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Syndicates recruit mules of various nationalities to avoid detection

Posted on

March 27, 2013


KUALA LUMPUR: Nigerian drug syndicates are swiftly dropping’ drug mules from countries considered hot’ by the authorities and recruiting other nationalities to avoid getting caught.

The syndicates, with links to their counterparts in other countries such as Indonesia, China, and the Philippines, are using Malaysia as the transit point.

It is learnt the syndicates would change their choice of couriers based on the ones hot’ on the radar of the authorities.

Federal Narcotics Director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said if police identified Indonesians being used as drug mules, the syndicate would switch to a courier, who is a China national.

“The Nigerian syndicates have been identified as the most dangerous operating in the country.

“They are always changing their couriers and modus operandi to fool the authorities but we are onto them,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He explained that drugs such as syabu were usually meant for the Indonesian market while heroin was popular in China.

“The Nigerians smuggle the drugs from Pakistan before distributing it to both countries,” he said.

Comm Noor Rashid said police recently busted a Nigerian drug syndicate with the arrest of eight suspects, including four Nigerians, a Pakistani man and an Indonesian woman. In that raid, some RM630,000 worth of syabu and heroin were seized.

“The raids were conducted in KLIA, Kampung Rawa in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

“We detained a Pakistani and Indonesian drug mule in separate incidents.

“The Pakistani man had just arrived at KLIA and was caught with 850g of drugs while the Indonesian tried to smuggled out 335g of syabu,” he said.

He added that police also seized some 16kg of heroin in one of the raids.

Comm Noor Rashid said no mat-ter how devious the syndicates became, the police would always be able to track them down.

“But we need the cooperation of the public in our war against drugs,” he said.



Teen girls detained for allegedly smuggling heroin into Santa Cruz County

Posted on

Apr 24, 2013

Four teen-aged girls were taken into custody Monday after agents at the Border Patrol checkpoint south of Amado say they caught them allegedly trying to smuggle heroin.

According to a news release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the four girls aged 15 to 17 were passengers in a commercial shuttle being inspected at the checkpoint.


Border agents say they found heroin tucked into the four girls' waistbands. (Source: the U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Border agents say they found heroin tucked into the four girls’ waistbands

Agents seized 7.75 pounds of heroin valued at an estimated $90,000. (Source: the U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Agents seized 7.75 pounds of heroin valued at an estimated $90,000


A 15-year-old passenger behaved nervously during questioning, and after receiving consent to search her bags, agents found bundles of heroin, the release said.


Agents searched other passengers and found that four of them had heroin tucked into their waistbands, the release said.

Agents seized 7.75 pounds of the drug valued at an estimated $90,000. The girls were turned over to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.



Man found handcuffed, bagged in bed of stolen truck in Phoenix

Posted on

Apr 23, 2013

 PHOENIX (CBS5) – Phoenix police were looking for a motive after finding a man in the bed of a stolen pickup truck handcuffed and with a bag over his head Monday night.


Investigators photograph a stolen pickup truck, in which a man was found handcuffed and with a bag over his head Monday night.


Arizona mug shotsInvestigators photograph a stolen pickup truck, in which a man was found handcuffed and with a bag over his head Monday night. (Source: CBS 5 News)

 A resident of a mobile home park near 25th Street and Greenway Parkway called police to report seeing the handcuffed man in the truck, Phoenix police Lt. Greg Berghorst said.

Police encountered the truck as it was starting to leave the trailer park about 10:30 p.m., Berghorst said.

The driver immediately bailed from the truck and ran into the trailer park while a 29-year-old passenger was immediately captured, Berghorst said.

In the bed of the truck lay the 39-year-old handcuffed man with a bag over his head. Officers found two rifles and two shotguns inside the truck, which had been reported stolen on Sunday, Berghorst said.

The 20-year-old driver was found in a shed a few streets down nearly two hours later and surrendered without resisting to the Phoenix police special tactics team.

Berghorst said the victim spoke only Spanish, but told police through an interpreter that he was walking near Cave Creek and Bell roads when someone came up from behind, grabbed him, placed the bag over his head and threw him into the bed of the truck.

Berghorst said the man believed he had been driven around a couple hours before stopping at the trailer park. He told police he didn’t know the suspects, Berghorst said.

“There are just a lot of unanswered questions,” Berghorst said.

The driver could face possible kidnapping charges, while charges are pending for the passenger, Berghorst said.

Mexican cartel-style ‘express kidnappings’ now happening in North Carolina

Posted on

April 25, 2013


On Wednesday, Jorge Rentas, Alejandro Zambrano, Gema Yadaria Zambrano and Orlando Zambrano were all arraigned in a Newton courtroom. All four have been charged with kidnapping.

Charged with kidnapping


The defendants reportedly abducted Alfonso Moreno outside a Lowe’s store in Hickory.

WSOC-TV reported:

His girlfriend, who asked we not show her face, said Moreno had gone to buy curtains for their home.

About an hour after leaving she started getting phone calls demanding a $200,000 ransom for his safe return.

“Twelve o’clock was what they said was it or they would kill him. This is bad, this is bad. They want us to come through with some money now or we are not going to make it,” she said.

“We believe he was specifically targeted because he had access to money and that he could get money for his release,” said Capt. Reed Baer with Hickory police.

According to a search warrant, police traced the phone calls to a mobile home in southeast Hickory where they made the arrest after finding Moreno restrained. Inside they recovered several guns, rope, and a roll of duct tape. Moreno’s girlfriend has a message for police.

At least three of the suspects are in the country illegally, according to police.

According to the Council for Law and Human Rights (CLDH), an average of 49 kidnappings occurred every day in Mexico in 2011, with a total of 17,889 abductions last year.

However, that figure does not include so-called “express kidnappings,” in which the victim is only held hostage for a short time, usually a few hours. The victim is abducted and forced to withdraw money from an ATM, or their family is asked for ransom money before being released.

The CLDH reports that hundreds of these types of abductions take place in Mexico City on a daily basis.

Such abductions have been taking place in the American southwest for several years…

-In August 2010, an 18-year-old woman was reunited with her family, 19 hours after she was abducted in San Juan, Texas. The victim, whose name was withheld, was walking to a friend’s house when a black van pulled up beside her and three men jumped out and forced her into the vehicle.

According to San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez, the woman was blindfolded and driven back across the border to Reynosa, where she was eventually left in a field.

The assailants quickly began calling her family, demanding ransom in exchange for her release. FBI agents and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies negotiated with her abductors.

Realizing that the woman’s family could not pay, they tossed her out of their vehicle.

Fortunately, the girl had a cell phone which the kidnappers did not find.

-In November 2009, a McAllen, Texas man was taken at gunpoint from a Starbucks Coffee store and driven back to Reynosa. The kidnappers demanded $30,000 in ransom from the man’s family. The man was later found bound and beaten.

-In August 2008, Reuters reported on an American businesswoman identified only as “Veronica,” who had been kidnapped a few months earlier. As she was exiting her car in California, two men forced her into the passenger seat at gunpoint, then shoved her teenaged daughter into the back seat and took the pair to Mexico.

The kidnappers drove through the border checkpoint in San Diego, bringing the mother and daughter to Tijuana. The two were held captive for a month until their family paid a ransom of $100,000.

Veronica said of her experience: “We got an automatic green light to go through Mexican customs and then we were blindfolded and taken to a house in Tijuana. They held a pistol to my stomach all the time we were in the car.”

Of course, as illegal immigration becomes a national problem, the violent crimes associated with it have also spread to every city and town across the nation..

Incidentally, it is 1,168 miles from the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico to Hickory, North Carolina.


Mexico’s Zetas Cartel Recruiting Americans Since 2010

Posted on

April 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 29: Tattoos are seen on the head of a twenty-year old “Street Villains” gang member who was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers from the 77th Street division on April 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 77th Street division patrol the same neighborhood that truck driver Reginald Denny was nearly beaten to death by a group of black assailants at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. It?s been 20 years since the verdict was handed down in the Rodney King case that sparked infamous Los Angeles riots.


Zetas Gang New BT.jpg
Mexico’s ultra-violent Zetas drug cartel has made connections and collaborated with U.S. gangs throughout the United States since at least 2010, a leaked, confidential FBI document revealed.The FBI intelligence bulletin, published by the free information group Public Intelligence, showed that the Zetas have formed strong bonds with gangs of both Mexican and non-Mexican Americans to facilitate drug trafficking and enforcement on both sides of the border. The presence of Zetas-linked gangs is especially prominent along Texas’ southwest border and in Houston.

“The FBI judges with high confidence that Los Zetas will continue to increase its recruitment efforts and establish pacts with non-military trained, non-traditional associates to maintain their drug trafficking and support operations,” the report stated.

Experts argued that this move is a natural progression of the inroads Mexico’s cartels have made in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Associates of Mexico’s cartels already have a large presence in major U.S. drug trafficking hubs such as Chicago, Houston and Atlanta.


The FBI bulletin revealed a 2010 Zetas deal with the Texas-based prison gang, the Mexican Mafia, to collect debts, carry out hits and traffic drugs in and through Laredo, Texas. The Zetas also bought AK-47 assault rifles from the Houston-based street gang Tango Blast and attempted to recruit a number of American citizens to join the cartel’s war against the Gulf Cartel.

“They are trying to distance themselves from the middlemen,” said Adam Isacson, a senior associate from the Washington-based think tank the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). “We’ve seen this happening in the Andes and now it’s happening on our side of the border.”

The FBI bulletin revealed a 2010 Zetas deal with the Texas-based prison gang, the Mexican Mafia, to collect debts, carry out hits and traffic drugs in and through Laredo, Texas. The Zetas also bought AK-47 assault rifles from the Houston-based street gang Tango Blast and attempted to recruit a number of American citizens to join the cartel’s war against the Gulf Cartel.

This attempt to enlist American gang members into one of Mexico’s top drug cartels indicates that the Zetas have started to rely on non-traditional, non-military trained associates. Originally made up of former members of Mexico’s Special Forces, the Zetas are the former paramilitary-wing of the Gulf cartel and considered to be one of two dominant cartels in Mexico, along with Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel.

“It’s puzzling that they recruit non-trained people,” said Peter Hakim of the president emeritus of the Washington-based think tank, the Inter-American Dialogue. “They would want people who were well-trained and knew how law enforcement works. Maybe they are hiring people for jobs that do not require the skilled use of firearms or deadly tactics.”

There are also rumors that the Zetas have been weakened due to a split into two rival factions that are battling for control of the central states of Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi, as well as for parts of Yucatan peninsula. While authorities have not confirmed the split, local media and some experts claim that there is enough evidence of internal strife within the Zetas.

“If it is true, a split would likely hinder the ongoing attack on Sinaloa groups and strongholds, as Zeta groups turned on each other,” Shannon O’Neil, a Douglas Dillon Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, told Fox News Latino. “With this different dynamic, it is unclear that the levels of violence would change – killings would continue, the ‘teams’ and actors may have shifted.”

While the Colombian drug cartels of the 1980s and 1990s made wide connections throughout the U.S., these reports indicate that Mexican cartels have stepped up their efforts to take a more central role in the trafficking of their products north of the border.

A wide-ranging Associated Press review, released earlier this month, of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. Cartel operatives. They are also suspected of running drug-distribution networks in at least nine non-border states, often in middle-class suburbs in the Midwest, South and Northeast.

“It’s probably the most serious threat the United States has faced from organized crime,” said Jack Riley, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office.

Besides the U.S., Mexican cartels – particularly the Sinaloa group – have expanded their operations across the globe.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently announced documented links between Mexican cartels and criminal groups in Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, and Nigeria. The Sinaloa Cartel is also known to have ties not only in Europe but throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia, where a booming trade has developed in the country’s cities.

“It’s not surprising,” Isacson said of the cartel expansion around the globe. “The power of the Mexican cartels keeps growing both upstream and downstream.”

Mexican Cartel ‘Queen’ Pleads Guilty in US Case

Posted on

April 24, 2013


Miami – A Mexican woman known as a drug cartel queen pleaded guilty in Miami to charges arising from a major cocaine trafficking case.

Court records show that Sandra Avila Beltran pleaded guilty Tuesday to being an accessory after the fact in an organization once headed by Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez. He was her boyfriend at the time.

Espinosa is the former leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to cocaine trafficking charges.

A statement signed by Avila, who was known as the “Queen of the Pacific,” says she provided money to Espinosa for travel and lodging so he could evade arrest by authorities between 2002 and 2004.

The 52-year-old Avila faces a maximum of 15 years in prison at a July 25 sentencing hearing.


Sandra Avila Beltran smiles after she was arrested by federal agents outside a restaurant in southern Mexico City, Sept. 28, 2007


According to The Miami Herald, however, she is expected to receive a much lesser sentence, including about six years for her time already served in a Mexican prison before her extradition to Miami last August.

“Both sides felt the charge of accessory after the fact would be reflective of a fair and just result,” Avila’s attorney, Howard Schumacher, told the Herald on Wednesday.

The dark-haired Mexican beauty stood out in a narco-trafficking world dominated by men and the news media have long been fascinated with her, ever since she was arrested in 2007 in southern Mexico City.

She reportedly played a dominant role in the powerful Sinaloa cartel and exerted great influence over ocean supply routes.


In three months, 158 gunmen killed in clashes with military

Posted on

April 21, 2013


They were 67 in Tamaulipas, according to a report by the Ministry of National Defense

Mexico • In nearly three months of the current administration, the army struck in 11 states to 158 alleged members of the crime to repel attacks, mainly in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Coahuila and Zacatecas.

According to a report by the Secretariat of National Defense, the December 1, 2012 to February 2013 armed attack occurred against military personnel in 15 states.

During this period, 67 alleged assailants killed in Tamaulipas, Veracruz 25, 23 in Coahuila, Zacatecas 20 and 10 in Guerrero.

The report of the Department of Defense said four suspects were killed by soldiers in Jalisco, three in Chihuahua, two in the State of Mexico, one in Sinaloa, one in Nuevo Leon, one in Oaxaca and one in Michoacan.

There was also fighting in Durango, Sonora and Morelos, in which no alleged criminals were reported killed in the shootings.

According to official statistics, during the past six years, from 2007 to 2012 – 2000 959 were killed alleged criminals and injured 405.

However, during the shootings were also arrested by the Army 2000 560 criminals, after they were forced to lay down their arms and surrender.

According to an “X” in attacks on the military’s personnel in the previous administration, armed attacks occurred in most of the country, except in Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tlaxcala.

The largest number of alleged criminals killed by military personnel 2de recorded September 2010 in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, where 28 suspects were killed and nobody was arrested.

Official reports indicate that military personnel conducted aerial tours when spotted a group of armed men, so it was requested ground support elements that formed a fence on the ranch The Troncón and soldiers were fired.

In this operation were released three kidnapped by the attackers, while authorities said 24 rifles, 4000 200 cartridges, 532 magazines, 23 trucks, one armored and two “cloned” as military units.



Saltillo: Dismembered Bodies of Vanguardia Photog and Student Discovered

Posted on

April 25, 2013


At the intersection of colonias Los Arcos and Miravalle, south of Saltillo, the dismembered bodies of two men were left next to the wall of an elementary school each one with a message, .



The bodies were in the middle of the pavement at the intersection of boulevard Diamante, Alejandrina and Arco Suizo.

Strangely, according to elements of the State Investigative Police, they were alerted about the “discovery” of the two bodies, provided with much detail by the Regional Delegate PGJE Claudia Elodia Brondo Morales , and apparently to soon, for when they arrived the bodies were not there yet.

“Well, you saw that we went around three times and went through the same place three times, and it wasn´t until the third that the bodies were here, it is odd that the delegate knew even how they were dressed and how they were wrapped, and insisted so much in sending us to the exact point, but worst is that she sent us there even before the bodies had been dumped” said one of the detectives.



 While they were searching, a man who passed by and saw the bodies went in his car to give notice to the Municipal Police, at the South Delegation facilities in Echeverria and Libertad.

 The policemen on duty passed the report to the State Emergency System 066 and then it was confirmed that ministeriales detectives had already located such bodies.

 Although the statement that sent the Attorney General of the State mentioned that the discovery was made at 02:00 hours on Wednesday, actually happened at 00:30 am, shortly after that neighbor reported it to the Municipal Police.

The bodies were found at the edge of the ridge near Arco Suizo, one was on a bedspread with its mutilated limbs surrounding the body, the other body was on top of a black bag and there were sheets on the sidewalk. The messages were placed on top of the bodies and by when the bodies were taken they remained unidentified.


Attorney office identifies the bodies

 Almost 22 hours after the discovery of the two dismembered bodies, the Attorney General in the State reported that they had been identified, and made known to the media through a press release …

 Members of the Police Investigation of the Attorney General of the State (PGJE) managed to locate the relatives of the two victims that were found on Tuesday night in Arco Suizo and Alejandrina, Colonia Miravalle.

Relatives identified Daniel Alejandro Martinez Bazaldúa , 22 years old, and Julian Alejandro Zamora Gracia, 23.

 Daniel Alejandro Martinez Bazaldúa had been working for about a month as a photographer for the social section of the newspaper Vanguardia, previously worked organizing special tourist trips. Last contact he had with his family was on April 23.

 Julian Alejandro Zamora Gracia, according to information provided by family members, was a engineering student at Northeastern University (UANE) and was doing an internship at a company of Ramos Arizpe. Last contact they had with him was also on April 23.

 Along with the bodies there were two messages that make direct reference to both men, saying they had belonged to a criminal organization and had deserted.


Acuña: Major Operation by Mexican Navy

Posted on

April 25, 2013


Over a hundred elements of marine Navy of Mexico and Mexican Army secured drugs, weapons, vehicles and suspects, during raids that took place in different parts of the city during Tuesday morning.


 Federal sources confirmed that since the early hours of Tuesday, the Marines arrived in Ciudad Acuña aboard armored vehicles and artillery units, proceeding to besiege residences and properties in the process of detaining criminal suspects.

The Marines were supported by helicopter gunships that were kept carrying out reconnaissance flights, as scores of elements raided properties, and “safe houses” used by drug traffickers.

 Although the details and results of the operation have not been made public, information leaked that an indeterminate amount of drugs, weapons, grenades, cartridges, vehicles of recent model and suspects were seized.

 The previous week, in Piedras Negras elite troops managed to confiscate 7 tons of marijuana, as well as grenades, weapons and vehicles.

 Piedras Negras is the base operation for the Marina of Mexico (navy) as it continues air and ground operations in the municipalities of Acuña, Jimenez and Piedras Negras in search of members of organized crime.

 There have been rumors from Acuña since the weekend. One rumor was that two Zetas leaders had been captured one in Acuña and one in Monterrey as he flew in from Cancun. The Zeta captured at the airport was supposedly Alfredo Andrade [in photo above left]. Andrade’s second in command was said to have been captured in Tuesday’s operation in Acuña.

 I have received several communications over the past few days from enough people that gives me a sense that the rumors probably have some truth in them. Today when Vanguardia reported about the Marina and Army operation on Tuesday that gave further support to the reports from people on the ground in Acuña.

 If the reports are factual and Andrade was captured he will be extradited to the United States where he has been a fugitive since federal indictment in 2003 named him and 30 co-defendants wanted for drug trafficking and money laundering.

 The drug operation, detailed in the indictment, shipped drugs out of the Mexican city of Ciudad Acuña, across the Rio Grande/Bravo from Del Rio Texas, from Del Rio drugs were shipped to San Antonio, Austin and Waco Texas.

 30 of the 31 named in the indictment have been arrested; the lone suspect on the lam is Andrade.


6 die in Reynosa

Posted on

April 24, 2013
A total of six individuals have been killed in separate incidents in Reynosa, Tamaulipas Monday, according to Mexican news accounts.

A news report which appeared on the website of said that four armed suspects exchanged gunfire with a unit of the Mexican Army Monday. The incident took place near the intersection of calles Fuente de Diana and Catorce in Fuentes colony.

The suspects were travelling aboard a Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup truck when the incident occurred. Following the conclusion of the confrontation, soldiers secured four rifles, four pistols, weapons magazines, helmets and bulletproof vests.

Two of the four dead suspects were identified as Edgar Vidales Garcia, of Mazatlan, Sinaloa and Reyes Jimenez Diaz.

Separately, another exchange of gunfire with another Mexican Army road patrol took place Monday afternoon at around 1640 hrs.

In a press release posted on its official website, the Tamaulipas state Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado or attorney general said that the two armed suspects were travelling aboard a Nissan Titan pickup truck when it crossed paths with a Mexican Army road patrol in El Olmito colony.

The suspects were identified as Julio Enrique Ramirez Rios and Janer Francisco Cano, both from Reynosa. Soldiers also seized six rifles at the scene in the aftermath.




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