Thursday, February 27, 2014



Homeland Security awards contract for border towers
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 27, 2014 - 3:59 pm

WASHINGTON -- The Homeland Security Department has awarded a $145 million contract for a series of border security towers to be built along the Mexican border in Arizona.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel says the contact was given to EFW Inc., a government contractor from Fort Worth, Texas.

Friel says the integrated fixed towers will detect, track, identify and classify suspicious activity along the Arizona border. The towers will start going up on the border later this year. No other details about the program were released.

Homeland Security has been searching for several years for a combination of technology and manpower to secure the 2,000-mile long border with Mexico. Previously a so-called virtual fence was scrapped after the technology didn't work the way the government anticipated.


Douglas CBP officers seize $113,000 in pot
Officials at the Douglas Port of Entry seized a combined 227 pounds of marijuana, worth in excess of $113,000 Feb. 15 resulting in the arrest of two individuals.
Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:07 am
Douglas Dispatch
by Trisha Maldonado

Two Mexican nationals were arrested in separate incidents Feb. 15 for attempting to smuggle a combined 227 pounds of marijuana, worth in excess of $113,000, through the Douglas Port of Entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers selected a Chevrolet sedan for a secondary inspection, driven by a 24-year-old woman from Sinaloa, Mexico, and found nearly 112 pounds of marijuana stashed throughout the vehicle.
Later that evening, officers referred a 59-year-old man from Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico for further inspection of his pickup truck and found almost 115 pounds of marijuana concealed in the truck's rear cargo area.
Both individuals, who are not being identified, were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. The marijuana and vehicles were seized.


CBP arrests drug trafficking suspect, 4 others
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:30 pm
From staff reports

Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Port of San Luis have arrested a Somerton man wanted on drug trafficking charges and four suspected drug smugglers during three separate incidents.
During the first incident, a 49-year-old Mexican woman attempting to drive a Hyundai sedan into the United States was referred to the secondary inspection area. A working dog indicated the possible presence of contraband in the vehicle and officers reportedly found 25 pounds of methamphetamine worth about $392,150.
The drugs and vehicle were seized. The woman and two sons accompanying her, ages 18 and 19, were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI).
During the second incident, officers referred 45-year-old Jesus Romero-Serrano for additional questioning when he attempted to enter the country. During a routine records check, officers learned Romero was wanted for a probation violation in relation to trafficking illegal drugs. After verifying the active warrant, Romero was arrested and turned over to the San Luis Police Department.
During the third incident, a 14-year-old teen was arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than one-half pound of meth -- reportedly strapped tho his thigh -- into the U.S. The meth was seized and the teen, whose identity has not been released to the public because he is a minor, was referred to ICE-HSI.


Note: Some of the local families said to date back to the 1740's, long before becoming a part of the U.S., in 1853. It is in the middle of a major smuggling route.

Updated Feb 26, 2014 - 6:45 pm
Arivaca residents are monitoring border checkpoint
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 26, 2014 - 6:38 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Some residents of the southern Arizona town of Arivaca are monitoring one checkpoint to see how many arrests and drug seizures the U.S. Border Patrol actually makes.
It's part of a fight to remove longstanding Border Patrol checkpoints on the roads leading into the town 60 miles southwest of Tucson.

Arivaca residents say they are regularly subjected to delays, searches, harassment and racial profiling at the checkpoints.

Six residents monitored the checkpoint Wednesday on Arivaca Road, 25 miles north of the Mexico border.

A Border Patrol spokesman says the agency won't release data for individual checkpoints.
Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Manuel Padilla rejected a petition last month from Arivaca residents and businesses calling for removal of the checkpoints.




1. Johnson promises reform soon for border agent use of force
By Zach Rausnitz

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stressed the need to reform the Border Patrol's use-of-force policies during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing Feb. 26.

Johnson said he wanted to personally review recent cases where Border Patrol agents used force, "to ensure that we're getting this right."

"If law enforcement – and you see this also in the military context – is viewed with suspicion, is not credible, it undermines the entire mission," he said. Johnson served as the Defense Department's genenral counsel earlier in the Obama administration.

Customs and Border Protection began a comprehensive internal review of use-of-force policies in 2012. Agents have killed more than a dozen people since 2010.

The revised policy will be made public "any day now," Johnson said.

His appearance before the committee was his first since he became secretary in December. Members of the committee greeted him with questions that paralleled the wide range of issues he is responsible, asking about Hurricane Sandy relief funds, threats from Syria, immigration reform, the arrest of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán in Mexico and numerous local issues that matter in their districts.

Johnson noted his concerns about the notoriously low morale that has plagued the Homeland Security Department for years. "I intend to constantly remind our workforce of the critical importance of their homeland security mission and that the department's greatest asset in the pursuit of these missions is our people," he said.

For more:
- go to the hearing webpage (prepared testimonies and webcast available)

Note: some background

Sheriff: Man Killed by US Agent Hurled Large Rocks
SAN DIEGO February 18, 2014 (AP)
By ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press

A man who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent threw large rocks at the agent, including one about the size of a basketball, investigators said Wednesday.

The man, who was suspected of being in the country illegally, began throwing fist-sized rocks at the agent from a hillside perch, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said. The rocks became larger, and one of the bigger pieces hit the agent in the head.

The sheriff's department said the agent fired his gun at least twice Tuesday, fearing he might be killed or incapacitated if he was hit again in the head. The agent tried to revive the man, who died at the scene. The man's identity is unknown.

The agent, whose name was not disclosed, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released.

The episode in a remote, mountainous area about 4 miles east of San Diego's Otay Mesa border crossing comes amid debate about whether the Border Patrol should respond to rock attacks with lethal force.

Under current policy, agents can use deadly force if they have a reasonable belief that their lives or the lives of others are in danger. The Border Patrol has long maintained the rocks can be lethal weapons.

The incident began when two agents on foot separated Tuesday morning to arrest two people who were suspected of crossing the border illegally from Mexico, according to the sheriff's department, which is leading the investigation.

One agent saw a third person — also suspected of entering the country illegally — and ordered him to stop in English and Spanish, then chased him down a ravine and up a hill, where the shooting occurred, the department said in a press release that does not reveal sources of its account.

The Border Patrol said in a statement Tuesday that the agent feared for his life and that two people in the country illegally were arrested. Kelly Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego, said prosecutors decided against charging them with a crime.

The Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit group that led a government-commissioned review, recommended that the Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, prohibit deadly force against rock-throwers and assailants in vehicles, Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher told The Associated Press last year. Customs and Border Protection rejected the proposed curbs, which Fisher called "very restrictive."

Agents were attacked with rocks 339 times in the 2011 fiscal year, more than any other type of assault, according to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. They responded with gunfire 33 times and with less-than-lethal force — a category that includes pepper spray and batons — 118 times.

Rock attacks fell to 185 instances in fiscal 2012, becoming the second-most-common type of assault. Agents fired guns 22 times and responded 42 times with less-than-lethal force.

A spokesman for the union representing Border Patrol agents said Tuesday that he was confident the investigation into the latest killing would find the agent did nothing wrong.

"The easiest way to stop these incidents from happening is to stop attacking Border Patrol agents," said Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council.

Mitra Ebadolahi, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial counties, said there wasn't enough public information to say if the agent was justified but that the episode raised familiar questions about whether the Border Patrol can respond to rock attacks with nonlethal force.

She said she was troubled that there appeared to be no independent witnesses.

"It's imperative for the agency to behave honestly and transparently," Ebadolahi said.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014



Note: Two stories on the same area of Sinaloa. All chapo all the time, but an interesting look at his home town area. Sinaloa becoming more like the state of Guerrero. It pays to be careful when associating with the locals. The profits of the drug trade just add to the mix of old blood feuds.

Capture of 'El Chapo'
Here ' nobody ' knows this man !
In the land that gave birth to 'El Chapo ' Guzman, residents say nothing happens
26/02/2014 =

LA TUNA , Badiraguato._ In this enclave in Sierra of Sinaloa , where starts the Golden Triangle , time stopped , but poverty can be smelled from a distance.

Here , after the capture of Joaquin "El Chapo " Guzman Loera, in the land that 57 years ago he was born , "nothing happens " almost nothing , say villagers .

The scenery is bleak , but of the few homes nestled in the mountains they look immaculate.

To reach this community have to travel six hours from Culiacan .

Now La Tuna is a world known , is no longer that people trying to survive his tragedy and their dead, the " bad reputation " .

Some say it is impossible to access the community if it is not accompanied by any local , otherwise you can lose your life.

When getting there, the people show admirable kindness.

Here, they say, convinced , a man 's word is worth more than all the riches in the world.

"El Chapo" , many claim not to know , but refer to him as "Lord " .

" Well, look , here ' nobody ' knows this man , because he never carried around in La Tuna , and as they say he was accompanied by many people who cared for him , for they had seen cars do not you think ? And then airstrips nearby for landing aircraft , "says a villager quietly , but a few meters from a group of young men observed with assault rifles AK- 47 and AR- 15 plus pistols.

the route

After traveling 36 kilometers from Culiacan to reach the county seat of Badiraguato , it follows a path to find Bacacorama community, there is a inhospitable track goes to reach Huixiopa where people carrying heavy weapons avoid talking openly about Joaquin Guzman Loera .

To be sure that the carrying rifles are not synonymous with drug trafficking , as the youth of this point of the saw "almost born armed ."

"These guys almost born with rifle in hand. That is the way of life here, at the age of 14 they are not thinking about buying a home or clothes, he thinks of buying a ' goat horn ' and a good pistol, and not because of going wrong , but because it is the way of life here . Kill anyone No, it is just the way' as the young guys see it , "says an adult villager .

Over half an hour away is La Tuna , where outsiders are received with a scripture that says, "Keep your mouth and your tongue from evil speaking guile Depart from evil and do good Seek peace and pursue it. . ."

By entering seems to be a ghost town , since there are no classes in the kindergarten and the streets are deserted .

Go ahead and almost opposite the Temple of the Apostolic Church of the Faith in Christ Jesus , housing Dona Consuelo Loera , mother of Joaquin "El Chapo " Guzman Loera , who asked not to be disturbed as she is in poor health, although after it is reported that she is not in the house .

People who were in the temple say they do not want to talk about the arrest of "El Chapo " for they ask God for their salvation , and that of their families who have a hard time since the world learned the news of his arrest in Mazatlan.

" The only thing I can say is that we are praying , asking God for him ( 'El Chapo ' ) to be well, take care of him and give him salvation as ordered for other human being , Mrs. ( Consuelo ) is our sister and we know the pain she is going through right now , "said one of the believers entering the temple .


Note: and then an english language perspective of the same area.

With 'El Chapo' gone, Mexicans brace for drug cartel turf war
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 3:19 pm
Richard Fausset and Tracy Wilkinson | Los Angeles Times

BADIRAGUATO, Mexico — Now that the Mexican government has nabbed the country's most-wanted drug lord, Fernando Antonio Robles is worried about the future.
Robles, 16, is a bricklayer's apprentice in the wild drug-producing municipality where Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman grew up. In this hardscrabble patch of mountainous Sinaloa state, more than 74 percent of the people live in poverty. And yet the tiny county seat is full of fine new, freshly painted houses.
Robles knows that many of them were built by El Chapo's men.
"A lot of people are going to be unemployed," Robles said while loitering with a friend on the handsome town square, "because a lot of people worked for him."
The arrest of Guzman on Saturday in the resort city of Mazatlan, a few hours' drive and a world away from Badiraguato, was greeted with delight by the Mexican government. President Enrique Pena Nieto is hoping to show the world that he can fight a better war on drugs by relying, as he said Monday, more on "the application of technology and information analysis" than the sheer military muscle deployed by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
But many Mexicans are less euphoric about the capture of Guzman. The drug business has long been a main driver of Sinaloa's economy. Here in the heart of El Chapo's worldwide empire, many see him as a sympathetic character whose operation pumped billions of dollars into the state.
"He's helped a lot of people," said Jesus Gonzalez, the caretaker of a famous chapel honoring Jesus Malverde, an unofficial "folk saint" for the poor — and for drug dealers. According to legend, Malverde, who died in the early 20th century, was, like Guzman, a bandit who spread his wealth around. Guzman "has given out a lot of money," said Gonzalez. "He's built many things."
The less controversial, but more widely held, opinion is that Guzman's fall could lead to bloody turf and succession battles while doing little to interrupt the broad market forces that define the worldwide drug market and Mexico's key role in it.
"The triumph of the Pena government in detaining El Chapo shouldn't be underestimated," Leo Zuckermann, a columnist for the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior, wrote Monday. "But the question that should interest us more is whether the arrest will help stop the violence in this country or not. I fear that the answer isn't promising. In fact, the opposite could happen — that is to say, that there will be an increase in homicides, kidnappings and extortion in the short run."
A power struggle may ensue within Guzman's Sinaloa cartel, especially if it is revealed that Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, Guzman's top partner, gave him up — as some Mexicans suspect.
Such an internal war could disrupt the earning power of the men who commission those new houses in Badiraguato — and in the process hurt the economic prospects of workers like Robles.
But the Sinaloa cartel may also prove to be an exception to the rule. The largest of Mexico's drug cartels, it has long been considered one of the most sophisticated and well managed. Some close observers assume that Guzman and other leaders had worked out a succession plan as smooth as Apple's after the death of Steve Jobs. Guzman and Zambada worked together closely and are not likely to unleash their men against each other, these sources say.
The next generation is primed to pick up where El Chapo left off. Guzman's "children are poised to take over for him," said Ismael Bojorquez, editor of Culiacan's Riodoce newspaper who has studied the Sinaloa cartel extensively. Zambada and the other main Sinaloa cartel leader, Juan Jose Esparragoza, known as "El Azul," are firmly in control of their factions and do not need to seize Guzman's portion of the operation, Bojorquez said.
Pena Nieto's team expressed concern about the fragmentation of leaderless cartels soon after the new president took office in December 2012. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said that the Calderon administration's "kingpin strategy" — focusing on the capture or slaying of the nation's top drug lords — resulted in smaller groups that were "more violent and much more dangerous," often branching out into extortion, kidnapping and robbery rackets.
Succession battles are also believed to have added to Mexico's recent violence. The killing of Arturo Beltran Leyva in Cuernavaca in December 2009, for instance, unleashed a bloody power struggle among his lieutenants.
Despite the new government's criticism of the strategy, however, few expected Pena Nieto to abandon it, particularly since that would mean rebuffing American security officials who often supply intelligence on the whereabouts of the capos. The United States' ability to track Guzman's satellite phone use was a key to his arrest.
The future of the cartel was the chief topic of debate Monday among residents of Culiacan, a city of 600,000 people.
The cartel's influence is all-pervasive here: A well-tended cross covered in balloons is displayed prominently in front of a busy shopping mall, commemorating the 2008 slaying of Guzman's son Edgar Guzman Lopez. The businesses in the mall are apparently too intimidated to argue with its presence. In the leafy town square, conversations with a stranger are often left to trail off when a speaker thinks a cartel spy might be nearby.
Taxi driver Jesus Luis Caldera, 36, predicted the cartel would weather the loss of Guzman. "It's going to be the same movie — only with different capos," said Caldera, who said he used to move cocaine for the cartel until he went to prison for it.
Armando Sanchez, 28, the manager of an electronics company from the state of Guanajuato, was playing curious tourist Sunday afternoon at the Malverde shrine. He worried that Guzman's death might give rival groups — particularly the bloodthirsty Zetas gang — a chance to muscle their way onto Sinaloa cartel territory.
"We're going to see a lot of fighting for control," he said.
Guzman may be locked away, but there is still anxiety that the vast machine that has protected him over the years remains intact. The Culiacan newspaper Noroeste reported Monday that it received threatening phone calls after it contacted Mazatlan's government offices to inquire about reports that municipal police there had been protecting El Chapo.
Guzman's 13 years of life on the run had its share of hardships: Mexican officials said he avoided arrest last week at a house in Culiacan by escaping through a series of underground drainage canals.
But he was also apparently intent on creating a semblance of a normal life. On Monday, Osorio Chong said that Guzman was with his wife, a former beauty queen named Emma Coronel, and the couple's young twin girls, when he was arrested. Osorio Chong said that the wife and children were not detained because "they had absolutely nothing to do with respect to the actions of the criminal."
In the mountain town of Badiraguato — about 50 miles north of Culiacan along a two-lane road controlled by heavily armed police checking up on who might want to visit there — Joaquin Guzman is still the local boy made good. A store selling pirated CDs was stocked with music singing his praises.
"They want to see him dead, but they can't," one tune declared. "The cartel is big, it's blowing up / I'm proud of Chapo Guzman."
As word of Guzman's arrest spread, many locals didn't buy it at first, preferring to believe it was a complicated ruse on the part of the Americans, said Pedro Perez, 45, a worker at an ice cream store.
Others, like Culiacan resident Rodolfo Albertos, 58, see no conspiracy. When it comes to the drug trade, he said, the forces that will continue to shape it are as clear as day — whether "El Chapo" is around or not.
"This isn't going to stop," Albertos said. "Not so long as there are consumers. As long as there are consumers, there's going to be business."
(Cecilia Sanchez of the Times' Mexico City bureau contributed to this report.)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014



Note: As usual, if not reported, homicides, robberies, etc. didn't happen.

No homicides, but other crime on rise in county
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 8:25 am | Updated: 9:17 am, Tue Feb 25, 2014.
By Curt Prendergast
Nogales International

The areas outside Nogales and Patagonia remain homicide-free and non-violent crime is declining, but other types of crime are creeping back up.

"We're seeing a lot of fraud," said Lt. Raoul Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office. "That just keeps popping up and popping up."
The Sheriff's Office reported 79 cases of fraud last year compared to 71 in 2012. The schemes range from fake lotteries to stolen Social Security numbers to people selling property they don't own, Rodriguez said.
The Sheriff's Office responded to 2,209 total incidents in 2013, down slightly from 2,250 in 2012, according to statistics released on Friday. Those incidents resulted in 494 arrests in 2013, compared with 513 arrests the previous year.
The Sheriff's Office numbers reflect crimes reported in the unincorporated areas of the county and do not include the Town of Patagonia or the City of Nogales.
For the second year in a row, the Sheriff's Office did not report a homicide, but reports of sexual offenses rose from 16 in 2012 to 21 last year and assault cases rose from 30 in 2012 to 34 in 2013.
The number of DUI incidents dropped from 28 in 2012 to 25 in 2013. Two people died from traffic accidents in 2013, the same number as 2012, but traffic accidents caused 24 personal injuries in 2013, down from 31 in 2012.
On the bright side, cases of domestic violence declined from 77 in 2012 to 58 in 2013 and non-violent family fights dropped from 20 to eight. However, domestic disorderly conduct increased from 35 cases in 2012 to 44 in 2013.
Rodriguez attributed the decline in domestic violence to education efforts and community rallies to shed light on the problem. "Awareness in general has been outstanding," he said.
'Proactive approach'
The number of non-violent crimes dropped from 164 in 2012 to 130 last year.
Theft reports held steady at 28, compared with 29 in 2012, while the number of burglaries reported in the county declined from 119 in 2012 to 79 last year.
"We're very pleased," Rodriguez said. "That means active patrols and community policing with the public is working,"
He pointed to a "proactive approach" from deputies as an important reason why burglaries are on the decline. "They're so visible, it's a deterrent for criminals," he said.
When a burglary is reported, deputies increase patrols and welfare checks in the area, he said. Deputies also watch for signs that vacant properties have been taken over, such as broken windows used to gain entry or trash piling up.
In addition, deputies check up on repeat offenders to see if they are getting into trouble again, he said, adding "being able to disrupt that is a big help."

Ongoing problems
Human and drug trafficking on county roads and in desolate areas remain a problem in the county, Rodriguez said.
The most recent homicides in the unincorporated county area occurred in November 2011, when the bodies of three suspected drug-smugglers were discovered in the Tumacacori Mountains after being shot execution style.
Border-crosser deaths rose from nine to 10 last year, though Rodriguez noted that most bodies discovered in 2013 were found as skeletal remains, indicating they were not recent deaths.

Statistics for smuggling activities are maintained by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force, which is run by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
Locally, busts for possession of drugs rose last year. The Sheriff's Office had 38 incidents of narcotics possession in 2013, up from 33 in 2012. Marijuana possession also rose from 26 in 2012 to 33 last year.

Vandalism also remains an issue in the county, Rodriguez said, giving the example of vehicles damaged by rock throwers. Luckily, vandalism by spray-painting is not yet a widespread issue, he said.
In the coming year, deputies will continue to focus on community policing, trying to minimize DUIs, and training to be more aware of what is happening in neighborhoods, he said.


Sonora , prepared for reactions of the Sinaloa Cartel
Details Published on Tuesday 25 February 2014 ,
Written by Jesus Esquer / El Diario

Army is aware of possible acts of violence from the capture of "El Chapo" Guzman.

The commander of the Fourth Military Zone accepted that Sonora is on alert following the arrest of Joaquin Guzman , in addition to possible violent actions or flight -related 'El Chapo ' people, but said that it should also remain calm.

"We are prepared , we deploy , considering what could be if flee these people flee , by air, by road , could take any violent action against any authority , then all we warn , we all prepared for it, "said Servando Pérez Centella .

The military command said that with everything that it has to reassure citizens , keep the peace , and that they are prepared for any contingency and said that since last Saturday the three levels of government met to coordinate in this topic .

The commander of the Fourth Military Zone called the cartel of 'El Chapo ' as one that not only very strong presence in Mexico , but can also be seen internationally , so Sonora does not escape being part of the entities in which operates the criminal group .

" There are cells that are related , not just controlling it directly , but are related to the Sinaloa cartel ," Centella Pérez agreed , adding that capturing the offender is a sign that the state applies for no crime growing .
He explained that law enforcement agencies must comply with the five areas presented Enrique Peña Nieto , all related to having a peaceful Mexico , at every level must fulfill their work, from municipalities , state and federation .


Bill making human smugglers eligible for death passes
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 25, 2014 - 4:21 pm

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has approved a bill that would make human smugglers convicted of murder eligible for the death penalty.

The bill was proposed by Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles. According to state law, a person can only receive a death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder and jurors find at least one aggravating circumstance associated with the crime.

The bill adds to the list of aggravating circumstances whether it is probable that a defendant would commit another crime. It also designates smuggling as a serious offense. Arizona currently lists 14 aggravating circumstances.

The House approved the bill by a 35-24 on Tuesday. It will now go to the Senate.

Sonora, preparada para reacciones del Cártel de Sinaloa
Detalles Publicado el Martes 25 de Febrero de 2014,
Escrito por Jesús Esquer / El Diario

Ejército está atento a posibles acciones de violencia derivadas de la captura de 'El Chapo' Guzmán.

El Comandante de la Cuarta Zona Militar aceptó que Sonora está en estado de alerta ante el arresto de Joaquín Guzmán, además de posibles acciones violentas o huida de personas relacionadas con 'El Chapo', aunque aseveró que también se debe mantener la calma.
"Estamos preparados, nos distribuimos, tomando en consideración qué es lo que pudiera ser que pudiesen huir estas personas, por vía aérea, por las carreteras, pudiesen tomar alguna acción violenta en contra de alguna autoridad, entonces todos nos alertamos, todos nos preparamos para ello", declaró Servando Centella Pérez.
El mando militar aseguró que con todo lo que se tiene para darle seguridad a los ciudadanos, se debe mantener la tranquilidad, ya que están preparados para cualquier contingencia y adelantó que desde el pasado sábado se reunieron los tres niveles de gobierno para coordinarse en este tema.
El Comandante de la Cuarta Zona Militar calificó al cártel de 'El Chapo' como uno muy fuerte que no solo tiene presencia en México, sino que también se puede ver a nivel internacional, por lo que Sonora no escapa de ser parte de las entidades en las que opera ese grupo delincuencial.
"Hay células que son afines, no es precisamente que la controle directamente, pero que son afines al Cártel de Sinaloa", aceptó Centella Pérez, quien agregó que la captura de ese delincuente es una muestra que el Estado se aplica para que la delincuencia no crezca.
Detalló que las agencias del orden deben cumplir con los cinco ejes que presentó Enrique Peña Nieto, todos relacionados con tener a un México en paz, por lo que cada nivel debe cumplir con su trabajo, desde municipios, estado y la federación.


Monday, February 24, 2014



Comment: Of obvious interest to us locals. Left out is the destabilization of the Agua Prieta area, after the capture of Ines Coronel, and the ongoing body count in the Sonoyta area.

Tech note for those interested:
With the PRI once again in control, questioning or interrogation of suspects or prisoners has become much more "intensive". Also as with Pablo Escobar a few years ago, U.S. tech aid was a key factor in tracking down Guzman. The U.S. capabilities in that area are unmatched. Although the Columbian General on loan to Mexico went back home a few months ago, some of the tech types may have remained. U.S. tech aid was also key in disrupting the zetas. Hear that U.S. law enforcement was primarily a conduit for the communications intel. Still unknown, other than a perhaps more secure route north, is why Serafin Zambada picked Noglaes to enter with his wife. The other aspect is the Sinaloa cartel as the others is not a monolithic organization. Many, many sub-contractors, often family based, working in temporary alliances with / for the primary organizations. Or, as we continue to see especially west of Nogales, and north of the border, sometime against other groups.


After 'El Chapo' Guzman captured in Mexico, what's next for Sonora?
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 1:19 pm |
Updated: 8:14 am, Mon Feb 24, 2014.
By Jonathan Clark
Nogales International

In late 2009 when the Mexican military killed Arturo Beltran Leyva, rival to Mexico's most powerful drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, it unleashed an unprecedented wave of bloodshed in Nogales, Sonora as gangsters loyal to Guzman moved in to retake smuggling routes and settle scores.

Now that Guzman has been captured in an early morning raid on a seaside condominium in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, could a similar situation occur?
"I would guess that the capture will generate significant jockeying for position in Sonora, especially in the border city of Nogales," said Julie Murphy Erfani, professor of political science at Arizona State University and an expert in Mexico's drug war.

Anthony Coulson, analyst with NTH Consulting and former assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's Tucson District Office, predicted "significant violence" along the entire U.S.-Mexico border over the next year.
"His arrest, and further dismantling of his Sinaloa Cartel means that those loyal to him will either fight or align themselves with the cartels that Chapo eliminated," he said.

The 56-year-old Guzman, whose cartel controls extensive drug-trafficking corridors into the United States, including those through Sonora, had been on the run since he sneaked out of a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001. He and another suspect were taken alive by the Mexican Navy at 6:40 a.m. Saturday in the Pacific resort city without a single shot fired, Mexico's Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam said at a news conference.
U.S. authorities also collaborated in the takedown, Murillo Karam said, and Coulson emphasized the DEA's role, saying: "Decades of work have led to many kingpin arrests and deaths, in spite of, the overwhelming corruption in Mexico."

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada called Guzman's arrest "tremendous news."
"It's kind of at the same level as Pablo Escobar," he said in reference to the Colombian drug lord who was tracked down and killed by authorities in 1994.
Still, he agreed that Guzman's detention could lead to problems in Sonora.
"Obviously it is a concern to see what the outcome or results are going to be, and see exactly where the dominoes are going to fall and who's going to try to take over," Estrada said. "It could be open the door, or floodgates, for other organizations. It's going to be interesting because it could get bloody."

Past precedent
Beltran Leyva, architect of a massive drug trafficking organization that he ran with his brothers, was a top Guzman ally until a violent split in early 2008. On Dec. 16, 2009, he was killed by the Mexican Navy during a raid on a home in the southern city of Cuernavaca.
Guzman's associates in Sonora then set to rid the state of Beltran Leyva's influence. In one especially violent incident, at least 21 people were killed in a shootout near Tubutama, about 30 miles southwest of Nogales, Sonora, when a crew of Guzman's hitmen confronted a group of Beltran Leyva thugs on July 1, 2010.

In the city of Nogales, Sonora, murders jumped from 130 in 2009 to 226 in 2010. After Guzman's retook control of local drug routes, the violence abated and the number of murders dropped below 50 in 2012 and 2013, according to Sonoran media reports.

In response to Guzman's arrest, Sonora State Police Chief Ernesto Munro Palacio told the Hermosillo daily El Imparcial that while his officers are "ready for any situation," he doesn't see any immediate danger. "We don't see in any way a threat to Sonora, we feel that Sonora is calm and will stay calm," he said.

Malcolm Beith, author of "The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most Wanted Drug Lord," said that violence would "almost certainly" erupt in contested areas like Sonora in the wake of Guzman's arrest.
"We've seen it before with other cartels – any time there's a leadership dispute, turf wars rage," he said.
In addition to external challenges, the Sinaloa cartel could also face internal problems, he said.
"The arrests and killings of several leading figures has definitely left it fractured, and without Chapo and his mythology holding it together, it could certainly implode," Beith said.

Figures taken down recently in the Sonora-Arizona border area include Gonzalo "El Macho Prieto" Inzunza, a top Sinaloa Cartel enforcer in Sonora, who was killed by Mexican authorities during a Dec. 18 raid in Puerto Peñasco. A month earlier, U.S. officials in Nogales arrested Serafin Zambada-Ortiz, son of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada-Garcia, the reputed No. 2 leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, after he escorted his wife to Arizona for an immigration appointment.

The elder Zambada remains a fugitive and is seen as the likely successor to Guzman, though he could face internal challengers.
The Sinaloa Cartel extended its influence around the globe under Guzman's leadership, and Beith said its broad expansion now makes it more vulnerable to a collapse.

Operational effects
Coulson, the former DEA agent who once directed the U.S. government's drug enforcement strategy in Southern Arizona, predicted that Guzman's arrest would affect drug availability in the United States. Calling Guzman "the largest drug trafficker in the world, without dispute," he said:
"Meth and heroin availability will decrease, purity will decrease, and price will increase. This presents the U.S. with a great opportunity to strengthen and increase funding for treatment and prevention."

Asked what impact Guzman's arrest might have on drug trafficking through Santa Cruz County, George Silva, the county attorney, said it depends on how active Guzman was in the day-to-day operations of the cartel.
"It was rumored that Guzman's health was an issue and he may have taken a back seat from the cartel's operations," Silva said. "The more active he was the more significant the impact."
Another important factor will be how well prepared the Sinaloa Cartel was for the arrest or loss of Guzman, as well as who takes over the top spot in the organization, Silva said.

Murillo Karam, the Mexican attorney general, said that in addition to the arrest of Guzman on Saturday, authorities conducted a series of raids between Feb. 13 and 17 that uncovered seven Guzman safe houses connected by tunnels and sewer pipes. In one case, he said, reinforced steel doors helped keep police at bay just long enough for Guzman to escape through the tunnels.

In all, Murillo Karam said, 13 people were arrested in an operation that also resulted in the seizure of 97 rifles, 36 handguns, two grenade-launchers, a rocket-launcher, 43 vehicles and four ranches.

Any intelligence gathered in the operation could be crucial as well, Silva said.
"If the intel reveals names of cartel members, location of cartel cells, routes and methods used to smuggle drugs into the U.S. and money and weapons to Mexico, location of grows and stash houses, and how money and weapons flow within the organization, the possibility of completely disrupting or dismantling the Sinaloa Cartel increases tremendously," he said.

The Washington Post, citing an unnamed U.S. federal law enforcement official, reported that the earlier arrest of Serafin Zambada in Nogales had yielded crucial intelligence that allowed U.S. investigators "to penetrate the inner circle" of the cartel. That information also reportedly led to wiretaps that helped track down Guzman.

At his Saturday news conference at the Mexico City airport, Murillo Karam told reporters that investigators had established Guzman's identity with 100-percent certainty. At the same news conference, masked soldiers paraded their suspect past the media before boarding him onto a helicopter and flying him to a maximum-security prison.

In addition to charges in Mexico, Guzman faces at least seven federal indictments in the United States. Silva said he expects an expedited extradition.
"Neither Mexico nor the U.S. want to give Guzman an opportunity to escape," he said.


Saturday, February 22, 2014



Note: Local

Arizona authorities bust smuggling ring
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 21, 2014 - 8:19 am

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A federal joint task force and Tohono O'odham police said they've busted a major drug and human trafficking ring in southern Arizona and arrested 12 people.

They accused the ring of smuggling more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana and 120 people into the county every month through the Tohono O'odham Nation to Tucson.

The task force seized 167 pounds of marijuana, eight vehicles, two all-terrain vehicles and $17,000 in cash after serving three search warrants.

Authorities said of the 12 arrested, eight are U.S. citizens and the others are from Mexico.


Autopsies released for 5 found slain in Tucson-area desert
8 hours ago • By Kimberly Matas

Four of five men found slain in the desert west of Tucson last summer were shot in the back and several of them had their wrists bound with laces, likely from their own shoes, autopsy reports released this week show.

The condition of the mostly skeletal remains prevented the Pima County medical examiner from determining the cause of death for the fifth victim but it was ruled a "homicide by unspecified means."

The unidentified bodies had been in the desert for six months to a year before being discovered by Border Patrol agents May 28.

Agents discovered two gravesites close together, about 12 miles northwest of Sells on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in an area often used by smugglers. The remains were wrapped in plastic tarps and partially buried by large rocks and boulders.

"These guys probably were lined up and shot and buried in that kind of remote location so what was going on one can imagine," said Dr. Greg Hess, chief medical examiner for Pima County.

Employees with the medical examiner's office sometimes go to crime scenes outside Pima County to assist with exhumations at the request of law enforcement agencies, however, the Tohono O'odham Police Department did not ask the office for help in collecting the remains, Hess said.

Instead, the sites were excavated May 29 by members of the Tohono O'odham Police Department. Officers took the remains, clothing and other effects to the police department in Sells where they were photographed before bringing them to the medical examiner's office in Tucson, the autopsy report said.

As a result, at some point, "either during exhumation of the gravesites, collection of the surface scatter, during law enforcement examination in Sells, or all three," some of the remains, clothing and personal effects from the two gravesites were mixed together by the police officers, the autopsy stated.

Tohono O'odham officers returned to the gravesites June 5 to recover additional skeletal remains that likely were scattered by animals.

Hess downplayed the mishandling of the remains by police.
"In the end it probably is not going to matter," he said. "It just made it a little more work.
"Basically what you have is a jigsaw puzzle. You have to try to figure out what belongs to who, skeletally," he said.

Reconstruction of the skeletal remains led Hess and his staff to determine one of the victims may have been as young as 16 and two of the victims could have been as old as 55. They determined four of the five were shot in the back and two of them were shot in their legs, as well. At least three of the men had their wrists bound with shoelaces. Clothing was found with the remains, including several shoes missing laces, according to the autopsy report.

The men are listed as "American Indian" in the report, but Hess could not pinpoint whether they were North-, Central- or South American.

Several of the men had multiple healed broken bones, and one had a metal plate screwed into his jaw and "healed trauma to the left mid-face and the mandible … possibly due to a healed gunshot wound to the face," the medical examiner's report said. "This probably left a large facial scare to the left side of the face that would have been noticeable to those who knew the decedent."

In late August, 15 skeletal samples were sent to an out-of-state lab for DNA testing. The results came back in mid-December and helped the medical examiner's staff ensure the remains were assembled correctly. The results were also entered into CODIS — the FBI's Combined DNA Index System — in hopes of determining the identity of the men, but no genetic matches were made, Hess said.

Messages left Friday for the Tohono O'odham Police Department and Police Chief Joseph Delgado were not returned.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at or at 573-4191.

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Note: Mostly local, with 2 or more dead in Nogales, and grenade, 1 AR15 and 3 AK clones recovered.

Illegal activity continued at tunnel house after bust
The house at 174 E. Summit Place as seen at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:30 pm | Updated: 1:43 pm, Thu Feb 20, 2014.
Nogales International

Border Patrol agents in Nogales captured a group of undocumented immigrants coming out of a house that had been raided five days earlier during the bust of an extensive cross-border smuggling tunnel.

The 13 suspects were arrested Saturday, Feb. 15 after they tried to exit a home at 174 E. Summit Place that had served as the northern terminus of the tunnel. The 481-foot completed passageway, the longest ever found in Ambos Nogales, was discovered by an ICE-led task force on Monday, Feb. 10.
CBP spokesman Brandon S. Cagle confirmed the arrest of the migrants on Wednesday in response to a query from the Nogales International, which came after rumors surfaced that the house was still being used for illegal activity. He originally said the arrest had occurred on Feb. 18, but corrected the date to Feb. 15 on Thursday.
If the suspects entered the home on East Summit after the Feb. 10 bust without using the tunnel, or if they were in the home at the time and managed to hide out for five more days, it was not clear how they went undetected.
"The home has been under constant around-the-clock surveillance since the tunnel discovery and surveillance will continue until its remediation in the very near future," Cagle said in an emailed response.

However, the house was not taped off or closely guarded on Tuesday morning, Feb. 11, when an NI reporter went to the scene to take photographs. The door had been pried by force and remained open at the time.
By Wednesday, Feb. 19, yellow tape had been strung in front of the residence, but much of it had been pulled down. The front door was partially open, with a metal-bar exterior door closed in front of it. A four-foot strip of thin red tape sealed the door to its frame.
An NI photographer spent about 15 minutes at the scene around 1:30 p.m. and did not see any law enforcement officers at the property.

If the 13 suspects arrested Tuesday had come through the tunnel, it was not clear when or how. Mexican military and Sonoran police personnel were at the southern terminus starting the night of Feb. 10, and remained on scene through the next day, when they called in a backhoe to begin digging it out.
As of Feb. 11, a metal grate plugged the top of the tunnel inside a home in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Nogales, Sonora. Even without the grate, the opening appeared too small to fit a person, suggesting that it had been used only to pass drug parcels into the passageway.
However, it appeared possible for people to access the passageway through the area that had been excavated by the authorities outside the home.
"In addition to the temporary sealing of the tunnel exit within the house, Government of Mexico officials intend to seal off the entrance which originates in Mexico," Cagle said on Wednesday. "No further information is available at this time."
Three men – two Mexican nationals and a U.S. citizen – were arrested on the Arizona side during the original Feb. 10 takedown. U.S. authorities also seized more than 640 pounds of marijuana and a half-pound of heroin during the operation. Mexican authorities also pulled 14 packages of marijuana, each weighing approximately 26 pounds, from their end of the tunnel.

(Reporting by Manuel C. Coppola, Jonathan Clark and Cesar Barron.)

Border agencies to offer Citizen's Academy in Spanish
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:50 pm | Updated: 9:55 pm, Wed Feb 19, 2014.
From staff reports

Beginning in March, the Yuma Sector Border Patrol, the Port of San Luis, and the Office of Air and Marine will join ranks to host an integrated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Citizen's Academy presented in the Spanish language.
The program will offer local residents and community leaders an inside look into a wide variety of measures employed to secure southwestern Arizona beginning at the border and extending into the interior of the United States. Applications will be accepted through March 3.

Throughout the course, attendees will be familiarized with CBP's mission and participate in interactive demonstrations. The hands-on classes will include lessons about defensive tactics, tracking and inspections for prohibited items. Participants will also receive a border tour and learn about each component's distinct roles and responsibilities, as well as their integrated mission to secure America's borders.

Classes will meet from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Yuma Border Patrol Sector Headquarters, 4035 S. Avenue A, beginning on March 13.
The Citizen's Academy is a physically demanding experience, so participants must be in good physical condition and able to walk extended distances on unstable terrain. A limited background check is required.
Applications are available at the Yuma Sector Headquarters, 4035 South Avenue A, as well as at the Port of San Luis. The academy is limited to 20 participants.

For more information, contact the Yuma Sector Border Community Liaison office at 341-6559, or CBP Supervisory Officer Reggie Smith at 627-8854 Ext. 347. Applications will be accepted through March 3, 2014.


Note: Monday poll on legalization of marijuana in Nogales, Son.

¿Apoya la legalización de marihuana en México?
Ver resultados para:
SI 29.0% NO 71.0%
Inicio de Votacion: 2014-02-17


Note: an earlier poll on self defense movement

¿Está a favor o' en contra de los grupos autodefensa, como los de Michoacán?
Ver resultados para:
Inicio de Votacion: 2014-01-07


Posted February 18, 2014 , 5:03 a.m.
Two bodies found
The two bodies were taken to the local morgue for autopsy appropriate .
They also said weapons, vehicles , 450 kilos of marijuana and Grenade , one is they identified
Hiram G. Machi
Nogales , Sonora. - New Day

The bodies of two people were found in a residence where on Sunday a man was fatally wounded in the same place the authorities also seized assault rifles , one Grenade , cartridges , magazines and three vehicles , as well as 450 kilos of marijuana among other tactical items .

This was released minutes after one o'clock in the afternoon when the STATE, federal and military authorities arrived at the marked property with 308 Alley Bernal in Chulavista colony where it was injured 24 hours before Alfonso Valencia Soto , 34 Cajeme old resident who died in the General Hospital .

Following several utensils were found in a suitcase that carried the victim, such as assault rifle cartridges , tape and other instruments of torture , the authorities requested the search warrant and enter on Monday found the bodies of two people, one of them is Antonio Peña Jorge Estrada, 22 years of age , residing in the colony El Rastro

The investigating State Police said in a statement that at the home were 48 packs made ​​of clear tape containing marijuana with an approximate weight of 450 kilograms .

In addition to three vehicles, a sedan four-door Buick Regal line , golden color, 1998 model , a Chevrolet van line Trail Blazer , 2006 white model , reported as stolen in the city of Nogales , dated 07 January 2014 and a van Tahoe , Chevrolet, 2003 model , white color, reported as stolen in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, dated September 17, 2013 .

Secured weapons are three AK- 47 rifles supplied with loaded magazines and a AR- 15 with the same, along with a shotgun with seven rounds of ammunition. The place is also secured three radios Motorola brand and two carriers .

Until press time not released the identity of the other person executed and secrecy was kept as to the facts, but a line of research points out that the shooting could have been done from the outside as some of the furniture and doors for damage , just as a confrontation between them involved that resulted in the death of three is not ruled out .

Note that the residence had monitoring equipment through CCTV cameras were seized items as evidence circuit.


Friday, February 14, 2014



Note:  Busy AZMEX days.

Comment:  For being "undocumented" he seems to have been documented several times.   Why isn't he still in prison?  

Felon is arrested at Arizona-California border
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 14, 2014 - 3:51 pm

YUMA, Ariz. -- A convicted felon from El Salvador has been arrested in southwestern Arizona for being in the country illegally.

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector say 51-year-old Jose Chicas-Argeta was among five people taken into custody Friday near the Arizona-California border.

They say a records check showed Chicas previously had been convicted of multiple felonies including attempted second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery and narcotics possession for sale.

Authorities say Chicas was previously removed from the U.S. and now is being processed for prosecution and another deportation.   It was unclear Friday afternoon if Chicas has legal representation yet.

Border Patrol agents nab five suspected smugglers
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:30 pm
From staff reports

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton Station arrested five smugglers and seized 548 pounds of marijuana worth about $246,000 Wednesday during two separate incidents.
During one incident, agents patrolling south of Gila Bend stopped five men seen earlier walking through the desert carrying backpacks. The men reportedly admitted entering the U.S. illegally and dropping off backpacks in a wash nearby.

Agents searched the wash and located 12 backpacks containing 505 pounds of pot, valued at $227,000. Three of the men and the pot were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The other two were juveniles and will be processed for deportation.

During the second incident, agents patrolling near Gila Bend located an abandoned backpack near Highway 85 containing 43 pounds of marijuana valued at $19,000. The pot was transported to Wellton Station for further processing.


$500K in meth seized at border
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 10:30 pm
From staff reports

An alleged drug smuggler was arrested and about $506,000 worth of methamphetamine seized Tuesday at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis.
According to Customs and Border Protection, 35-year-old Venancio Hau-Flores was in the process of driving a Mercury sedan into the United States when officers referred him to a secondary inspection area for further scrutiny.
 MCCS - Yuma Airshow 21183 Yuma Airshow tickets on sale nowMain St. Cinemas 17417 300 x 250 $5 For Adults for all show on Monday...
After a working dog indicated the possible presence of contraband in the vehicle, officers reportedly found 35 packages of crystal meth hidden in a compartment behind the rear seat.
The drugs and vehicle were seized. Hau, a Mexican citizen, was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.


Note:  Northern Sonora continues to be destabilized.  The road from Sonoyta ( Lukeville ) to Caborca in particular.  

Running three suspected ' smugglers ' in Caborca
Details Published on Friday 14 February 2014 ,
Written by Editor / The Journal

They were located in a gap near the road leading to the PEI Sonoyta reported .

The bodies of three suspected " coyotes " were located by authorities early yesterday morning near the Caborca ​​Sonoyta road , State Police Investigating reported .
The PEI did know that the three bodies showed signs of torture and were appreciative eye injuries caused by gun fire . None have been identified .
According to reports from police authorities people were located at
03:00 Yesterday at km 138 +600 of the road to Caborca  to ​​Sonoyta , the track leading to Tajitos .
The victims , who have not yet been identified , showed injuries caused by gun fire . The first of the dead was strongly built , had about 40 years old, wearing jeans blue , brown belt , beige shirt , black sweatshirt and black socks.
The second of the deceased were between 30-35 years old, wearing windbreaker type jacket black, brown trousers and black colored tennis shoes , and the third person that had died between 25-30 years old, wearing camouflaged pants and jacket , brown sweater and black shoes.
The Public Prosecutor of the Common Jurisdiction testified to the facts and ordered the lifting and transporting the bodies to measures of law , likewise, issued an order to research elements of PEI to arrest those responsible for these acts .


Tortured and killed two men in Agua Prieta
Details Published on Friday 14 February 2014 ,
 Written by Editor / The Journal
Agua Prieta

Also PEI investigates a case where a person was injured by gunfire.

Agents of the State Police Investigating inquire about the facts of life where two males whose bodies were found inside an apartment on Hope lost colony .
This is José Alonso Aguiluz Saenz, 33-year- old, who was originally from Navolato , Sinaloa , and Jorge Alejandro Valdez Gonzalez, 40 years old , who was a native of this city, both residing in the place of occurrence the facts.
The victims at first glance, had a wound caused by a blunt object and according to the Medical Examiner Office of the Attorney General of the State had about 12 hours of being dead .
Otherwise PEI agents inquire about the facts where injured Jhoan Guadalupe Banda Montoya 25 year old native of Huachinera and residing at Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood of this city.
The incident occurred outside the shooting range, located on the road to Colonia Morelos , where Banda Montoya was injured by a projectile from a gun , unknown for the moment about who or what injured .
After the assault the victim called a relative , who aided and moved to a hospital in this city , where he is receiving medical care .


Note:  Aircraft parts?

Marijuana found in aircraft parts at Arizona border
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 14, 2014 - 3:49 pm

NOGALES, Ariz. -- A Mexican man is in custody for allegedly trying to smuggle almost 400 pounds of marijuana into southern Arizona in a shipment of aircraft parts.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say the 55-year-old man from Nogales, Sonora was arrested Wednesday at the Port of Nogales.

That was after authorities inspected the tractor trailer he was driving.
CBP officers inspected the back of the trailer and found 22 bundles of marijuana co-mingled within a shipment of aircraft parts.   They say the 393 pounds of marijuana has an estimated street value of $196,0.

The drugs and truck were processed for seizure.
The driver was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. His name hasn't been released. 




Mexican nationals sentenced in ammo trafficking case
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 9:04 pm
Karen Antonacci | The Monitor  

McALLEN — Mexican nationals Gregoria Rodriguez-Aranda, 25, and Maria Luisa Sanchez-Lopez, 24, have been sentenced to 57 and 46 months in prison, respectively, for smuggling ammunition into Mexico.
Federal authorities said the couple used their 5-year-old child to make the trips across the border seem like family outings. Rodriguez-Aranda and Luisa Sanchez exported 707 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and 98 AK-47 magazines. Both pleaded guilty in November of last year.

"Stopping the flow of ammunition and weapons illegally exported into Mexico is an urgent priority for HSI," said Janice Ayala, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio. "By putting these weapon smugglers behind bars, it allows law enforcement to cut the supply of firearms before they fall into the hands of the drug cartels who pose a threat both here and abroad."


Two New Braunfels ammo smugglers found guilty
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:34

EAGLE PASS - In Del Rio a federal jury found 23-year-old Jesus Cardenas of New Braunfels, TX, and 34-year-old Luis Cardenas guilty on multiple counts of smuggling ammunition from the United States announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala.

The federal jury convicted the brothers of two counts of smuggling ammunition from the United States. The jury also convicted Jesus Cardenas of two counts of smuggling ammunition and magazines from the United States.

Evidence presented during the three-day-trial showed that on two separate occasions between November 2011 and January 2012, Jesus Cardenas purchased, on behalf of an individual in Piedras Negras, Mexico, a total of more than 15,000 rounds of ammunition and 400 assault rifle magazines intended for export to Mexico. Furthermore, Luis Cardenas was paid to transfer the ammunition to an individual who then transported it to Del Rio.

On December 1, 2011, United States Border Patrol agents seized part of the ammunition along with 23 assault rifles within yards of the Rio Grande River outside Del Rio. Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized additional ammunition and magazines in January 2012.

Both remain in custody pending sentencing. Each charge of conviction calls for a maximum of ten years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing for the case is presently set for August 14, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses in Del Rio.

This case resulted from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) together with United States Customs and Border Protection, United States Border Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Lewis Thomas and Patrick Burke are prosecuting this case for the Government.


Thursday, February 13, 2014



Note:  Been over 70 years now that the superiority of semi auto rifles was decisively established. That and the larger, now standard capacity magazines.  Less is indeed less.  Very often a fatal disadvantage.  Semi automatic firearms have been commercially available since 1896.  Mexico also developed one of the the first semi auto rifles, the Mondragon Modelo 1908.   Unlikely the disarmament will apply to the drug gangs. 

Self-defense without weapons of exclusive use of the Army: Rubido
SNSP holder ensures that the crime rates in Michoacan fell to the entry of the federal forces
SHARE NOTIMEX 11/02/2014 15:07

MEXICO CITY , Feb. 11 - . The head of the National Public Security System , Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia said the AUC in Michoacán no longer to bear arms that are  for the exclusive use of the Army, but still continues the process of disarmament.

As part of the lecture series "Seminar on Violence in Mexico ," which takes place at the College of Mexico , adding that the crime rates in Michoacan fell on  the entry of the federal forces , especially in crimes such as robbery, murder, kidnapping and extortion.

Rubido Garcia said there is perfect coordination with the surrounding to enhance security and avoid the so-called " cockroach effect " states , so there has been a close exchange of information between the agencies  of the police.

He mentioned that the process of integration of community guards belonging to the Rural Municipal Police or is done as a service to their community, and said that most of them will return to their traditional activities.

He also assured that he has control of 27 municipalities from Los Reyes to Huetamo , where you have reinforced security and said that federal forces are those in control of them , especially in Apatzingán .

The official pointed out that the main thing is the reconstruction of the social fabric in Michoacan, and the support to be given to the state, which should show its full potential , it is the largest producer in the country of avocado, lemon, cucumber and melon.

In consideration , the more " beyond security strategy strategy social support provided by the government of the Republic for the reconstruction of the social fabric is more important."





Comment:  Several issues addressed in this one.  Pima County and Tucson have been defacto "sanctuary" entities for long time.   Tons of drugs and tens of thousands of IA's pass through relatively unhindered. It is about illegal immigration, as legal immigrants are unaffected by SB1070, et al. 


County officially adopts "immigrant-welcoming" designation
10 hours ago  •  
By Joe Ferguson 

The 9,188 square miles of Pima County are now an "immigrant-welcoming" community.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution on Tuesday that was backed by a coalition of area religious leaders opposed to SB 1070 or who are part of the Pima County Interfaith Council.

About 40 people from the group attended Tuesday's board meeting, asking the supervisors to back a measure similar to one passed by Tucson City Council more than a year ago.

The Rev. Randy Mayer, with The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, said he has been lobbying the board for more than a year to pass the measure.

He said passage of the measure marks "a new day" for Pima County, adding that the county now will be able to distance itself from those at the Legislature who passed SB 1070.
"We can set ourselves apart," he said. "We are going to do everything we can to welcome you and treat you with dignity."

Supporters say the new measures will encourage economic tourism and honor those living here legally.

Supervisor Richard Elías said the measure was designed to recognize the contributions from the legal immigrant community.   "Immigrants and refugees are a vital part of our economy. The contributions they make every day make a big difference in what we are doing, and we have to recognize that," he said.
"The Elías family has been here for seven generations, but I can guarantee you that we have not forgotten that we are immigrants, and we came here from another place."

Elías cautioned that true immigration reform has to come from Congress, noting existing federal policies are forcing families apart and hurting the national economy.

Supervisor Ally Miller supported the measure, saying the county needs to adopt policies to increase trade with Mexico.  "We need to catch up to ensure we are competitive in this global economy," she said on Tuesday. "We all know Mexico is quickly growing as an economic power, and if we don't become more business-friendly and make sure trade is coming our way, we will end up losers in the end."

The two-page resolution notes that Mexico is the United States' third-largest trading partner and second-largest market for U.S. exports.

It also points out that an estimated 400,000 people and 15,000 containers cross the U.S.-Mexican border legally every year, and an estimated 6 million jobs in the U.S. are tied to trade with the nation's southern neighbor.

Imports and exports with Mexico totaled $500 billion in 2011, according to federal statistics.


Note:  Many also cross border to attend AZ public schools  

Ban sought on unaccompanied minors crossing the border
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:47 pm | Updated: 10:51 pm, Tue Feb 11, 2014.
By Cesar Neyoy

SAN LUIS, Ariz. – A city councilman wants the U.S. port of entry to stop unaccompanied youths from entering the country, as a way to fight drug smuggling.
City Councilman Marco Pinzon says he wants a meeting with federal officials to discuss enforcing such a restriction. But a spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the agency can't bar minors from crossing the border, because no law gives it that authority.
The issue arose last month when David Lara, a San Luis resident and community activist, appeared before the council to present concerns that youth who cross from Mexico to attend schools in the Arizona border city are being recruited by drug traffickers to carry drugs. He called on the San Luis Police Department to join with school districts and police from neighboring San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., in a coordinated campaign to prevent the use of minors as drug "mules."

Pinzon in an interview said the police department has long been been aware of minors carrying across the border. In fact, he said, the problem led to creation in 2010 of its K-9 program, which pairs narcotics detection dogs with officers who walk a beat in the city.

But ultimately, he said, the solution lies with federal officials who oversee the staffing and operation of the border crossing.   "The question is why the federal government allows those youths to cross when they are not accompanied by their parents or an adult," Pinzon said. "While that continues, so will the danger that they will be used to cross drugs."   "It's an issue for which we're seeking a meeting with them and, if necessary, to put pressure at the federal level and with lawmakers" to revise policy to prevent minors from crossing the border alone.

Teresa Small, a supervisor at CBP at the San Luis port, said the agency looked forward to discuss city officials' concerns with them. But she said existing law allows unescorted minors to enter the country if they have property issued border crossing documents.

Only if a minor is carrying a fraudulent document can he or she be detained, Small said.
"Our hands are tied," she said. "We can only do what the law allows us to do."

Small said CBP officers at San Luis keep an eye out for drug smugglers among border crossers in all age groups.  Apart from efforts to stop drugs at the border, she said, CBP and the Border Patrol also visit Yuma-area junior high and high schools to talk about to students about the dangers of getting involved in drug traffickers in Mexico.


Note:  online poll at the Douglas Dispatch  (AZ)   

Are teenagers easily influenced in getting involved in drug trafficking?
Yes 92.7%
No 7.3%


Monday, February 10, 2014

AZMEX F&F EXTRA2 10-2-14

AZMEX F&F EXTRA 2   10 FEB 2014

Note:  Yet another very light sentence.  None of those behind the scheme have yet to face justice.  Not for the death of Agent Terry and especially not for the deaths of many hundreds of Mexicans.  AKA "Hispanics". 

Man sentenced to 30 years in border agent's death
By Associated Press
Originally published: Feb 10, 2014 - 6:04 pm

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Kelly Terry-Willis did not hesitate to look into the eyes of the orange-jumpsuit-clad man involved in the shooting death of her big brother, telling him his "evil decision" took from her a loving confidant, dance partner and dedicated family man.

She turned to face Manuel Osorio-Arellanes numerous times as she spoke about her brother Brian Terry, who was killed during a December 2010 shootout near the U.S.-Mexico border. Osorio-Arellanes was sentenced Monday to 30 years on a federal murder charge in Terry's death, making him the first person involved in the killing to go to prison in the U.S.

The case brought to light the botched Fast and Furious operation in which federal agents trying to track guns allowed criminals to buy them for weapons smugglers. Instead, agents lost track of 1,400 of the 2,000 guns involved in the sting operation, including two weapons found at the scene of Terry's killing.

Addressing him by name, Terry-Willis told Osorio-Arellanes that he was a coward who had chosen the wrong path in life.   She described her brother as a loving and devoted family man and friend. "He was a man who loved God and life."

The two loved to have dance-offs, whether in public or private. "I would give anything to have one more dance-off with my brother," Terry-Willis said.

U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury asked Osorio-Arellanes if he wanted to speak, but he initially declined through his attorney, Clay Hernandez. Hernandez said the defendant was extremely nervous and felt he lacked the proper education to speak.

Nudged by the judge, Osorio-Arellanes finally apologized several times in Spanish and reiterated that he, too, was wounded in the shootout. He was shot three times and spent two weeks in the hospital.

Prosecutor Todd Robinson took issue with the notion that Osorio-Arellanes, from the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, was a victim.   "There is one victim and one victim only," he said. "That is Brian Terry."
Bury also was critical of Osorio-Arellanes as he gave him the 30-year sentence that prosecutors recommended.

"You illegally entered the United States with the sole intention of committing armed robbery," he said. "There is no doubt that your prey was human. Law enforcement got in your way, as is their duty, and as a result a good agent died."

Terry, 40, died a few weeks before he was to visit his family in Michigan, where he grew up.

Michelle Terry-Balogh, another sister, cried as she read a prepared statement.
"I want you to know who Brian Terry was. I want you to know what you took not only from my family but from everyone," she said. She described her brother as a hero.

The shootout erupted just north of the Arizona border city of Nogales as Osorio-Arellanes and four other men who are accused of sneaking into the country to rob marijuana smugglers approached Terry and three other agents who were targeting such rip-off crews. 

Osorio-Arellanes was the only person arrested at the scene, while four other alleged rip-off crew members fled to Mexico. Two of the four are now in Mexican custody, while two others remain fugitives.

Osorio-Arellanes maintains he was not the shooter who killed Terry, and prosecutors agree that evidence supports his claim. Still, they say he is liable because he was a voluntary participant in the rip-off crew.

Federal authorities who conducted the Fast and Furious investigation have faced criticism for allowing suspected straw buyers for a smuggling ring to walk away from Arizona gun shops with weapons, rather than arresting them and seizing the guns.

Osorio-Arellanes' guilty plea in October 2012 marked the biggest conviction to date in a case that embarrassed the federal government and prompted a series of congressional investigations. Members of the gun-smuggling ring that was being monitored in Fast and Furious have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

At the sentencing hearing, Terry's mother tearfully recounted the pain she has endured since losing her son.
"He was a dedicated American," Josephine Terry said. "He would always say, `This is the best country in the world, Mom.'"




Sentencing set for Fast and Furious suspect
Source: Arizona News
Originally published: Feb 10, 2014 - 4:19 am  

PHOENIX (AP) - A Mexican man will be sentenced in federal court Monday in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death revealed a botched law enforcement sting in which agents lost track of hundreds of guns sold to criminals.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes is the only defendant to face justice in the U.S. in the death of Agent Brian Terry, whose family is traveling to Arizona to attend the sentencing hearing. Prosecutors are seeking 30 years in prison for Osorio-Arellanes, who was wounded in the shootout on Dec. 14, 2010.

The gunbattle brought attention to the Fast and Furious operation in which agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed suspected gun smugglers to purchase weapons from Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. Agents allowed the purchase of 2,000 guns, but then lost track of more than 1,400 of them. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's murder in southern Arizona, and dozens of others were found at crime scenes in Mexico.

The Fast and Furious operation led to the resignation of top officials and resulted in the country's chief law enforcement officer being held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation. The U.S. attorney assigned to Arizona also resigned following his involvement in the sting.

Since the operation came to light, a congressional committee has launched an investigation that was stifled after President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege, allowing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to withhold documents the committee sought. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held Holder in contempt and sued for the documents.

Still, the government has revealed little of what actually happened that night and its connection to Fast and Furious.

For example, authorities have not definitively linked the two guns from the crime scene to the bullet that killed Terry. Nor is the fate clear about two other suspects in Mexican custody who authorities hope will be extradited to the U.S. The U.S. attorney's office that is prosecuting the case has refused comment about the status of the suspects.

Terry's family members plan to visit the location where he was killed in what will be their first time at the scene of the crime.

The Terry family has been a vocal critic of the government over the operation, and some of them believe authorities are covering something up. Terry's stepmother, Carolyn Terry, said the sentencing of Osorio-Arellanes won't give the family any closure.

"We don't know what happened to him out there that night," she said.

An ATF spokesman declined to answer questions but provided a statement in which the agency said it "accepted responsibility for the mistakes made in the Fast and Furious investigation and at the Attorney General's direction we have taken appropriate and decisive action to ensure that these errors will not be repeated."

Osorio-Arellanes, one of five men involved in the shootout with border agents patrolling the area, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The men had sneaked into the country to rob marijuana smugglers along the Mexico-Arizona border, authorities said. Two other suspects have been charged and are in Mexican custody. The other two are fugitives.

Authorities at the scene of the shootout found two rifles purchased by a gun-smuggling ring that was being monitored by ATF agents. Members of that ring have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

The shootout erupted as Osorio-Arellanes and others walked in a single-file line toward a group of agents, according an account given by prosecutors.

Agents sitting atop a small hill and using night-vision gear could see that rip-off crew members were carrying rifles and waited until the men were close before an agent yelled "police" in Spanish. The gunmen turned toward the agents and started to fire, setting off an exchange of gunfire that killed Terry in a canyon near the city of Nogales.

"I'm hit," Terry told fellow agents, noting that he couldn't feel his legs. Terry lost consciousness and died at the scene from a single gunshot wound.

Prosecutors recounted details of the shooting in a court record filed in advance of Monday's sentencing. The filing was accompanied by written accounts from three Border Patrol agents who were with Terry as he died.

Clay Hernandez, Osorio-Arellanes' lawyer, has not returned a call seeking comment. Osorio-Arellanes has maintained he was not the gunman who killed Terry, and prosecutors say the evidence supports his claim. But they say he is still liable for the killing because the murder occurred during an attempted robbery in which he was a voluntary participant.

Robert Heyer, Brian Terry's cousin, said Terry's mother and siblings will attend the sentencing Monday, their first appearance in court since Osorio-Arellanes' criminal proceedings began. The family lives in the Detroit area.

"In a sense that's one part of the justice piece. But there are four other individuals we are waiting to be brought to justice," Heyer said. "Until all of these men are brought to justice, the closure, you know, we'll still be seeking closure with respect to the justice piece, absolutely."