By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart – from Stratfor.com
Mexico has pretty much always been a rough-and-tumble place. In recent years, however, the security environment has deteriorated rapidly, and parts of the country have become incredibly violent. It is now common to see military weaponry such as fragmentation grenades and assault rifles used almost daily in attacks.
In fact, just last week we noted two separate strings of grenade attacks directed against police in Durango and Michoacan states. In the Michoacan incident, police in Uruapan and Lazaro Cardenas were targeted by three grenade attacks during a 12-hour period. Then on Feb. 17, a major firefight occurred just across the border from the United States in Reynosa, when Mexican authorities attempted to apprehend several armed men seen riding in a vehicle. The men fled to a nearby residence and engaged the pursuing police with gunfire, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). After the incident, in which five cartel gunmen were killed and several gunmen, cops, soldiers and civilians were wounded, authorities recovered a 60 mm mortar, five RPG rounds and two fragmentation grenades. Continue reading
COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio — An El Paso, Texas border patrol agent who has been jail for an unwarranted shooting in 2005 could be released from prison Tuesday, despite an 11-year center.
Jose Compean is one of two people jailed in connection with the shooting that prosecutors said the two agents tried to cover up. While the second agent, Ignacio Ramos, awaits release in Phoenix Tuesday, Compean could also be released Tuesday from a federal prison in Elkton, Columbiana County. More HERE
UPDATE: Glenn Beck has just reported that Agent Ramos has been released this morning and Agent Compean will soon follow! This is FANTASTIC news! Will post updates as they are available.
EL PASO, Texas — Customs officers found 957 pounds of marijuana hidden in a truckload of concrete pipes.
The 1993 International tractor trailer from Mexico was X-rayed at the Bridge of the Americas on Friday. The examination revealed anomalies in the cargo that turned out to be 816 packages of the drug, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Rick Lopez told the El Paso Times.
Officers cut through the concrete pipes to find the marijuana packages encased inside.
CBP officials put the drugs value at $765,000 and said the case was still under investigation. From Chron.com
(LAREDO, Texas) – Raul Alvarez, 29, a U.S. citizen and the business manager of a men’s club in Colonia Mirador, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, has been arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the United States into Mexico, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
Alvarez was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, after a random Customs and Border Protection (CBP) outbound inspection at an international bridge in Laredo resulted in the discovery of 282 rounds of ammunition, three pistol magazines and eight assault rifle magazines in a compartment in the rear passenger quarter panel of the vehicle Alvarez was driving. The ammunition and the vehicle, a 2000 Ford Expedition, has also been seized.
Following further investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal criminal complaint accusing Alvarez of willfully attempting to export ammunition in violation of federal law from the U.S into Mexico was filed on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008. Alvarez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Saldana the same day and was ordered released upon posting a $100,000 cash or surety bond. After being informed of his right to a preliminary examination hearing, Alvarez formally waived that hearing in open court.
The charge of knowingly and willfully exporting ammunition from the U.S. to a place outside the country in violation of federal law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment without parole and a $250,000 fine.
The charges are the result of the seizures made by CBP and an investigation being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Border Enforcement Security Force Task Force led by ICE with the participation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Laredo Police Department. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diana Song.
A U.S. anti-kidnapping expert was abducted by gunmen in northern Mexico last week, a sign of just how bold this nation’s kidnapping gangs have become.
U.S. security consultant Felix Batista was in Saltillo in Coahuila state to offer advice on how to confront abductions for ransom when he himself was seized, local authorities said.
Unknown assailants grabbed him on Dec. 10, said Charlie LeBlanc, the president of the Houston, Texas-based security firm ASI Global LLC., where Batista is a consultant. More HERE
The death squads of the drug cartels are killing in spectacularly gruesome ways, using the violence as a language to deliver a message to society.
Increasingly, bodies show unmistakable signs of torture. Videos of executions are posted on the Internet, as taunts, as warnings. Corpses are dumped on playgrounds, with neatly printed notes beside them. And very often, the heads have been removed.
When someone rolled five heads onto the dance floor in a cantina in Michoacan state two years ago, even the most hardened Mexicans were shocked. Now ritual mutilations are routine. In the border city of Tijuana, 37 people were slain over the weekend, including four children. Nine of the adults were decapitated, including three police officers whose badges were stuffed in their mouths. Full story HERE
Largest cache in Northeast shows the drug is spreading, authorities say
By Joe Ryan
NEWARK, N.J. — Authorities yesterday said they seized an $11 million shipment of crystal methamphetamine that was intercepted in West Paterson and lends evidence, they say, that the highly addictive drug is taking hold in New Jersey.
The drug, sometimes called Ice, has long been a scourge on the West Coast, particularly in rural areas. But it has swept slowly east, finding its way into urban nightclubs and onto street corners, authorities said.
“We are finally starting to see it seep into the East Coast,” said Gerard McAleer, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division.
The 165-pound cache – the largest ever seized in the Northeast – was captured Monday, when members of a DEA task force pulled over a refrigerated tractor-trailer heading east on Route 80. The light-blue crystallized substance was packed into Tupperwarelike containers, wrapped in black duct tape and tucked between crates of limes, authorities said.
Investigators suspect the shipment came from massive drug labs in Mexico. They declined to say where it was going. Full story here
The article further states that authorities believe Olguin is a US citizen and suspect that he is a member of a Mexican drug organization.
By Fred Burton and Ben West
On Nov. 3, a U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, began hearing a case concerning members of a criminal enterprise that calls itself Barrio Azteca (BA). The group members face charges including drug trafficking and distribution, extortion, money laundering and murder. The six defendants include the organization’s three bosses, Benjamin Alvarez, Manuel Cardoza and Carlos Perea; a sergeant in the group, Said Francisco Herrera; a lieutenant, Eugene Mona; and an associate, Arturo Enriquez.
The proceedings represent the first major trial involving BA, which operates in El Paso and West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The testimony is revealing much about how this El Paso-based prison gang operates, and how it interfaces with Mexican drug cartel allies that supply its drugs.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) – Four illegal immigrants were found in the back of a Wal-Mart truck, and the driver and two alleged accomplices were accused of trying to smuggle them through a Border Patrol checkpoint.Authorities acting on a tip arrested driver Alejandro Hernandez and two other suspects Thursday just south of a checkpoint at Falfurrias, authorities said. The four Mexican nationals in the trailer were also taken into custody.
Documents filed in federal court Monday allege that Hernandez, 50, unloaded a delivery at a Wal-Mart in McAllen, then stopped at a truck stop in nearby Edinburg where he picked up the four immigrants.
Authorities said Leonor Gomez, 29, and her mother, Santos Gomez Moreno, had brought the immigrants to that meeting point in their van. More from Breitbart.com