Tuesday, September 29, 2015



Note: Busy AZMEX Monday, no just can't make these things up.

Falling drug bundle pierces carport, crushes doghouse
By Murphy Woodhouse
Nogales International Sep 25, 2015

The drug bundle crash-landed in plastic doghouse. Luckily the dog was not inside at the time.

In the first hours of Tuesday, Sept. 8, a tremendous boom woke Bill and Maya Donnelly at their home on Crawford Street, a few hundred yards from the U.S.-Mexico border in downtown Nogales.

Bill shrugged it off as monsoon thunder, but Maya wasn't so sure. Nevertheless, both soon went back to sleep.

After Bill and the couple's children headed off to work and school the following morning, Maya looked out the kitchen window toward the home's carport and saw splintered wood and other signs that Hulk, their large German Shepherd, had been up to no good.

"I went out to investigate, and sure enough, I looked up to see the hole, and then my eyes trailed down and the big dog's house was destroyed. It made a hole in that hard plastic doghouse and the bundle was inside...," Maya recalled.

That bundle contained 23.8 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $9,500, that had passed cleanly through the carport roof's several wooden layers and pulverized Hulk's home, which he fortunately was not fond of.

"Thank goodness (Hulk) is a wanderer at night and was not in his house," Maya said, adding: "He was probably at the gate watching the plane go by."

The Donnellys said the Nogales Police Department officers who responded told them that one of the most likely explanations for the incident was that an ultralight aircraft smuggling marijuana into Arizona from Mexico had accidentally let part of its load go early before dropping the rest further north of the border.

Bill Donnelly said that scenario made sense to him, adding that flying just one bundle seems like "an awful lot of risk for a little reward."

Ultralights are small, single-seat aircraft for which no licensing or training is required to operate in the United States.

The Donnellys said NPD officers searched their property and other nearby areas for additional bundles but found nothing. The officers took possession of the single bundle.

In the incident report provided by NPD, one of the officers noted that the bundle "had a plastic bracket, taped with black electrical tape," which had possibly been used to affix the load to an aircraft. The report also states that the marijuana was to be held for investigation by the local HIDTA Task Force.

More than not killing one of the family's dogs, Bill Donnelly said he was grateful the load hadn't fallen a little further east. "Thank God it didn't land on our house," he said. "Or over one of the kids' rooms."

Drop and go back
NPD Chief Derek Arnson and Sheriff Antonio Estrada said that ultralight aircraft are one of the tools of the local drug smuggling trade, but neither had ever heard of a load being lost in such dramatic fashion.

"Ultralights, we've seen those on occasion," Arnson said. "They'll take a couple, two, three bundles. You can hear those kind of buzzing. They come at nighttime and they don't land, they just drop and go back to Mexico."

In 2011, a sheriff's deputy spotted an ultralight dropping a load near Ruby Road. While the aircraft got away, law enforcement found 1,753 pounds of marijuana. In a similar incident in 2009, Border Patrol agents and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter successfully apprehended an ultralight pilot in the San Rafael Valley and seized 205 pounds of marijuana.

CBP did not respond to a request for comment on the use of ultralights in Southern Arizona.

Ultralights are not the only aerial smuggling method being used in the area. Taking a cue from medieval warfare tacticians, smugglers are also suspected of employing catapults to heave drugs across the border. In 2011, NPD spokesman Carlos Jimenez told the NI that a catapult-like device was possibly being used to hurl marijuana bundles across the border to Escalada Drive, though the contraption was never found.

The police report on the most recent incident did not mention such a possibility.

Family project
Though the plummeting load could have been much more serious, Maya Donnelly said she and her family don't "feel any less safe."

Bill said the deductible for their home insurance is a little too steep, so he intends to make the carport repair a family affair. "At this point Maya and I are going to do it together, and make it a family outing," he said with a laugh.


At one border crossing, passport now required

Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2015 3:59 pm | Updated: 3:59 pm, Sun Sep 27, 2015.
By Carla Leon, Cronkite News Service


SAN YSIDRO, California – At the Puerta Este border crossing, U.S. citizens and other foreigners walking into Mexico must now show their passports.
"I do business in Baja California, and I do business here in California, so I cross the border every day," said Alex Casian, a San Diego resident.
Casian and border residents worry the passport requirement will create a backlog on the border this time for those heading into Mexico.
"If you're making it harder to cross the border, then it is making it harder for all the businesses down there to receive people and actually do our services," Casian said.
Travelers also have to fill out a form. If they plan to stay longer than a week, they also have to pay a $20 fee for a six-month permit.
According to the federal officials in both Hermosillo, Son., and Tijuana, B.C., there are currently no plans to put in place such a system at the crossings at Los Algodones, Baja Calif., or San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.
Casian builds websites and does marketing for hotels in the San Diego area.
"It's going to affect the U.S. and Mexico because people won't shop on either side of the border," said Arturo Ramirez, who relies on tips he earns carrying shopping bags across the border with his cart.
So far, Mexico is only enforcing the passport rule at the newly renovated San Ysidro border crossing. That $6.9 million structure includes a separate immigration line for foreigners and will serve as a model as Mexico expands the passport requirement along the border.
"It is important for the border states in the United States and the border states in Mexico to have better infrastructure in order to be ready for the future," said Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez, consul general of Mexico in Phoenix.
Motorists will not have to show their passports to Mexican immigration officers at the border. And if lines grow too long, the requirement may be waived for pedestrians during peak crossing times.
But passport requirement is expected to help both Mexico and the United States improve border security.
"Since 15 or 20 years ago they were thinking to ask for passports. But now it happens for safety reasons for both countries," Rodriguez Hernandez said.


Drug Smuggling in Pinal County: Tactics constantly changing
Sheriff's Office ready to counter new methods to avoid detection
Drug smugglers had wrapped bales of marijuana, seized during a recent bust in Pinal County, in camouflage.
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2015 8:19 am
By KEVIN REAGAN, Staff Writer


FLORENCE — The peak season of drug smuggling is picking up in central Arizona, and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office is trying to keep track of new methods employed by transporters.
Sgt. Brian Messing, supervisor of the Sheriff's Office's Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit, said the end of September through December is when they see much more activity on the drug routes crossing through Pinal County. Every year, he said smugglers find creative ways to avoid detection.
"They come up with new ideas to try and throw us off," he said. "Their goal is to gain as much time on us."
A PCSO detective stopped a pickup truck on Sept. 18 along Interstate 8 containing a group of smugglers wearing homemade camouflaged carpet-boots, which are thought to cover up a smuggler's footprints.
Messing explained this tactic of attaching carpet to footwear or car tires is seen by investigators on occasion. The strategy isn't new to the region. The Sierra Vista Herald reported in 2010 that U.S. Border Patrol agents caught 13 smugglers traveling on foot near Sells with carpet laced to the bottom of their shoes.
Messing said the strategy can buy the smugglers some ground time, but deputies and investigators have trained their eyes to detect trails that look suspicious.
Smugglers also often camouflage their bundles so they can be hidden from aircraft and foot detection until they are picked up by carriers, or not easily spotted while being carried.

Most of the recent busts in western Pinal County around Interstate 8 and Stanfield have involved vehicles that have picked up marijuana and smugglers after being carried across the border and the desert for days. Smugglers told deputies after the Sept. 18 bust that they had traveled for six days across the desert.
Messing has been working for the Sheriff's Office for the last 22 years. He said drug smuggling has exploded with activity in the region just in the last six years.
Human smuggling has gone down during that time, and Messing explained it might be because the drug cartels don't want human smugglers crossing their territory.
Another difficulty in finding smugglers is tracking the numerous scouts who sit on desert hilltops and navigate transporters through trails that avoid law enforcement.
There can be up to 20 scouts dispersed throughout a 20-mile radius and can remain at their post for as long as six weeks, according to Messing.
He added smugglers will try confusing law enforcement by frequently changing their routes. He said some have been known to return to trails not crossed in several years.
What other tricks smugglers may have up their sleeves, Messing said it's still too early to know for sure.
"They're just starting up their season, so we'll see," he said.


Phoenix police investigate home invasion
Posted: Sep 29, 2015 5:15 AM MST
Updated: Sep 29, 2015 8:06 AM MST
By Jennifer ThomasCONNECT

Phoenix police are investigating a home invasion near 79th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Police said several Hispanic males forced their way into a home around 1 a.m. Tuesday. One of the men was dressed in body armor and had an assault rifle.

A man, woman and two children were home at the time. The man was tied up and a gun was pointed at the woman and a daughter, but they were not injured.
The suspects demanded money and drugs. Police said they ransacked the home and the family's cars before taking some items and fleeing.

The suspects were inside the home for about 30 minutes.

Sgt. Jonathan Howard said there were indicators of drug activity in the home.
Police are trying to determine if this is linked to a possible home invasion near 46th Avenue and Thomas Road.

Howard said officers responded to a shots-fired call and found signs of forced entry. They contacted the occupants who reported that the suspects had fled. There were no injuries.

Officers are still investigating both incidents.


Inician jornada contra dengue en Sonora
Inician jornada contra dengue en SonoraLas actividades de prevención se extenderán al Poblado Miguel Alemán, Bahía Kino y a otros municipios. Foto: Redacción/GH
Por: Agencias | 27/09/2015 11:40


Piden autoridades a ciudadanía sumarse a lucha contra el dengue
Llevarán jornada de descacharre a las colonias
Piden autoridades a ciudadanía sumarse a lucha contra el dengue
Es clave la limpieza para prevenir casos de dengue: Salud
Tiene Salud 10 mdp para enfrentar dengue
HERMOSILLO, Sonora(Agencias)

Este domingo se inició en la capital sonorense una campaña masiva contra el mosquito transmisor, para evitar más casos de dengue y chikungunya después de las lluvias provocadas por la tormenta tropical 16-E.

Las labores comenzaron en 30 colonias de esta ciudad con incidencia de dengue.

Los trabajos incluyen limpieza y descacharre de patios en domicilios, entrega de insecticida abate y fumigar las colonias.

Las actividades de prevención se extenderán al Poblado Miguel Alemán, Bahía Kino y a otros municipios afectados por las lluvias generadas por el fenómeno meteorológico.

En particular, en esta jornada participa personal del Sector Salud quien levanta información epidemiológica la cual servirá para darle seguimiento al plan.



Como resultado del seguimiento a una denuncia ciudadana, los oficiales de la Agencia de Investigación Criminal, de la PGR, se constituyeron en la caseta de cobro conocida como La Jaula, entre Navojoa y Estación Don, donde a bordo de un transporte de pasaje colectivo detectaron a un sujeto con dos plantillas en los zapatos, en las cuales llevaba 310 gramos de heroína, se informó.

El vocero de la Procuraduría General de la República en Sonora agregó que lo anterior se suscitó a bordo de uno de los vehículos de Autotransportes de Guasave, procedente de Guamúchil, Sinaloa, con destino a la fronteriza Nogales.

Donde al revisar dicha unidad, observaron que el ahora detenido empezó a comportarse nerviosa y sospechosamente, por lo que procedieron a cuestionarlo en torno a dicha actitud, contestándoles con evasivas y contradicciones, para luego examinar sus vestimentas y calzado, encontrándosele en esto la droga mencionada.

Por lo que inmediatamente después fue detenido y turnado al Agente del Ministerio Público de la Federación en Navojoa por su presunta participación en el delito contra la salud, añadió el informante.


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