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More Bodies found in Mexico

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

(CNN) — Mexican authorities were taking fingerprints Wednesday to try to identify 72 bodies discovered Tuesday night on a ranch in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, officials said.

The bodies of the 58 men and 14 women were found above ground in a structure on the ranch, which is about 14 miles (22 km) from the town of San Fernando, near the border with Texas. The Mexican navy, which was called in to investigate the case, said it is one of the largest discoveries of bodies in Mexico’s 4-year-old war on organized crime.

Members of the Mexican navy were tipped off to the site after a man with a gunshot wound approached a military roadblock. The man said he had been injured by a criminal gang, according to a statement released by the navy.

"The navy went to the area where the man came from and encountered gunfights. A naval officer was killed and three of the delinquents were killed," an officer who answered the telephone at the navy’s communication department told CNN. The officer, who was not authorized to speak on the record, declined to give his name.

Bodies found in Mexico

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After the gun battle, authorities said, they found a stash of weapons, including 21 rifles, camouflage uniforms, bullet proof vests and four trucks. One of the vehicles had been disguised to look like a truck from the Ministry of National Defense, officials said.

Wednesday’s gruesome discovery came about a month after authorities in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon discovered 51 bodies in nine mass graves.

In that instance, investigators found charred remains, incinerated bone fragments and stains of fire on the ground where bodies were presumably burned in steel drums, the state-run Notimex news agency said.

The bodies were mostly males between ages 20 and 50, Notimex said. Many of them had tattoos.

Similar mass graves have been discovered in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Quintana Roo since late May. Authorities have linked them to Mexico’s ongoing drug war.

Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, which border Texas, have seen a marked increase in drug violence this year due to an intensifying rivalry between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas gang, which was formerly the cartel’s armed branch.

Last week, authorities found the bound and blindfolded body of Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, the mayor of a city in Nuevo Leon. He had been abducted two days earlier.

His body was found on the outskirts of the city of Santiago, where Cavazos was mayor. There were signs of torture.

News reports indicate that officials believe the Zetas ordered Cavazos killed. Five police officers and a transit worker were arrested last week in connection with the slaying.

More than 28,000 people have died in drug-related incidents since President Felipe Calderon intensified the government’s fight against drug cartels and organized crime after taking office in December 2006.

About 90 percent of the fatalities have been among cartel members and other criminals, Calderon has said.

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ICE gang surge nets 102 arrests in Phoenix, Yuma

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

 

PHOENIX – A total of 102 individuals with ties to 19 different street gangs are facing criminal charges or deportation following a six-day, multi-agency enforcement action in Phoenix and Yuma, Ariz. spearheaded by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The arrests were made as part of Operation Community Shield, an ongoing initiative by ICE-HSI’s National Gang Unit in which the agency uses its powerful immigration and customs authorities in a coordinated strategy to attack and dismantle criminal street gangs across the country. As part of the initiative, ICE partners with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target the significant public safety threat posed by transnational gangs.

Of the gang members and gang associates arrested during the enforcement action that concluded late Saturday, 29 are currently facing prosecution on state criminal charges, including outstanding warrants for gang-related violations. Three of the subjects arrested will also be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution for felony re-entry after deportation, a federal violation that carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

"Gang activity poses one of the greatest threats to public safety in Arizona communities," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge for ICE-HSI in Arizona. "ICE is successfully targeting these gangs, arresting their leaders, disrupting their operations, and putting their members and associates behind bars."

Among those arrested during the enforcement action in Phoenix was a 33-year-old Mexican gang member in Mesa whose criminal history includes a conviction for aggravated assault in 2007. Another of the individuals taken into custody was a 27-year-old member of a Chandler gang wanted for burglary in California. The California Department of Corrections agreed to extradite Miguel Angel Lopez-Zuniga, who was booked into the Maricopa County Jail to await transfer to California.

In Yuma, ICE agents arrested gang member Fernando Ulloa, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen, on Arizona state charges related to a conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering. Agents also arrested gang member Claudio Garcia, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, for contempt of court.

Twenty-six of the gang members and gang associates arrested during the operation are U.S. citizens. The remaining 76 individuals are foreign nationals. The majority of the foreign nationals are from Mexico (58), but the group also includes citizens from Guatemala and Honduras. Those foreign nationals who are not being prosecuted on criminal charges are being processed for removal from the United States.

Since Operation Community Shield began in February 2005, ICE agents nationwide have arrested more than 18,000 gang members and gang associates. As part of the effort, HSI’s National Gang Unit identifies violent street gangs and develops intelligence on their membership, associates, criminal activities and international movements to deter, disrupt and dismantle gang operations. Transnational street gangs have significant numbers of foreign-born members and are frequently involved in human and contraband smuggling, immigration violations and other crimes with a connection to the border.

Apache Arizona

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

August 17, 2010

By Ed Ashurst

Apache Arizona

I believe story telling to be an art form, certainly verbal record is the oldest form of recording history and recognized by historians worldwide. There is an old adage among those who love to tell a good tale, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." And yet there are times when the truth is even more fantastic than exaggeration. What I write here is the truth, plain and simple.

I reside on, and manage a large cattle ranch in the far southeastern corner of Arizona . I’ve been here for 13 years and in that time frame have become far too familiar with the illegal trafficking in human beings, marijuana and other illicit drugs. Some have called it "the wetback culture" or " America ‘s border problem". Lately it’s been taking steroids.

The recent murder of Robert Krentz by an illegal alien has received massive amounts of publicity worldwide. I live on the ranch bordering the Krentz ranch to the east and north. I can see the Krentz home looking out of my front door approximately 10 miles away. The day after Rob’s death I was involved in tracking the outlaw into Mexico . I saw the outlaw’s footprints where he crossed the border fence. I mention this to say I feel that I’m qualified to speak about current border issues.

My home has been broken into twice. My son’s home has been broken into also and between us we have had between twenty and thirty thousand dollars worth of stuff stolen from us including two ranch pick-ups, a four wheeler, 9 firearms (including a loaded AK 47) cash, jewelry all of our credit cards, driver’s license, etc. A guest house here on the ranch has been broken into so many times we quit counting… many times we haven’t even called the Sheriff’s dept. The Cochise County Sheriff’s dept. has no less than fifteen reports on file where I’ve called for assistance dealing with an outlaw illegal alien.

Several months ago, not long after Rob Krentz’s death, Fox news (channel 10 in Phoenix AZ) contacted me and expressed interest in coming down and doing a news story about me and the problems myself and other ranchers in this area have had in recent months with illegal outlaws. To prepare for my interview with Fox, I asked for assistance from six other neighboring ranchers and businessmen. All of these men are prominent men in the community, tax payers, business owners and individuals who have the best of reputations. Together we made a map of the area which covered from the southeastern corner of AZ going west about 20 miles to the silver creek area, and going north about 30 miles to the area around the towns of Portal, AZ and Rodeo, N.M. On this map we made marks recording violations to United States law committed by illegal aliens. We did not use government statistics
(we wouldn’t know how to get them) but recorded incidents that we knew had happened first hand, many of which we had witnessed. We tried to record only the incidents that have happened in the last several years.

The sum total of what we recorded is this:

The arrest or capture of 40 illegal in one bunch – 40 (we didn’t bother with the countless smaller groups)

Loads of Marijuana found and captured – 213

Dangerous encounters with illegal aliens – 132 (assault, burglaries, forced entries, etc.)

Dead illegal aliens found by civilians – 16

High speed vehicle chases between dope haulers and law enforcement – 14

Illegal aliens spotted with firearms – 12

Fires started by illegal aliens – 9

Over 1000, 000 acres burned with the cost to taxpayers of $ 40,000,000. One fire near Portal AZ in June of 2010 cost $10,000,000. to fight (forest Service estimate)

Outlandish incidents – 4

Example: One bachelor in the Portal area was burglarized around 100 times. He finally took all his valuables and put them in a steel vault and welded the door shut. He then moved out of his house into a shed hoping the illegal aliens would leave him alone. They did not and he finally abandoned his property. Another outlandish event was when outlaws stole a brand new Caterpillar motor grader on the Geronimo Trail east of Douglas, AZ and drove south through the border fence never to be seen again. The grader belonged to Cochise County Hwy Dept.

Financial losses to private sector – $100,000,000.00 (losses in real estate value, personal property, etc., losses in wildlife habitat – immeasurable)

Last but certainly not least, the murder of Rob Krentz, which is right in the center of our map.

Let me put this in perspective. The area I’m talking about is an area that covers approximately 17 or 18 townships with only 20 miles being adjacent to the US – Mexico Boundary. Within this area, there is a population of perhaps
600 people, 90% of which reside in Rodeo, N.M. or Portal, AZ, 30 miles or so north of Mexico. No less than 80% of the people in this area have been burglarized or otherwise molested by illegal aliens. This area is about half as big as the Diamond A ranch or Babbitt ranch in northern AZ, both of which I’ve been employed on.

I’m sorry to report that this, in my opinion, is the small part of the story. The Mexican-American border has taken a dramatic change for the worse in the last several years. Those of us who live here see it first hand. As early as February of 1999 Sheriff Larry Dever warned me and others at a town hall meeting at the Apache School that the Sinaloa Cartel was moving into the Douglas-Agua Prieta area (Rob Krentz was at this meeting). The cities of Nuevo Laredo , Coahila, Cuidad Juarez , Chihuahua , and other border towns south of Texas have been controlled by outlaws for years. There is virtually no law enforcement in those places. The law is the law of the jungle. Until the last two years it seemed that Agua Prieta and Nogales were safer places but that has dramatically changed in recent months.

I am personally acquainted with 2 Mexican men, that I know to be honest and trustworthy, who have been involved first hand with Mexican outlaw terrorist acts. One witnessed first hand an execution of several people in broad daylight in Juarez . Several weeks later his daughter witnessed an assassination in Casas Grandes , Chihuahua no less than fifteen feet from where she stood. The other man is a legal Mexican green card holder (who was employed by the Krentz family for years) whose nephew was murdered by cartel members in Sonora . At night people in Douglas are hearing machine gun fire from Agua Prieta south of the border fence.

The Sinaloa Cartel is now putting a stranglehold on Agua Prieta. No more than 2 months ago 8 armed Mexicans were confronted by 2, U.S. Border Patrol agents north of the International Boundary in southeast Cochise County disguised as Federalizes. They were in fact cartel employees armed with assault rifles and automatic pistols. Mexican people that know tell me the situation in Agua Prieta has deteriorated dramatically in recent months. The good people are told to look the other way "or else." Volumes could be written about this subject alone, but I will move on.

You could ask, "So what does this have to do with us living north of the border fence?" Plenty! The situation on the border isn’t just about a few workers walking north. It has everything to do with big business. Billions of dollars are being made trafficking humans, drugs, and contraband across the International Boundary. The Sinaloa Cartel, headed by Chapo Guzman and others, is reaping huge profits doing business along the border. The average coyote charges $1500 – $2500 to guide an illegal alien north to find work; usually abandoning them a short distance north of the line. A young man willing to pack dope north can make more than a construction worker or a teacher in the U.S. and only work a day or two a week.

This is not all south of the line. I could take you and show you businesses where checks and credit cards are not accepted and where very few customers walk through the door, yet the owners live in the largest mansions in town and drive very expensive cars. Could there be some money laundering going on? There are only two industries of any significance in Douglas , AZ : law enforcement (Douglas has one of the largest Border Patrol stations in America ), and the illegal trafficking of drugs, people, etc. across the border. These two industries feed on each other, and the powers that be seem happy with the situation. Crooked politicians look good to the public when they clean up drunk driving and prostitution, until you find they own bars and whore houses south of the line. These things have happened!

But this, in my opinion, is only the beginning. Chapo Guzman who heads up the Sinaloa Cartel is a multibillionaire. This guy and others like him may be cruel and sinister people but they are also very smart businessmen. They are reaping profits off of the largest tax free unregulated business on the planet. They have so much cash they are befuddled what to do with it all. But they are going to figure it out.

There are rumors that Guzman is financing modern, state of the art feedlots and packing houses in Mexico with plans to overtake America as the Western hemisphere ‘s leading beef producer. This is probably only a small part of his plans. Mexico is a nation rich in natural recourses. Petroleum is abundant and the corrupt Mexican government is in control of all of it. Pemex is the only gas station in town. Pemex, because of the incompetent Mexican government, is broke. Chapo Guzman is at war with the Mexican government and has dreams (not unrealistic) of controlling the entire nation. Think of all of Mexico ‘s natural resources in the control of Chapo Guzman! He already has the most profitable business in the world – selling Marijuana to your next door neighbor. Think what he could do with a tax free unregulated strangle hold on a nation of poor people begging to work for practically nothing.

Do you think that Chapo Guzman and others like him haven’t thought of all of this? Do you think that Guzman isn’t laughing all the way to the bank as he watches the evening news and hears how the American Government proclaims that the situation on the border is under control? What is going on in northern Mexico is capitalism in its rawest form. They have an untaxed unregulated business making huge profits and they have no plans of closing up shop any time soon. We here in the U.S. are overtaxed, overregulated and being smothered by increasingly intrusive government that makes it hard to do business in a successful manner. You don’t have to be rocket scientist to figure this one out.

This has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat or Latino or White. It has everything to do with being right or wrong. I came from a long line of Democrats. My great uncle was a U.S. Senator for several decades. My grandfather was an attorney, and a Superior Court Judge. I have a 1939 copy of a Time Magazine with his picture when he ran as a Democrat for Congress. The only time in history the U.S deficit was paid off was by a Democrat – Andrew Jackson. John Kennedy announced nearly 50 years ago that America could put a man on the moon and in less than a decade we did it.

I am now a registered Republican, but I’m not a Democrat hater. But, how can the president of the "can do" nation of Andrew Jackson’s and JFK’s party say we can’t seal the border? We conquered Adolph Hitler in World War II, but can’t seal the border? We put a man on the moon but can’t seal a leaking oil well in less than 90 days? While this is going on we tax and regulate American business with a vengeance that stifles the free market system that has made our country great. While Janet Napolitano announces the border is safer than ever, Chapo Guzman and others pack billions of American dollars south to invest in a tax free market with one of the largest cheap labor force on the planet at his disposal!

I challenge you to come to Douglas, AZ and drive east on the Geronimo Trail, or northeast on US Hwy 80 to places on the map like Chiracahua and Apache. Or go to Rodeo and Hatchita , NM . Go and search out the 5 biggest cattle ranches in the Apache, AZ area and ask them what they think. Go to Hidalgo County , N.M. and ask the ranchers and cowboys there what they are seeing and hearing. Ask the people who we do business with what they think of our opinions. I challenge you to ask the prominent people in this area, who work hard and pay taxes if they agree with Barack Obama or Ed Ashurst when it comes to what is really going on near the U.S.-Mexican border. Unlike Obama and others I don’t have to be surrounded by sycophants to make a statement. I purposefully left out the names of those who helped me with my map and the data I collected when preparing for the Fox interview.

In closing I challenge you to look around to see if what I say is the truth. This isn’t about a few Mexicans wandering around looking for a job. This is about American civilization going into a time of tremendous change – a building has foundations and walls, maybe the foundation of our country is still strong, I don’t know, but the walls have certainly fallen down and the keepers of the house are out to lunch.

When you have time, we think you will want to read this.    Everyone living in AZ (and elsewhere) should know what is happening near our borders and near our homes.

2-Million $ Plus Marijuana Bust! In Calexico

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Calexico, Calif. – U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico East commercial truck facility prevented a tractor-trailer carrying medical supplies from smuggling more than 5,144 pounds of marijuana into the U.S.

Cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana concealed within a shipment of medical supplies.

Calexico East commercial truck facility CBP officers prevent more than 232 cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana with an estimated street value of $2,333,680 that were concealed within a shipment of medical supplies from entering the U. S.

On Aug. 17, at approximately 9:25 a.m. CBP officers were conducting pre-primary operations when a narcotic detector dog alerted to the trailer area of a semi-truck driven by a 40-year-old Mexican citizen.

The trailer was referred for a more intensive inspection, which revealed boxes commingled with the legitimate cargo. The boxes were determined to contain more than 232 cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana with an estimated street value of $2,333,680.

Cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana stacked beside a shipment of medical supplies.

Calexico East commercial truck facility CBP officers prevent more than 232 cellophane wrapped packages of marijuana with an estimated street value of $2,333,680 that were concealed within a shipment of medical supplies from entering the U. S.

According to Port Director Billy Whitford, smuggling attempts such as this one are just an example of the different ways organizations are trying to sneak drugs into the country.

“Trying to hide dangerous narcotics which cause harm within our communities in a shipment of medical supplies that are intended to help people really shows how desperate the criminal organizations have become,” he said. “As the men and women of CBP continue to apply pressure to these organizations and strike big blows such as this, we weaken them.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for prosecution; CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of U.S. borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Dope in Your Backyard

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Rainbow, Calif. — Yesterday, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered a clandestine marijuana growing operation as a total of 95 mature marijuana plants were eradicated near Rainbow, Calif.


A number of marijuana plants were eradicated by border patrol agents who discovered them near Rainbow, Calif.

A number of marijuana plants were eradicated by border patrol agents who discovered them near Rainbow, Calif.

Agents located the illegal operation while patrolling a remote area nearly one mile west of Interstate 15.

This was the second marijuana growing operation that agents discovered within the past week in North County. On August 12, agents located and eradicated 930 marijuana plants that were being grown throughout a remote five acre plot about one mile west of Interstate 15 near Bonsall, Calif.

No arrests were made in either incident.

The marijuana plants were turned over to a multi-agency anti-drug task force.

Great YouTube presentation

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

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63 convicted criminal aliens, fugitives arrested in ICE enforcement surge

August 12, 2010 Leave a comment

 

PHOENIX – In the largest operation of its kind ever carried out in Arizona, more than 60 convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives have been arrested following a three-day targeted enforcement operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

During the operation, which concluded Wednesday evening, ICE officers located and arrested 55 aliens with prior criminal convictions. In addition, 16 of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives, aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country. Of those arrested during the enforcement action, at least 25 have already been removed from the United States.

At a news conference here Thursday, ICE Director John Morton announced the results of the enforcement action, which involved more than 60 ICE agents and officers, as well as personnel from the U.S. Marshals Service. Those officers fanned out across the state making arrests in Phoenix, Tucson, Sedona , Mesa, Tempe and Prescott.

"These are not people we want to see walking the streets here in Phoenix or in any other community in Arizona," said ICE Director John Morton. "Those who come to the United States to prey upon communities in Arizona will be prosecuted for their crimes and ultimately returned to their home countries. The results of this operation demonstrate ICE’s commitment to that principle."

Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 12 of those arrested during the enforcement surge have been presented for federal prosecution for reentering the country illegally after a formal deportation. A conviction for felony re-entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

"We are dedicated to bringing criminals to justice all along the southwest border, and in particular we will aggressively prosecute offenders with violent criminal convictions and who pose a threat to our communities," said Dennis Burke, U. S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. "We are pleased to stand together with our partners in Homeland Security and the Marshals Service and our state partners in the Offices of Probation and Parole to secure the southwest border through targeted enforcement strategies like today’s action."

Among the arrestees is a 45-year-old Mexican woman who was convicted in California for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a scheme that netted her and her conspirators more than $820,000.

Also arrested was a 55-year-old Mexican man who was convicted of selling methamphetamine in 2003. This individual has already been convicted once of felony reentry into the United States in 2009, and following this arrest he will be prosecuted again in federal court.

The foreign nationals detained during the operation who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining aliens are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

Of those arrested, 52 were male and 11 were female. They represent 9 different nations, including countries in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

This week’s special enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation’s immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.

The officers who conducted this week’s operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) located in South Burlington, Vt. The FOSC conducted exhaustive database checks on the targeted cases to help ensure the viability of the leads and accuracy of the criminal histories. The FOSC was established in 2006 to improve the integrity of the data available on at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives nationwide. Since its inception, the FOSC has forwarded more than 550,000 case leads to ICE enforcement personnel in the field. In addition, leads were developed through the assistance of the Arizona Supreme Court Adult Probation Division.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security’s broader strategy to heighten the federal government’s effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency’s partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).

Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE removed a total of 136,126 criminal aliens from the United States last year, a record number.

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