Archive for July, 2010

Thwarted Smuggling Attempt Results in Arrest of 24

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

(Monday, July 26, 2010)

contacts for this news release

El Centro, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents and members of the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force arrested two alleged smugglers and the driver of a pickup truck used to smuggle illegal aliens.

On July 22 at approximately 9:20 p.m., El Centro sector Border Patrol agents attempted to pull over a pick-up truck which failed to yield near Keystone Road and Highline Road, southeast of Brawley, Calif. The truck was later found off of Gonder Road near a ditch.

Upon searching the vehicle, agents discovered 15 people concealed under a tarp in the bed of the truck. All 15 were determined to be illegally present in the United States and were arrested. The driver of the pick-up truck had absconded but another individual who was a U.S. citizen was arrested on the scene. The U.S. citizen and the 15 illegal aliens were transported to the El Centro Border Patrol Station for processing.

Agents obtained information that led them to the house where the alleged driver was hiding. The following afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m., El Centro sector Border Patrol agents in conjunction with IVBEST responded to the location where the alleged driver was hiding. Upon searching the premises, agents found the driver, who was illegally present in the U.S. In addition, seven illegal aliens were found including one whom was involved in the smuggling attempt.

The U.S. citizen, the alleged driver, and third smuggler will be held pending charges for alien smuggling. The pickup truck was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.


CBP Officers Stop Two Fugitives Wanted for Attempted Murder from Fleeing to Mexico

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Also Stop More than $73,000 in Undeclared Currency Sewn Into Clothing and in Other Unusual Places
(Tuesday, July 27, 2010)

contacts for this news release

San Diego — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers performing southbound inspections at the San Ysidro port of entry Monday stopped two fugitives wanted for attempted murder and, in an unrelated incident, stopped three persons with $73,425 in undeclared currency hidden in bottles of shampoo and chicken stock and sewn into their clothes.

CBP officers found money hidden in a number of locations, including the waistline of these pants

CBP officers found money hidden in a number of locations, including the waistline of these pants

At about 6:30 p.m. on July 26, CBP officers conducting inspections of pedestrians heading southbound into Mexico stopped Miguel Angel Galvan-Morfin, a fugitive with an active warrant for his arrest. Galvan-Morfin, a 22-year-old legal permanent resident, was wanted for attempted murder in Santa Rosa, Calif. According to the Santa Rosa Police Department, during the murder attempt on Wednesday, July 21, the 17-year-old victim was stabbed in excess of 15 times.

After CBP officers identified Galvan-Morfin and began to place him in handcuffs, he attempted to elude officers and escape to Mexico. Officers took Galvan-Morfin into custody, despite his attempts to flee and the fact that he became combative, including punching and kicking the CBP officers as they took him into custody.

Shortly after the apprehension, CBP officers spotted a second person with a warrant for his arrest for the same attempted murder in Santa Rosa. CBP officers were able to take Jesus Camacho Nunez, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, into custody without incident.

Both Galvan-Morfin and Nunez were booked into the San Diego County Jail.

Earlier that morning at about 7:30 a.m., CBP officers conducting inspections on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 stopped a commercial bus headed into Mexico. CBP officers pulled aside a 62-year-old female bus passenger for additional inspections.

During their initial inspection of the Mexican citizen with a border crossing card, CBP officers discovered a large amount of undeclared currency inside the woman’s purse and identified her two traveling companions, a 41-year-old male legal permanent resident and his father, a 71-year-old male Mexican citizen with a border crossing card, as well as their luggage.

CBP officers found a total of $73,425 in undeclared currency hidden in: a bottle of shampoo; a bottle of chicken bullion; sewn into the waistline of the woman’s jeans; inside the woman’s shoes and purse; sewn into the waistline of the 41-year-old man’s jeans, as well as in his pockets; and in the 71-year-old man’s shoes, under the shoe inserts.

CBP officers seized the currency and turned custody of all three persons over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The subjects are currently in custody pending criminal charges and further investigation by ICE.

It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

38 bodies found at northern Mexico dumping ground

July 24, 2010 Leave a comment

38 bodies found at northern Mexico dumping ground
Friday, July 23, 2010 at 10:04 p.m.
MEXICO CITY — Authorities found the remains of at least 38 people in a series of pits and scattered on the ground at a suspected drug-gang dumping site near the industrial hub of Monterrey in northern Mexico, an official said Friday.
Investigators were using heavy equipment to search for more bodies at the rural site outside Mexico’s third-largest city, local media said. Photographs showed charred spots on the soil suggesting some bodies may have been partially burned.
Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza said officials still had to inspect three more pits for bodies. He said 36 of the victims found so far are men and two are women.
The state attorney general’s office in Nuevo Leon state, where Monterrey is located, said more heavy equipment was being brought in to search the ground and pits where the remains were found.
The bodies were too badly decomposed for immediate identification, the office said.
The clandestine grave site, which was discovered Thursday, was believed to have been used by drug gangs that operate in the area.
The Mexican army did not offer any immediate information on how the site was detected.
Nearly 25,000 people have been killed in Mexico since the government launched an offensive against drug cartels in late 2006.
Cartel hit men have been known to use mass dumping sites to dispose of their victims. In late May, police in the central Mexico tourist town of Taxco discovered 55 bodies in an abandoned silver mine.
Mexico’s Defense Department said in a statement Friday that soldiers had seized 57 pounds (26 kilograms) of explosives from gunmen killed in two clashes with soldiers in the remote mountains of the border state of Chihuahua.
State authorities first reported the shootout between troops and assailants Thursday saying eight gunmen had been killed near the rural town of Madera, about 145 miles (230 kilometers) south of the U.S. border but gave no other details.
The Defense Department said nine gunmen were killed in two clashes and that troops had also seized army uniforms, seven satellite phones, two ATVs and ten cars.
Last week, drug gangs introduced a new threat to Mexico’s drug war, detonating their first successful car bomb. The attack killed a federal police officer and two others in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua’s largest city.
Speaking at a military academy graduation ceremony Friday, President Felipe Calderon praised the army’s role in the drug fight and called the drug cartels "the greatest threat to the well-being and progress of Mexican families, and the greatest danger to the liberties that our country’s founders gave their lives to obtain for us."
Calderon said that "our determination is not only not to take a single step backward, but to carry on decisively with this fight, to persevere in the effort until we reach the victory that Mexico deserves."


July 24, 2010 Leave a comment


Published 07/24/2010 – 2:30 p.m. CST

Location of the ranches

Slide Show

by Digger – republished with permission from DiggersRealm

UPDATE: Story is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department

The bloodbath continues along our southern border and now word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area. I am receiving word that the owners of the ranches have evacuated without being harmed.

Founder of the San Diego Minutemen Jeff Schwilk tipped me off to this story and passes along the following information on the location. The ranches are said to be "near Mines Rd. and Minerales Annex Rd about 10 miles NW of I-35".

Update – Statement from Mr. Schwilk)

I can personally vouch that this info came in late last night from a reliable police source inside the Laredo PD. There is currently a standoff between the unknown size Zeta forces and U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement on two ranches on our side of the Rio Grande. The source tells us he considers this an "act of war" and that the military is needed on the border now!

Whether it is lone members or squads is not certain.

Anonymous sources in law enforcement in the Laredo area tonight have passed on word that US law enforcement agencies are in the area and are weighing their options regarding the ranches. The media has been silent on this incident and some law enforcement in the area says that they are furious that the media is not reporting the whole story of the continued violence along the border. Their frustrations are understandable because keeping the truth suppressed continues to hamper law enforcement from receiving the true support they need along the border.

The ranch assaults come on the heels of attacks in Nuevo Laredo that shut the city down as a gun-battle raged in the streets. Los Zetas blocked off intersections with vehicles and used fragmentation grenades to attack Mexican law enforcement. In the end 12 were killed and 21 injured in the assaults. Citizens in the area were told to stay in their homes and bullets whizzed all around.

Cypress Times

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo had posted warnings on its website hours before the gunfire was reported by Texas citizens, “We have received credible reports of widespread violence occurring now between narcotics-trafficking organizations and the Mexican army in Nuevo Laredo.”

The U.S. Consulate went on to say, “The consulate confirmed that fragmentation grenades were used in the attacks and that suspected drug-gang members had blocked several roads, adding that it advised ‘all U.S. citizens in Nuevo Laredo to remain indoors until the security situation improves.’”

US Citizens in Laredo called 911 after hearing gunfire and explosions just across the border. Laredo police spokesman Joe Baeza deflected the concerns of citizens with what I see as utter contempt. He said there was no spillover violence onto the US side and "We were getting reports from people who live on the river’s edge that they could hear gunfire and explosions from the Mexico side," Baeza said, "We didn’t have any incidents on the American side. It’s hard for people to understand who don’t live here … They’re not Vikings, they’re not going to invade us, it doesn’t work that way."

This was said just a day before the reported breaking news on the ranches being taken above.

Violence has been on the rise along the border. In April 2010 a Border Patrol agent in Laredo shot and killed an lllegal alien drug smuggler near the Rio Grande

The Los Zetas are highly trained killers initially trained by United States Special Operations forces to combat the drug cartes within Mexico. As the drug war heated up the Zetas saw more money in working for the cartels and joined up with the Gulf Cartel.

In March, 2010 there was a fracture between the Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel when a Zetas leader was said to have been assassinated by the Gulf Cartel. They demanded that the killer be turned over to them. When the Gulf Cartel refused the Zetas captured 16 Gulf Cartel members.

Since March Los Zetas abandoned their stronghold in Reynosa and moved to Nuevo Laredo, just across from the border with Laredo, Texas. There are estimated to be over 1,000 Zeta members there.

Audio Post

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Border Jumpers Tags:

You can run, but you can’t hide

July 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Using Global Positioning System, or GPS, technology, and with the help of immigration agents, Escondido police were able to arrest two suspects in recent weeks, including a man charged with raping a 15-year-old girl, authorities said.

The arrests were touted by police as a success for the partnership between the Escondido Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under a pilot program that has been heavily criticized by some advocacy groups, including the North County-based El Grupo.

In the rape case, police were able to identify the suspect as a family member of the victim. Police gave the name of the suspect, Wenceslao Mendez, 34, to ICE agents working out of the Escondido Police Department headquarters, and the agents were able to determine that he was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet.

Mendez was arrested the following day, police said.

The agency allows some illegal immigrants to wear the tracking device while going through deportation procedures because of limited jail space.

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the agency in San Diego, said that ICE permits some illegal immigrants who are fighting deportation to remain out of custody if they don’t have a history of criminal convictions. However, those immigrants are monitored either through a GPS bracelet, office visits or a telephone call-in system, Mack said.

About 40 persons are wearing the bracelets in San Diego County, Mack said.

"Without this technology and the assistance of the ICE officers, it is likely that valuable evidence could have been destroyed and the suspect could have fled the country," said Escondido police Lt. Craig Carter.

But Victor Torres, a criminal defense attorney and a spokesman for El Grupo, said the case did not justify the department’s partnership with immigration authorities. He said the partnership will further alienate the city’s immigrant community and act as a deterrent against reporting crime in Escondido.

About 45 percent of the city’s 145,000 residents are Latinos, many of whom are immigrants.

Torres said the case illustrates what some in the immigrant community fear: the department’s side-by-side working relationship with immigration agents.

"There are many tools available to law enforcement," Torres said. "A simple telephone call to ICE and relayed instructions directly to the patrol officers would have proven just as effective and without alienating 45 percent of the population."

In mid-May, the department started a pilot program with ICE allowing two immigration agents to work with the department to identify and deport criminal illegal immigrants and those suspected of committing crimes.

Since the partnership began, the agents have helped police identify 114 criminal immigrants in the city, including several child molesters, people with multiple drunken-driving convictions, drug dealers and burglars, according to police.

Escondido is the only city in the county that has this kind of a partnership with ICE, said Mack. She said she could remember only one other department that has used the federal agency’s GPS system to track down a suspect: the San Diego Police Department, which did so last year.

Mendez was arrested in March on domestic violence charges, which were later dropped. While he was detained, ICE agents at the jail determined that he was an illegal immigrant, and he was released with the bracelet pending deportation proceedings.

On July 13, Mendez allegedly entered a home on the 500 block of West Ninth Avenue. The 15-year-old victim told police that her assailant locked her in a bedroom and raped her.

Using the girl’s description of her attacker, police determined the suspect was the cousin of the girl’s stepmother.

Carter said the immigration agents located the suspect’s name on their database and found that he was wearing the bracelet. With the use of GPS, they were able to track the suspect to his home in the 1100 block of South Escondido Boulevard.

A few days earlier, police were also able to track down Jimmy Alexander Magadiaga, 22, with the use of his ICE-issued ankle bracelet. Magadiaga, who also was awaiting deportation proceedings, allegedly broke into an Escondido home on July 8, police said.

A girl who was in the home at the time called police. Neighbors chased the suspect and told police that he lived in a nearby apartment complex.

Using the GPS tracking system, police were able to find and arrest the suspect, Carter said.

Big arrest in San Diego County

July 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Authorities arrested 31 people, including several illegal immigrants, in a countywide, anti-gang operation last week, according an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.

Of the 31 individuals arrested during the operation, 22 were members or associates of gangs based in San Diego, Vista, Escondido and San Marcos, said ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack. Of the 22 gang members, 10 will be prosecuted on various criminal charges and the rest are scheduled to be deported, Mack said.

The remaining nine individuals, who are not documented gang members, were taken into custody because they were suspected in various crimes or have immigration violations, Mack said.

Among the people arrested, four were U.S. citizens and the rest were foreigners from Mexico, Iraq, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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