Day. Much of life is a punchline to him. When he walks into a room,
regardless whether he knows anybody, he banters with everyone and
quickly becomes, if not the center of attention, a source of comic

See the slideshow that accompanies this story.
The money in the backpack resulted from 280 pounds of marijuana he
and his uncle had just sold. The cash would return to Mexico, with
the weed heading over highways to the east, where it sells for about
$400 more per pound each 1,000 miles it travels.

One of the officers asks for his identification, and Rodrigo removes
the ID from the front pocket of his backpack. While that officer
returns to the squad car with the fake license (technically, it's
real but acquired through illegitimate means) the other questions
Rodrigo — who remembers the incident like this.:

"So, what do you do?" the officer asks.
"Oh, I'm just working at my uncle's restaurant."
"What kind of food is it?"
"Oh, it's Mexican and whatever."
"Is it any good?"
"It's the best, man. You should try it."
"So, what's in the bag?" the officer says. "You don't have any knives
or guns in there, do you?"
Rodrigo thinks, "Man, I'm fucked! What am I going to say? I'm
gambling? My ass is going straight to jail!"

He tries to remember his rights and whether they can legally search
the bag. Even after eight years in the smuggling business, he's never
thought about what he would do or say if he got caught, never built a
backstory or practiced composing himself and lying to a cop. He'd
always thought he'd just jump out of the car and haul ass.

"Oh, just some dirty clothes," he responds. "I was going to go do
some laundry over at my sister's."

Then the phone in the armrest rings, and rings.
"You wanna pick up your phone?" the officer asks. "It's ringing."

The cop leans in toward the window and stares at the caller ID. "You
have a friend named Paloma. Doesn't that mean dove?"
"Yeah. That's a nickname."
"Hold on, let me talk to him."

The officer takes the phone and asks in gringo Spanish, "Co-mo say ya-
ma tu amigo? De K calor es su car-O?"

After the officer interrogates Paloma, he hands back the phone and
the other cop returns.
"Where'd you get this license?" this officer asks.
"Oh, it's because I live over there [in Mexico]."

"How come you look white and speak English?"
"Oh, I come and go a lot. I live over there a lot. I'm just visiting."

The cops wrap up the questioning and let Rodrigo leave.

Afterward, Paloma, a calm 31-year-old Mexican who coordinates the
delivery of more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana to Phoenix each
month, calls back, and the two laugh about the officers: "Stupid
gringo policía."

Looking back on the moment, Rodrigo says, "I think [they] looked at
my appearance and probably thought I didn't look too foul or
something. If I would've looked like some foul-ass beaner, they
probably would've been digging around and shit . . . My appearance
helps a lot."

Rodrigo picks up loads and coordinates deliveries. He's a go-fer for
a gang that smuggles weed from Mexico to Phoenix. Rodrigo might spend
a day scouring auto-parts stores in the Valley, looking for shocks
for his boss' cars in Mexico, or tracking down binoculars at outdoor
stores — whatever Paloma needs. When work arrives, he meets drivers
in grocery or mall parking lots and switches cars to drive the
hundreds of pounds of weed in trunks to the stash house, which is
also home.

Rodrigo, his 19-year-old cousin Sal, his uncle Sergio, and four other
family members live in the small house on Phoenix's west side. From
the house's garage, the pot moves to wholesalers. "Most of them are
black or Jamaican," Rodrigo says. Each year, Palmona's group
distributes about 10,000 pounds of marijuana to different people who
drive it to places like Michigan, Maryland, Kentucky, and Chicago,
where it's divided into pounds, half-pounds, ounces.

Indeed, says a 2011 U.S. Department of Justice report, "Most of the
marijuana and heroin that transits the Mexico-Arizona border area is
destined for [out-of-state] domestic markets, including those in East
Coast states."

Rodrigo's group is paid for bulk loads they pass on to the
wholesalers. If it's someone they've worked with for years, they
financially front the load. If not, they receive payment first.
Rodrigo's crew takes its cut and sends the rest back to Paloma in
Mexico. He takes his cut and uses the rest to buy the merchandise
that keeps the $500,000-a-year business rolling.

No one in the group carries a gun; none has teardrop tattoos or
dresses in shirts that reach their knees. They're a small operation,
a tiny part of marijuana smuggling from Mexico, which Los Angeles'
RAND Drug Policy Research Center says is a $2 billion-a-year business

Rodrigo, Sergio, and Paloma were born or grew up in a small Mexican
city in the state of Chihuahua a few hours south of the border. It's
a family business. Paloma isn't related; he's a family friend, but
he's the pápi of the group. About 10 others work in the operation:
backpackers, lookouts, those who drive packed weed from southern
Arizona after it has crossed the border.

Rodrigo works directly with Sal and Sergio. The men who pick up and
drive the weed and deliver it to the stash house might be friends of
theirs or friends of people they've worked with, but they typically
won't know who they're dealing with until a shipment arrives.

Paloma manages the operation. In a business where asking questions is
grounds for dismissal, Paloma oversees the smuggling process to
Phoenix, passing along appropriate phone numbers and making certain
that each cog in the operation does what it's paid to do, when it's
paid to do it.

The government calls operations like Paloma's "drug trafficking
organizations," the tone of which sounds as if such endeavors are
formalized from a cartel boss on down. But the groups that Paloma
works with are more like floating subcontractors connected only by

Forty percent to 67 percent of all weed in the United States comes
from Mexico, according to the RAND Center. It's typically called
"commercial grade," contains stems and seeds, and — when it comes to
Arizona — is supplied by the Sinaloa Cartel.

"Sinaloa . . . exploits well-established routes in Arizona and [has]
perfected smuggling methods to supply drug-distribution networks
located throughout the United States," states the federal High
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, a coalition of federal and
local agencies.

Asked whether she knows how many groups like Paloma's operate in
Arizona, Ramona Sanchez, special agent with the Drug Enforcement
Agency in Phoenix, says, "Not really. We've made several operational
take-downs. We've taken down several people with connections to the
Sinaloa Cartel."

Sanchez defines a "connection" to the Sinaloa Cartel as someone
merchandising dope bought from the cartel. And since almost all the
pot in Arizona comes from the Sinaloans, does Paloma's group work for
the cartel? Does a dealer who's slinging sacks on the corner?

Sanchez and many government reports acknowledge that subcontractor
groups such as Paloma's have no direct link to the cartel, but this
doesn't stop certain law enforcement from calling every Mexican
carrying a load of weed through the desert a cartel member.

Aside from buying about $250,000 worth of weed each month from the
cartel, Rodrigo and Paloma say they have no other connection to it.
Paloma says his group seldom has resorted to violence, but he admits
that it he is part of an industry where murder, torture, and
kidnapping are tools.

In their minds, Paloma and his gang move a product demanded by U.S.
customers — a product that supports Sergio's three children and
Paloma's family and subsidizes his clothing shop. As for Rodrigo, if
he can manage to start saving some of his earnings, he wants to
someday open a restaurant in Phoenix — or maybe a strip club.

Rodrigo wakes at 9:30 on a warm winter morning. "Fuckin' Paloma calls
me at this time every day just to bug the shit out of me."

Paloma keeps tabs on Rodrigo, gives him hell when he's hung over on a
weekday, and disapproves when he learns that Rodrigo has snorted
cocaine. Rodrigo reveres Paloma, but he thinks he's a prig. Paloma
says he's looking out for Rodrigo.

Later that day, Rodrigo wires $800 to Mexico from a pawn shop, which
he prefers over Western Union because it saves him money. After that,
he pays Paloma's phone bill at a Boost Mobile store and returns home
to waits for his uncle.

The white stucco house with a Spanish tile roof has three bedrooms.
It's littered with Barbie dolls for Sergio's daughter. There's a
crack in the ceiling of the living room, where they watch Spanish
novelas on a stolen flat-screen TV.

Sergio's wife keeps the white refrigerator stocked; atop it sits a
Cookie Monster cookie jar. At Christmas, Sergio paid a neighborhood
tweaker $10 to hang lights on the house. In the garage, there are two
white freezer boxes. One is filled with Red Baron pizza, and the
other contains an old 20-pound brick of marijuana.

The garage is crucial for any smuggling operation: Car pulls in with
dope, garage door closes, dope is unloaded, car leaves. Another car
pulls in later, dope is loaded, and away it goes.

The smuggling business involves lots of waiting around — thank God
for PlayStation. But when a load arrives, Rodrigo and his uncle and
cousin can move a few hundred pounds of marijuana in and out of the
garage in no more than a couple of days.

It has been nearly a month since the last load arrived. It's time for
a little side work.

Sergio, a thick 37-year-old with a mustache and short black hair,
piles into his silver truck with Rodrigo. His daughter's empty baby
stroller is in the back. Sergio barely says a word unless it's on the
phone. He talks with people who want weed but can't find it, who have
it but can't get rid of it, and friends who want small amounts.

A squawking phone is something Sergio, Paloma, and Rodrigo have in

As Sergio and Rodrigo near Seventh Street and McDowell Road, Sergio
arranges a meeting, parks at a Sonic restaurant next to an outdoor
intercom, and orders cherry limeades.

A black Lincoln Navigator parks at the intercom to the right. Sergio
knows a man with more weed than he can get rid of, so he agrees to
buy a couple of hundred pounds at $535 a pound. The plan is to turn
around and sell it to the guy in the Navigator for about $555.

"You know, it's not even worth it," Rodrigo says of the side deal and
others like it. They might make $20 a pound total from this deal, but
they'll have to haggle with the sellers and buyers. And it's a lot

"Yeah, but we got to do something," Sergio says.

When weed comes in from Paloma, there's far more money at stake.
Sergio makes about $10 a pound; Rodrigo's cut would be about $7 a
pound. Rodrigo alone generally makes about $2,000 for 300 pounds.

A Hispanic man wearing a black shirt and jean shorts leans over the
passenger's-side window of Sergio's truck, looking nervously about.
In plain sight, Sergio passes him a mason jar with a sample nugget
the size of a plum, eliciting a jittery smile from Navigator man. It
used to be that when they came to meetings like this, they'd break
off a piece of a 20-pound bale and give it to the guy. Now, Sergio
and Rodrigo won't even let the Navigator guy take the nug out of the
mason jar. He has to unscrew the lid and sniff it.

"Fuck, man, we're in a recession," Rodrigo says sarcastically.

Rodrigo met Paloma through Sergio, whose family has been involved in
the drug trade in Chihuahua for a long time. Rodrigo grew up in
several homes in Mexico and around Phoenix. When Rodrigo was young,
his father and mother split up, and Sergio — his uncle through
marriage — had a hand in "kidnapping" Rodrigo from his father so his
mother could have him. After that, Sergio took Rodrigo and his mother
into his house on the west side.

When your family owns a bakery, you become a baker. Rodrigo's new
family ran drugs.

During high school in Central Phoenix, Rodrigo and his friends sold
shake they found in used plastic that had wrapped marijuana bales.
Sometimes they pilfered leftover nugs and sold them. Paloma hung
around Sergio's house to check on things, and sometimes he would pick
up Rodrigo from school. Rodrigo shuttled money for a bit: He'd drive
from Phoenix to a house in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with cash stuffed
in propane tanks. "One time I took half a million," he brags. Paloma
slowly gave Rodrigo more responsibility, and their relationship grew.
Now they talk a lot; when Rodrigo was in jail for an old bench
warrant last year, Paloma bailed him out.

Sergio and the buyer in the Navigator set a 7 a.m. meeting to pick up
the weed, and he and Rodrigo drive away. With his left hand on the
wheel, Sergio reaches into his khaki cargo pants pocket, pinches a
bit of coke between his thumb and index finger and takes a succession
of loud sniffs.

"Today is Friday, man," Rodrigo says, meaning it's still the work week.

"Whatever," Sergio replies. "Every day is the same: Sun goes up and
fucking sets in same place."

"Say that to the guys who wake up at 8 everyday and get off at 5,"
Rodrigo says.

"To me, every day is Saturday," Sergio responds, as he drives toward
the stash house also known as home.

A few days later, 400 pounds of pot on its way to their house is
caught by authorities 20 minutes north of Tombstone. But, soon after,
200 pounds makes it to their garage, having started its U.S. journey
at the border in Cochise County.

The border fence is 12 feet tall a few miles east of Naco in Cochise
County: One portion has rounded poles the thickness of fence posts
and gaps of equal size. The other is wire mesh. The poles have shiny
slick marks from the shoes of Mexicans who have slid down. And for
those climbing the mesh fence, "All they had to do was use
screwdrivers [to go up and over]," says Detective Daniel Romero of
the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. "It was no issue."

Romero has worked in law enforcement for 24 years, 15 of it in this
border county. He's a member of his office's eight-deputy Narcotics
Enforcement Team, some of whom work with U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement or the DEA. Romero's ancestors hail from Central Mexico,
and the frustration of trying to defend the United States from
contraband doesn't invade his soft, matter-of-fact voice.

As a narcotics agent, Romero mostly interdicts marijuana loads. In
2010, marijuana seized along the southwestern U.S. border accounted
for 96 percent of what was confiscated nationwide. Half of it was
nabbed in Arizona. Smugglers come at all hours: Two days earlier,
Romero busted a car carrying 200 pounds of pot at 1:30 in the
afternoon. Broad daylight. A day before that, a golfer playing the
fifth hole at the Turquoise Valley Golf course in Naco reported a
troupe of packers as they scudded through a wash — just a chip shot

"We'd like to tell you that there are certain times of the day when
they do it most," Romero says. "But it's all the time. They go when
they're ready."

Most of the smuggling action is near milepost six, which authorities
call "The Seam," halfway between Naco and Douglas. Romero drives his
Silver Chevy truck, with an M4 carbine and a shotgun where the drink
holders should be, along a dirt road beside the border fence. Up
close, the desert here is anything but level; it's streaked with
washes and has dense grass several feet high, boulders, and creosote
bushes so thick that if a smuggler wanted to hide from pursuing
authorities, he'd simply need to bend over and scurry off like a
jackrabbit to vanish.

"It's hard to find them if they get into this stuff," Romero says.

As Romero stands atop a hill, he focuses the dial of his $1,200
Vortex Razor binoculars at a faded, white tarp flapping in the wind.
On the Mexican side of the border is a lookout bivouac that's manned,
Romero thinks, 24 hours a day. A smuggler might be up there right
now, he says, staring back at him while communicating to a boss in a
nearby town.

Paloma's home is not far from the bald hill where Romero stands. In
the Mexican town where he lives, Paloma shares a sparse, tile-
floored, two-bedroom house with a friend. He keeps almost an entire
butchered cow, including head, in his freezer. He has a propane space
heater and spends hours perusing Phoenix Craigslist posts, searching
for random items that Rodrigo will have to pick up.

Paloma has dark skin and the build of an athlete gone a bit doughy.
He wears jeans and shirts with collars and the brand names stamped on
the chest. His haircut could be described as faux-hawk. He can be
taciturn and stern. But, among friends, this gives way to a smile and
a cackling laugh.

Although his SUV is conspicuously shiny compared to the many beaters
in town, Paloma tries to keep a low profile. Years ago, he got into
an argument at a bar, and his adversary smashed a beer bottle against
Paloma's face. He decided to walk away. You never know who might have
connections. If he'd wanted revenge, Paloma says, he knows a few
people who could have kidnapped or killed his assailant.

Working as a smuggler means he must live away from his wife and
daughter, whom he shows off in cell-phone pictures. Paloma hates the
town he lives in. He's building his family a house in his hometown,
where he visits them nearly every week. During work, he lives like a
bachelor: bland Chinese food, sweet bread from a gas station, hot
dogs from street vendors.

A walkie-talkie in his kitchen sounds off with the voices of
associates. Either Paloma or his roommate carries the radio to lunch,
dinner, and on trips around town, holding it closely to their ears at
times. With the radio and his phone, Paloma tracks each leg of his
dope's trip north, starting with the backpackers who slip across the
fence and attempt to evade the Border Patrol (or whatever agency is
on duty), each packer carrying two or three 20-pound bales of weed.

Nearly all drug seizures outside points of entry in Arizona and New
Mexico involve marijuana. And more than 90 percent of the seizures
are from smugglers on foot. Backpackers generally work in teams. Each
squad has a leader, who may carry a few bales himself, getting paid
about $1,000 for each operation. Authorities call these men FTOs, or
field-training officers. Typically, an FTO has worked in the
smuggling business for many years and knows about hideouts, Border
Patrol shift changes, and how to get by thermal-vision cameras that
enable agents to see about eight miles.

Once the backpackers cross the border fence, the lead packer
communicates on a disposable phone to men posted on hills who relay
warnings, locations of authorities, and all-clear signals. In some
spots, it's four miles of stop-and-gos from the border fence to State
Route 80, a favored smuggling highway that connects Douglas to Bisbee.

Paloma sends his lead backpacker the phone number of a driver who
will pick up the load in the area. The driver will pull off to the
side of the highway or down a dirt path that connects ranches and
homes in the area. The packers hide in bushes. With the deft speed of
a racetrack pit crew, they can load 200 pounds of marijuana into the
trunk of a compact car and send it on its way in about 30 seconds.

"[Authorities] do what they can, but because of the terrain, they
can't stop the [vast majority of] it," Romero says. "And that's a
fact. You'd have to constantly have thousands of guys working this
area all the time."

The driver might backtrack to Douglas and let the weed lie low at a
stash house; he might circuitously make his way northwest on smaller
highways. Or, sometimes, the driver will head through Bisbee on State
Route 80 and past a Border Patrol checkpoint near Tombstone. Although
this route is through a checkpoint, it's the quickest path to the
carotid artery of smuggling, Interstate 10.

The Border Patrol caught the 400 pounds of pot headed to Rodrigo and
his uncle's house along SR 80 just days after he and Sergio met with
Navigator man for the side deal. Sensing that he was about to get
caught, the driver stopped his Dodge Durango north of the Tombstone
checkpoint and vanished into the night, leaving the weed behind.

It was on SR 80, as well — although along the eastbound portion that
runs through New Mexico — that the Border Patrol busted two of
Rodrigo's close friends in 2005. One is Sergio's nephew, the other
Rodrigo's high school pal. Rodrigo's pal hadn't been out of school
more than a year.

The Border Patrol pulled over the two to perform an "immigration
check," and a K-9 dog went crazy. This led to 260 pounds in the trunk
of the sedan. Originally, the pair only had been supposed to scout
the road ahead and watch for authorities, for which they each were to
be paid $800, plus expenses. But when they pulled up to the rally
point, the packers stuffed the trunk and told them they'd have to
drive on with the product.

Rodrigo can't help feeling responsible, blaming himself for getting
his friend involved. His buddy was sentenced to 30 months in prison
and four years' supervised release.

Authorities aren't the only ones Rodrigo and the team worry will take
their product. In recent years, rip crews, or bajadores, increasingly
have preyed upon smuggling units. Rodrigo speaks of these rip crews
as subhuman parasites. It's one thing if the authorities intercept a
load, because this is written off as a cost of doing business. But if
a rip crew steals a load, it's the carrier's responsibility, and he
must foot the bill.

This happened to Rodrigo when someone he'd worked with and trusted
for years ran off with 200 pounds of product. Rodrigo still owes
$70,000 for this misfortune and pays off the debt monthly to Paloma.

There's a code of ethics among most of the criminals who smuggle
marijuana into the United States — which is why, when thieves stole
from his gang, the normally cool-headed Paloma vowed, "We're going to
kidnap those motherfuckers!"

Two men they'd worked with in the past had recommended a man to
shuttle a load. As soon as the driver picked it up and drove away, he
stopped answering Paloma's phone calls. Thinking it might be a scam
perpetrated by the two men who'd recommended the driver, Rodrigo
arranged a meeting between himself, Paloma, and the pair to chat on
neutral ground: Chandler Fashion Center. They talked in the food
court, and as the four walked outside toward the parking lot, two
guys hired by Paloma pressed guns against the suspected thieves' backs.

Rodrigo drove as the duo was ushered to the Red Roof Inn near 51st
Avenue and McDowell, through the motel's double doors, past the
complimentary coffee stand, and down a carpeted hallway into a room.

"We fed them," Rodrigo says. "We were decent."

Paloma and Rodrigo left, and the hired men held the thieves. The
kidnappers were local hoods, not professionals. Threatening violence,
they insisted that the men were responsible for the lost load and
that it better be returned. It never was, but Paloma decided to let
the pair survive uninjured, figuring that if they were the thieves,
they'd never have the nerve to cross his people again.

"I didn't feel that bad about it because we didn't hurt those guys,"
Rodrigo says. "It was just something we had to do. It was just part
of the business."

Rodrigo is sipping on soup at a family member's apartment on
Phoenix's east side when his phone rings. For weeks, he's been
waiting for a load, and one has arrived.

The night sky is clear and the moon half-full when Rodrigo pulls up
in the quiet neighborhood where he and his family live. His uncle,
cousin, and the men who drove the weed from down south shuffle on the
driveway beneath the switched-off Christmas lights. The carrier car,
loaded with 200 pounds of marijuana, is in the garage.

Normally, Rodrigo would meet the person who brought the weed to
Phoenix in a parking lot, take the man's keys, drive the bales
himself to Sergio's garage, unload it, and write down the weight of
each brick, to the hundredth of a pound, in his notebook. But Rodrigo
and his uncle have worked with these men for a long time.

The dope eventually is driven to a stash house in Scottsdale operated
by men who move loads east.

The next morning, Rodrigo and his cousin, Sal, sit at the kitchen
table and divvy up the $100,000 they were paid for the drugs. Each
takes his cut, and then they bundle the remaining cash in Glad
ClingWrap into $5,000 stacks — each marked with a "5" — to be driven
to Paloma in Mexico.

Rodrigo doesn't know how long he and the others can last in the
smuggling trade.

For Paloma, there's a reduced threat of getting gunned down on the
streets of one of his towns because violence has calmed in northern
Mexico — maybe, his gang believes, because the Sinaloa Cartel has
reasserted itself as the feared, dominant force there. It pays to be
doing business with the jefes in control.

Rodrigo wonders what he'll do after this phase of his life ends. He
worked for a while in a restaurant, learning the ropes, in the hope
that his dream of owning one might someday be realized.

For now, when he meets a girl and she asks what does for a living, he
says, "I work with money." The well-spoken Rodrigo sometimes goes on
that he works in a bank, because, he says with a sigh, no decent girl
wants to date a drug dealer.