May 22, 2019

DOJ Announces Trafficking Ties Between Sinaloa Cartel and UAE...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: USDoJ Photos from Zeta
               Office of the United States Attorneys The United States Department of Justice
                                                     Southern District of California

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Major Takedown Dismantles Multi-State Methamphetamine Network Tied to Sinaloa Cartel
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Sutton (619) 546-8941 and Ryan A. Sausedo (619) 546-9689

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – May 21, 2019

San Diego, Ca: Indictments were unsealed today in San Diego federal court charging 43 members of a methamphetamine distribution network tied to the Sinaloa Cartel with federal drug trafficking and money laundering offenses.

During the coordinated takedown that began early this morning, investigators executed over a dozen search warrants and seized approximately 80 pounds of methamphetamine, four firearms, and more than $100,000 in U.S. currency. As of today at 5 p.m., 33 of the forty-three defendants are either in federal or state custody. Authorities are continuing to search for 10 defendants. Many of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Lopez at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.


According to the indictments and other publicly filed court documents, this San Diego based network supplied multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) to dozens of subdistributors located throughout the United States and the world, including California, Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Virginia, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York and the United Arab Emirates. In return, tens of thousands of dollars in narcotics proceeds were returned to the network’s leaders via shipments of bulk cash, structured cash deposits into bank accounts, and online money transfer systems like PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App.

The defendants operated the drug-trafficking scheme by arranging for the shipment of large quantities of methamphetamine from San Diego to various locations in the United States and internationally, through FedEx and the United States Postal Service (USPS). The drug shipments were mailed weekly to various hotels, residences, and Airbnb locations. As part of the scheme, the defendants also created multiple fraudulent FedEx accounts. These fraudulent FedEx accounts were billed to and paid for by large corporations, in hopes that the large businesses would not notice the illicit packages.

Despite their sophisticated efforts, law enforcement penetrated this network with a variety of investigative techniques, including physical surveillance, obtaining phone records, financial documents tracking warrants on telephones and vehicles and undercover agents. Over the course of the investigation, agents obtained dozens of search warrants and a six-month-long federal wiretap to track the communications and the location of the defendants. In conjunction with the wiretaps, agents ultimately seized approximately 78 pounds of methamphetamine and four firearms tied to the network.

In addition to the indictments announced today, more than a dozen defendants who worked with this network have been charged in connection with this investigation in multiple jurisdictions across the United States, including by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of Texas, and Eastern District of Arkansas, as well as the Florida Office of the Attorney General and the Yuma, Arizona County Attorney’s Office.

“Today we have completely dismantled this San Diego-based international drug trafficking network with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “I want to congratulate the outstanding federal, state, and local law enforcement cooperation that resulted in this highly successful investigation. Replicating this kind of aggressive law enforcement takedown is critical to breaking the backs of these criminal networks and continuing our efforts against the Sinaloa Cartel.”

“The Sinaloa Cartel relies on members of our communities to distribute their drugs.  Because they manipulate our commercial distribution routes to make a buck, our streets are flooded with high purity and low cost methamphetamine,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers.  “Without their distribution networks, such as the one dismantled today, cartels would not be able to operate drug businesses that rival Fortune 500 companies and dangerous drugs, like methamphetamine, would be scarce, expensive and of low purity.  The operation today will ultimately disrupt the supply chain, diminish profits and make it harder for the Sinaloa Cartel to do business in the United States.  Just as important, today’s operation sends a message: If you’re profiting from drug addiction, you will be pursued relentlessly by DEA, regardless of your role in the distribution network.”

“As alleged, the defendants ran a sophisticated network of drug trafficking and money laundering,” said Johnathan Smith, IRS Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office.   “This case demonstrates our ability to identify and trace even the most sophisticated drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  IRS – Criminal Investigation, in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, will remain committed to disrupting the flow of illicit drug proceeds and dismantling the most sophisticated drug and money laundering organizations.”

“There is no place for illegal drugs in our communities,” said Undersheriff Michael Barnett. “Drugs ruin the life of the user and destroy families. Those who push drugs into our neighborhoods and homes must be held accountable. This massive operation was uncovered because of a Sheriff's Detective and DEA Special Agent who followed up on information. Working together, the Sheriff's Department will continue to target those responsible for distributing and selling illegal drugs in our communities.”

U.S. Attorney Brewer also praised federal, state, and local law enforcement for the coordinated team effort in the culmination of this investigation. This case was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotics Task Force (NTF) and the Internal Revenue Service. The NTF is a DEA-led task force comprised of federal and local law enforcement from the DEA, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSD), the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), the Escondido Police Department (EPD), United States Border Patrol (USBP), and the San Diego County Probation Office. Agents and officers from the United States Marshals Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, also provided vital assistance for the investigation. Attorneys from the Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations, Electronic Surveillance Unit, likewise provided critical work as part of the investigative team. He also thanked our vital foreign law enforcement partners in the United Arab Emirates – the Abu Dhabi Police.

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.

The United States is represented in court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Sutton and Ryan A. Sausedo.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Defendant Information:

Defendants                                                                                     Criminal Case No: 19-cr-1787-BAS





AGENCIES

Drug Enforcement Administration, Narcotics Task Force

Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

United States Marshals Service

United States Postal Inspection Service

United States Border Patrol

Federal Bureau of Prisons

San Diego Police Department

Escondido Police Department

National City Police Department

San Diego County Probation Office

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

Riverside County Sheriff's Department

Austin, Texas Police Department

Seminole County, Florida Sheriff’s Department

Department of Justice, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona

Florida Office of the Attorney General

Yuma, Arizona County Attorney’s Office

Abu Dhabi Police

Posted in Uncategorized
May 22, 2019

Forensic Services and Morgues Overwhelmed in Veracruz...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: MND
                               Forensic services overwhelmed in Veracruz: too many bodies
Bodies in hidden graves, violent crime and the closure of morgues have made a bad situation worse

The discovery of scores of clandestine graves in Veracruz in recent years, high levels of violent crime and the closure of several morgues have overwhelmed the state’s forensic services, forcing authorities to acquire another refrigerated container to store unidentified bodies.

From Poza Rica, a municipality in the central north region of the state, to Coatzacoalcos in the south, morgues have been shut down and abandoned, according to a report in the newspaper Milenio. The VIDEO is worth watching.

Among the morgues closed by state authorities between 2014 and 2016 despite rising levels of violence were those in Ciudad Isla, Acayucan, Oluta, Las Choapas, Agua Dulce, Nanchital, Minatitlán and Tierra Blanca.

Since the latter year, high numbers of hidden graves have been found in the Gulf coast state including 76 in the first five and a half months of the new federal government.

The remains of at least 350 bodies have been exhumed, according to collectives made up of family members of missing persons.  Note: Milenio VIDEO Report Next Page
Edna López, a former morgue employee, said that before the facility in Ciudad Isla shut down in 2016 – the final year of the six-year administration of now-imprisoned former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte – the situation she and other workers endured was appalling.

“Things started to get bad because we filled up with bodies and they [the state government] didn’t send us resources, not even for soap. There was no money to repair the refrigeration room . . . At times, we had to buy, out of our own pockets, cloths and scourers to clean the tables, and even lab coats and aprons,” she said.

The morgue received so many bodies that it ran out of space to store them, López added.

“We didn’t have anywhere to store the bodies . . . sometimes they were on the floor and they stayed there for days . . .” she said.

López and other employees who lost their jobs at the shuttered morgues are still owed up to three months of unpaid wages, Milenio said.

Even though they were formally closed years ago, some of the morgues are still used intermittently by funeral parlors and regional prosecutor’s offices that are unable to transport bodies to the state capital, Xalapa, or the port city of Veracruz due to a lack of resources.

In a video report, Milenio showed shocking images of decomposing bodies in abandoned morgues that don’t have refrigeration facilities and are not equipped with the materials and instruments needed to examine and identify corpses.

              
At the end of Duarte’s administration, the Veracruz government purchased a refrigerated container with space for 300 bodies and in September last year another with double that capacity was acquired following the discovery of a mass grave in the fishing village of Arbolillo.

In February this year, the new state government rented or purchased another refrigerated trailer, which is currently located at the Xalapa morgue. However, authorities haven’t provided any information about the number of bodies stored in it or whether they were found in clandestine graves.

Lenit Enríquez, a member of a Coatzacoalcos collective of family members of missing persons, criticized authorities for not disclosing such information.

“They have the information but they don’t want to reveal it,” she said. “Nor have they told us the number of missing persons [in the state].”

Enríquez, whose sister disappeared in 2015 – allegedly after she was abducted by police and marines – added:

“When we make a discovery [of a hidden grave] they tell us that there are no reagents to identify the bodies or that they have to send them somewhere else, or that they’re in a poor state, or that there are no people to process them. It’s torture.”

The lack of morgue capacity is not a problem unique to Veracruz.

At least two trailers were used in Guadalajara, Jalisco, last year to store unclaimed bodies including one that was shuffled around the city’s metropolitan area, drawing the ire of residents who complained of fetid odors.

Authorities in Guerrero and Baja California, among other states, have also resorted to the use of refrigerated trailers as high levels of violent crime caused unidentified bodies to pile up.

Oaxaca Attorney General Rubén Vasconcelos said yesterday that forensic services across the nation are in crisis due to the large number of unidentified bodies that have either been exhumed from clandestine graves or are victims of the record homicide rates currently plaguing the country.

“There is a serious problem, there is a crisis on this issue in Mexico. The [nation’s] attorney general’s offices have to confront it by strengthening our technical capacities,” he said.

Posted in Uncategorized
May 22, 2019

Chinese Being Trafficked Through Tijuana

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Zeta

Authorities on both sides of the border have identified a human trafficking cell that operates in northwest Tijuana. Despite being an area linked to the CAF, the leaders of the group are linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, the polleros are mostly people born in Michoacán, old residents of the United States, deported on multiple occasions. Victims pay from $25,000 to $70,000 US dollars to reach Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York or Chicago, Illinois.

Information from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) indicates that for Asians, crossing the United States illegally through the border with Baja California, it costs $45,000 to $70, 000 dollars per person .

The figure can be reduced to around $25,000 - $30,000 dollars, if the transfer of migrants is not in charge of the criminal group from Asia, also depending on the crossing point, how dangerous are the conditions of the transfer to the United States and from the city where they are going to leave.

Sidney Aki, director of the San Ysidro Port of Entry for Customs and Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English), explained that at that point it is common to find illegal immigrants of Chinese origin inside the cars: "In the trunk, down between the luggage, between the clothes, on the floor board and near the engine ".

In August 2016, a Mexican citizen was captured for attempting to cross a 34-year-old Chinese man inside the gas tank of an customized pick-up truck .

Interviewed by ZETA , Aki reported that in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, alone at the main Tijuana crossing point they detained 164 people from China, and between October 2018 and the third week of March 2019 they "secured " more or less to 170 Chinese people.

In the case of border ports, the Garita de San Ysidro is the most used for this and all types of human trafficking, being the busiest, with 300,000 daily crossings on average.

Profiles of illegal migrants from Asia are men and women between twenty and forty years of age. Their destinations are the big cities in the United States such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Statistics say that 70 % of Chinese illegal migrants are men and 30 % are women.

José Cornelio Barragán, "El Cholo", Jorge Domínguez Verduzco, "El Luis", Jesús Manuel Villalba Ruiz, "El Villa", Sergio González Aguilar, "El Hermano".

Recently, Enrique Acosta Fregoso, candidate for governor for the PRI told ZETA that he has received complaints from citizens of Santo Tomas in the Municipality of Ensenada, where the base of a group of oriental traffickers was located. The ships arrived, docked on the high seas, and lowered the people in small boats to the community on land, where they were hosted and fed and then transported by land to the border.
Consulted on the matter, local authorities denied to have knowledge of such criminal activities, "in that area they lower planes with drug and that is being investigated, would be known of the traffic of people", referred one of the investigators.

In relation to the traffic of Orientals, the authorities of both sides of the border told this Weekly that they have detected and have under investigation, a group in Tijuana that is focusing on the trafficking of people from China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Cell of Deported Traffickers:

They classified it as a transnational criminal organization and named it "Los Playas", because they operate in the border strip from the Garita de San Ysidro to Playas de Tijuana, an area traditionally controlled by the Arellano Félix Cartel (CAF), from the Zona Norte to the Cañon de Matadero; and "Los Hermanos Tapia", led by Jonathan Tapia Rojas. They are the " polleros " who pay the CAF piso  to commit a crime in that area.

However, according to the intelligence reports of the local corporations, at least two of the four leaders - "El Cholo" and "El Luis" - are criminally related to the "Los Erres" cell, a link established since times of José Antonio Beltrán Cabrera "El R4", assassinated in 2013, the same year in which the image of the leader of this cell, José Antonio Soto Gastélum ,"El Tigre", was published on a poster of the Most Wanted - along with other leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel  - by the United States Department of Justice. Soto committed crimes before 2008 in Mexicali and Tecate, BC. After the internal struggle of the CAF, it transferred part of its operations to Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.

"The traffickers of "Los Playas" have been operating for several years and the approximate price of their local services is $ 30,000," the source quoted.

According to the report that refers to the activity of this organization, the main members are natives of Michoacán: "They have hawks , guides and coordinators throughout the mesh, at all hours of the day or night" and on both sides of the border, "they try to get confused or absorbed between people in the areas of more traffic, cell phones and radios, report the presence of police in Mexico and the movements of the Border Patrol in the United States. The transporters and drivers also circulate in the northern area of ​​Playas. "

Sometimes Chinese spend several hours hiding in the vegetation before US operators pick them up.
Initially, they identified four ringleaders and four operators, most of them with a history of human trafficking in the United States, with several deportations; while on the Mexican side the record records crimes such as domestic violence and robbery. The main objectives include:

Jesús Cornelio Barragán alias "El Cholo":  He is 56 years old and his first charge for human trafficking was brought  in the United States at age 24 (1989). He was imprisoned for six months. Between 1989 and 2014 he was arrested 16 times, two for car theft, one for owning stolen property and 13 times he was tried and sentenced for illegal entry into the United States, the same he was deported.

On April 10, 2014, he was arrested by the Mexican authorities, accused of trafficking people. In Tijuana, he was investigated for possession of a weapon in 2009, intrafamily violence in 2010 and 2014; robbery to house on April 3 and 16, 2014, and illegal deprivation of liberty in tentative degree on April 6 of the same year.

Jorge Domínguez Verduzco, alias Luis Arturo Domínguez Verduzco "El Luis": At 34, he has been arrested five times by the Border Patrol for illegally crossing into the United States and has been deported. In Mexico he was investigated for damage to property and injuries in 2010, for qualified robbery in 2012, injuries aggravated by reason of kinship and domestic violence in 2013 and simple robbery in 2014. And for possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine in 2013.

Sergio González Aguilar "El Hermano": Almost 58, he has been arrested and deported for illegally crossing into the United States. Between 1981 and 2014 he was arrested and tried twice for human trafficking, eight for theft or robbery, and two for driving under the influence of controlled substances. He has a background in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Ana, California.

Manuel Villalba E.:  Born on February 19, 1971, according to authorities from Mexico and the United States, he is one of the newest members, and has no background in either of the two countries.

As secondary operators, currently the governments have located to:

Francisco Márquez Magallón, "El Gavilán" :  He is 46 years old and has been deported three times. At age 27 he was captured, tried and sentenced to two years in jail in Santa Ana, California, for possession of controlled substance for sale . On July 14, 2005, he was apprehended in Stockton, California for possession of a controlled substance for sale. In Mexico, he has a capture for crimes against health in the form of drug dealing and psychotropic possession in 2015; He was released immediately.

Agustín García Hernández ,"El Coco":  He is 53 years old and has 17 arrests executed by the Border Patrol for illegal entry into the United States.

Genoveva Campos Delgado:  The only woman identified in the group is 41 years old, in Mexico she was investigated for robbery and in the US she registered 22 captures for illegal entry. In 2013, she was sentenced for violating a court order to prevent domestic violence and in 2017 for car theft. Her most recent deportation took place on August 15 of that year.

Armed Felix "N":   37 years of age, he has no criminal record/ history.

More "Polleros" Trafficking Chinese People:

While the investigation continues on the group of "Los Playas", considered the group of greater impact in the Asian community in Tijuana, members of other cells have been arrested trafficking natural born citizens of Asia.

In March 2018, US government personnel reported the capture of young Tecatense Jocelin Lara, deported for the crime of trafficking with orientals. Her father, Tomás Lara, was designated as a trafficker by authorities of Mexico and the United States, information that was published in the 2176 edition of ZETA . He was arrested for drug trafficking in the United States in 2008 and released in 2014, he presented and was served a petition for a reply in which he claimed to have already paid his fines with the Law and live off the rent of 200 hectares of land to a wind farm .

According to information provided by researchers from both sides of the border, Lara would belong to the same cell as "Los Playas", related to the one headed by José Soto ,"El Tigre", currently located in the Sinaloa Cartel organization chart.

In the case of Ofelia Hernández Salas and Federico Hernández Sánchez "El Pico", the PEP, State Preventive Police, apprehended him on the afternoon of April 8, 2019 in the Border Zone of Mexicali, after a report shouts for help could be heard in a house on Aguas Calientes St.

Five men from India, 19, 25, 27, 29 and 32 years, three of them brothers, all wanted to cross into the United States illegally were rescued.

The man said he was barely eight months in Tijuana from Guanajuato and that he also wanted to cross into the US. Ofelia Hernández, "La Güera" or "La Lupe", asked him to take the Hindus to the Garita de Mexicali, for which she would have charged the five foreigners 400 pesos each.

But Federico Hernandez already has antecedents of the American side: judged for passing  false checks and illegal entry in 2004; possession of drugs and two illegal entries in 2005; vehicle theft in 2011 and deportation in 2012 and 2018.

As for "La Güera", Ofelia Hernandez, 56, who has telephones and addresses in Mexicali, Tijuana and Santa Ana, California, and holds 16 counts in the United States accumulated between 1990 and 2012: six for theft, one drug possession, two for false identification , four for human trafficking - the first in 1995 - and three deportations, the most recent in 2012.

As a criminal partner, the local police registers Diego Apolinar González Machado, with records in several processes for vehicle theft since 2009, including an arrest warrant in force in 2018.

Posted in Uncategorized
May 21, 2019

VIDEO: Guerrero Auto Defenses Mobilizing Against “Los Dumbos”...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Proceso
   
     Alert for mobilization of self-defense groups; they fear another shock in Xaltianguis (Video)

By: Ezequil Flores Contreras
Chilpancingo Guerrero:  The Secretary of Public Security of the state (SSP) warned that members of the self-defense of the Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG), moved from the Costa Chica region to the Acapulco-Chilpancingo corridor, which they are currently fighting with the "Los Dumbos" group and the community guard of Tlacotepec.

On an official card, the command of the State Preventive Police (PPE) attached to the sector headquarters of El Limón, reported that on Sunday at about 13:20 hours, at least 60 vehicles were observed in which armed civilians were traveling.

Members of the self-defense of the UPOEG were heading to the town of Tierra Colorada, the municipal capital of Juan R. Escudero, in the Central region of the entity, according to the official statement.

The SSP broadcast a video where the members of the self-defense are observed aboard trucks on the Tierra Colorada-Tecoanapa state highway.
In response, the United Front of Community Police of the State of Guerrero (FUPCEG) issued a statement in which it was declared on high alert before the report of the United Front for Security and Development of the State of Guerrero (FUSDEG) of the "sighting" of the trucks with armed men of the UPOEG in the town of Tierra Colorada "presumably with destination to Xaltianguis", in the municipality of Acapulco.

In this regard, the leaders of this front, which includes the groups of "Los Dumbos" and the community guard of Tlacotepec, warned that the antagonistic leaders of the UPOEG, Bruno Placido Valerio and Ernesto Gallardo Grande, would have agreed to "recover" the town of Xaltianguis, which from the beginning is under the control of the FUPCEG, after an armed invasion that left at least three members of the self-defense dead.
VIDEO:











Posted in Uncategorized
May 21, 2019

“El Mono” Muñoz Makes Plea Deal, Now is US Informant...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: MySan Antonio y Vangurdia
Juan Manuel “"El Mono” Muñoz Luevano, Politically connected Mexican businessman, once a fugitive, is now a government witness in San Antonio, Texas, USA

By: Guillermo Contreras
A politically connected Mexican businessman pleaded guilty Monday in San Antonio to conspiracy to launder drug money, formalizing a deal that turned the former high-value fugitive into a government informant.

Juan Manuel “"El Mono” Muñoz Luevano, who is from Coahuila, Mexico, was extradited to San Antonio in March from Spain, where he was arrested in 2016 on allegations of importing drugs through one of the European countries’ busiest ports.

The San Antonio Express newspaper reported that the alleged Los Zetas operator will collaborate with the US government

Juan Manuel Muñoz Luevano, alleged operator of Los Zetas in Spain and related to different political figures of Coahuila, pleaded guilty in a Texas Court for the crime of conspiracy to launder money. In November he will be sentenced in the United States.
Muñoz, the owner of a chain of gas stations in northern Mexico, was indicted in San Antonio in 2015 with four counts related to the import and distribution of cocaine into Texas, a money laundering conspiracy count and conspiracy to possess a firearm during drug trafficking.

Muñoz pleaded guilty only to the money laundering conspiracy charge after Assistant U.S Attorney Russell Leachman, under seal, replaced the indictment with a document called a criminal information that left only the money laundering conspiracy charge intact. Leachman declined comment afterward.
After the hearing, Muñoz’s lawyers, Jose Puig of Florida and Roy Barrera Jr. of San Antonio, declined to answer most questions, as they — accompanied by Muñoz’s Mexican lawyers — entered the U.S. Marshal’s offices inside the federal courthouse to speak with their client.

Asked about news reports in the Mexican media that said Muñoz has provided a list of at least 80 corrupt Mexican officials to U.S. agents, Puig said they are “lies” but would not answer questions about his client’s cooperation.

At the hearing, Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra, who took Muñoz’s plea, talked in circular fashion, careful to not reveal any of the details that have made Muñoz such a high-value target for U.S. prosecutors, who have been investigating some Mexican politicians and government officials, including a former governor of Coahuila, in a money-laundering case spanning several years.

Muñoz’s plea deal, which would include a factual basis within it that would provide more detail, is sealed and the judge kept it that way, over objections from a reporter with the San Antonio Express-News. The judge cited federal rules, which give prosecutors discretion in sealing portions of the court file and deciding when they can be made public. Many cases like Muñoz’s have ended with the plea deals remaining sealed indefinitely.

Puig also told the judge he is seeking bond for his client, and prosecutors, who normally oppose such requests in cases of fugitives that have to be extradited, remained silent when Puig broached the issue. The judge left that matter to be taken up at a later unspecified date.

Media reports in Spain and Mexico said law enforcement in Spain heard Muñoz on wiretaps calling from his residence in a suburb of Madrid back to Mexico to threaten or extort others or to order beatdowns and killings. He reportedly also has close ties to Coahuila political figures, and to prosecutors, ex-prosecutors, mayors, congressional lawmakers and judges from various Mexican states.

Among those he was close to, the reports said, is Humberto Moreira, who was governor of Coahuila from 2005 to 2011. Moreira went on to become the national president of one of Mexico’s prominent political parties, the PRI, until he resigned amid controversies related to the debt of Coahuila, which rose from $27 million to $2.8 billion under his tenure.

Federal agents in San Antonio have been investigating Moreira for several years in connection with money laundering allegations here, but he has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

One of Moreira’s former Cabinet members, Hector Javier Villarreal Hernandez, treasurer of Coahuila from 2008 to 2010, has told investigators of the ties, according to El País newspaper in Spain, which cited investigative documents about Villarreal’s statements to Spanish authorities.

Villareal has been free on bond since pleading guilty here in September 2014 for laundering, in real estate in San Antonio and South Texas, millions of dollars stolen from Coahuila’s coffers. He had also been a fugitive before striking a deal with the feds here and being released on bond — a path Muñoz is seeking.
In Mexico, Muñoz appeared to be caught in a war among cartels and was in Spain to handle affairs for Los Zetas in Europe, according to media reports.

In 2013, during a war between the Sinaloa and Los Zetas drug cartels, a number of Muñoz’s gas stations were attacked and set on fire, the Mexican news magazine Proceso reported. Presumed members of the Sinaloa Cartel hung banners accusing Muñoz of laundering money and buying stolen gasoline from the Zetas, according to Proceso.

The charges in San Antonio against Muñoz stem from alleged drug activity here dating to 1999 through his indictment in January 2015, but prosecutors have never publicly revealed details. In court, prosecutor Leachman told the judge that Muñoz knowingly conducted illegal financial transactions with currency from unlawful drug trafficking.

The maximum punishment is 20 years in prison, though an agreed sentence is part of the sealed plea deal, the judge noted. Sentencing is set for Nov. 25.
Posted in Uncategorized
May 21, 2019

10 Confirmed Dead in Múzquiz, Coahuila Confrontation; State Authoriti...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Proceso
                                 Ten confirmed dead in the  Múzquiz, Coahuila confrontation

Saltillo, Coahuila:  The death toll from the armed confrontation occurred on Sunday night in the municipality of Múzquiz, Coahuila is now confirmed as 10.

The local newspaper Zócalo confirmed that the commander of the Criminal Investigation Police at the Mineral de Palaú, Yunir Marcelino, died at 8 a.m. this Monday due to a shot he received in the head. The death of three alleged members of the Northeastern Cartel criminal group (CDN) was also confirmed.

However, municipal authorities unofficially report at least 25 deaths, including three members of the Fuerza Coahuila corporation, which is not yet confirmed by state authorities, who have refused to report details of what happened since Sunday night.

An official report from the Coahuila Public Prosecutor's Office issued during the early hours of Monday morning indicated that at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, a confrontation was reported on a local road near the community of Mineral La Florida, in the municipality of Múzquiz, "that up to now shows a balance of six probable delinquents killed".

NOTE: See our previous posts on this event from the past 2 days.
Posted in Uncategorized
May 21, 2019

Bloody Weekend in Cd Juarez , Including 3 Men Found Inside a Wall...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: El Diario
A total of 22 people were killed during Friday, Saturday and Sunday in different parts of the city, reported the State Attorney's Office, through the area of ​​Social Communication.

There were 10 murders on Friday, 7 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday, said Alejandro Rubalcaba spokesman for the corporation.

There are already 103 people killed in the month of May, 11 of them are women, of whom three were buried clandestinely, in the courtyards of two houses in the west of the city.

Some of these individual incidents can be found on yesterday's Post: Commando Opens Fire on Party.

Three men were abandoned this afternoon inside some walls located on Globo and Mauricio Corredor streets in Colonia Chaveña,  all were first reported as dead, however, one of them was still alive, so he was transferred by rescuers to a hospital. 

Paramedics from the Rescue Department provided first aid to the man who had several gunshot wounds and then was taken to an ambulance to be escorted by police to a hospital center.

Elements of the municipal police secured the scene so that experts and agents of the State Attorney General's Office carry out the removal of the bodies and the evidence and initiate with the first investigations.

Until this afternoon there is no more information about the victims or the health status of the survivor.
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May 20, 2019

Cartel de Golfo Leader Arrested at Exclusive Country Club in Celaya, G...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Excelsior
                                        Alleged leader of the Gulf Cartel in Guanajuato
José Francisco 'N' was arrested in the 'Álamo Country Club' Fraccionamiento, one of the most exclusive in Celaya; without firing a single shot the elements of the prosecution managed to capture this alleged criminal. 

Under intelligence work, elements of the State Attorney General's Office managed to arrest José Francisco "N" , alleged leader of a Gulf Cartel cell operating in the state of Guanajuato.

The elite elements made a search in the "Álamo Country Club" Fractionation , one of the most exclusive in Celaya, Guanajuato.



During the search the confiscation of several vehicles of recent model was achieved , among them, a double cabin truck brand Ford type Raptor, a truck Durango type SUV, a BMW motorcycle of the Cafer Razer line, whose market value exceeds 200,000 pesos and a black Harley-Davidson motorcycle, of unknown value could not be accredited.

Also, the amount of 300,000 Pesos in banknotes of different denominations was insured , and AR 15 type weapons, .223 caliber, loaded loaders, revolver type guns; jewelry, among these, 23 watches of different brands, gold rings, bracelets, 97 pairs of earrings of different types, most precious jewels.

All objects confiscated and the detainee were made available to the Attorney General of the State to continue with the required inquiries and investigations.

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May 20, 2019

Another Weekend in TJ, BC: 17 Dead Plus Human Heads...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Zeta y ElSol
      Five dead and  a human head in a bag with narco - message; no word on the message itself.

In front of the grocery store "7 Gallos", located on Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas, in the Niño Artillero neighborhood, a human head was left wrapped in a plastic bag and a threatening message, which until now is unknown.

The incident occurred on the Niño Artillero neighborhood, of the Sánchez Taboada delegation, when the report of a black bag containing a human head on top of a white blanket with a message towards a criminal group was answered.

Soon, the area was cordoned off by the Municipal Police, and an operation was set up to arrest those responsible, however it was not successful.

It is worth mentioning that just yesterday Friday, another human head was found inside a backpack, on a pedestrian bridge at the height of Colonia Manuel Paredes.

6 people were deprived of life, two of the victims were women, just in the first section of this report.

First thing on Friday morning on Farolito Street in the Hipódromo II neighborhood, a man was shot to death in the back.

The body of a man wrapped in plastic bags with visible strangulation marks was found in Callejón Chapultepec in Colonia 20 de Noviembre.

In the Malvia street of Colonia Ejido Francisco Villa, the body  of a male with various blunt injuries and a groove in the neck was found. Cause of death to be determined.

The early morning of this Saturday, May 18, at the ISSSTECALI Hospital, a young woman identified   as Karla Janeth Diosdado Peña, 22, died. The victim had injuries by firearm. When she arrived at her home located on Casuarinas Boulevard in Riveras del Bosque, a young woman named Mirian Peralta García, 22, was shot dead.

The second of the young women who were killed was also 22 years old and her name was Miriam Peralta García.

The first data refer that she was killed in the Rivera del Bosque subdivision in the La Presa delegation. Apparently, her father was informed that his daughter had been injured and he found several spots of blood from the injuries. So far the cause of death is unknown.

In addition:
In different events, a man was executed in the Colonia Royal of San Francisco and two young men were shot in the swap meet 5 and 10, the afternoon of this Friday, May 17, in Tijuana.

The first in an address of Venadito of the Colonia Real of San Francisco, was located a lifeless body in a putrefied state, which was gagged.

Then it was reported around 5:00pm that in the tianguis located in the La Mesa Delegation, shots were heard by firearm. Upon the arrival of the municipal agents, they moved to corridors 5 and 6 where they found two young people around 17 years old.

Paramedics from the Red Cross treated men with injuries one in one leg and the other in one foot. The two were transferred to a local hospital.

Witnesses say that the alleged perpetrator was dressed in black and left the grounds.

By Sunday Night 11 more were murdered within Hours:
By: Antonio Maya from: El Sol

Within 10 minutes, two men were killed in different areas of the city; A total of 11 more people were executed between Saturday and Sunday:

The first homicide on Sunday was recorded at 10:30 in the morning at kilometer 133-350 of the Tijuana-Tecate toll road at the height of the Pontevedra subdivision, where a man was found dead with bullet wounds in the body .

10 minutes later, a man was found dead on Violets Street in Colonia Jardin; he had multiple bullet impacts on the body. According to the municipal police, the alleged perpetrators of the homicide fled on foot.

At 7:15 in the morning, a man with bullet wounds in the face and neck was found among a gray canvas on a dirt road of the Murúa Campestre colony.

Near 9:00 am, the body of a man in a state of putrefaction was found in a ditch. According to the Attorney General of the State (PGJE), the victim was located with several bullet wounds to the chest and face at the end of Hacienda Santa Isabel street in the Hacienda Las Delicias III subdivision.

GunFire is registered in Cerro Colorado:
Before midday, two men were killed with a firearm on San Benito Street in the Buenos Aires Sur neighborhood in the Cerro Colorado delegation. According to the PGJE, the victims were identified as Alejandro Esqueda Inocencio, 32, and Jorge Alberto Inocencio Aguilera, 39.

In the course of 12 minutes, four men died violently in different parts of the city; The first violent incident of that afternoon was recorded at 5:28 pm, when a man with a handcuff was found with bullets in the head and face in the Urbi Villa del Prado ll subdivision.

Subsequently, at 17:40, three people died in the General Hospital of Tijuana; of those, one for injuries with a firearm and one for blows to the body.

Finally, a person named Antonio Sánchez Morales, 32 years old, was found with bullet wounds on Jesús García street in the Maclovio Rojas neighborhood in the La Presa Rural delegation.

                       A Body was found on the second story of a house next to the Fire Station

Meanwhile in the Municipality of Ensenada:
In separate events, the remains of two people were found  in the municipality of Ensenada on Friday, May 17, reported the Ensenada District Attorney's Office.

The first was recorded at 11:20 hours after a call where it was made known about a person who died with violence inside a home located on 20 de Noviembre street, in Maneadero.

It is a person of male sex, approximately 47 years of age. The deceased was lying on the ground and tied up. At first sight it presents with contusions on the body and head.

The same Friday at 20:25 hours it was reported that in a neighborhood road passing the Rancho Las Escobas, San Quintin the finding of a male body in an advanced state of putrefaction which was recorded. The identity of the deceased is unknown.

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May 20, 2019

At least 6 Dead: Confrontation Mineral La Florida, Municipality of Mú...

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Rancherita y Vanguardia

On the night of this Sunday, May 19, in a security action, elements of Fuerza Coahuila confronted a group of heavily armed civilians in a breach near the community of Mineral La Florida, in the Municipality of Múzquiz, Coahuila, which until now shows a balance of at least six likely criminals killed, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Public Security through a statement. 

To this action responded a helicopter and elements of the Federal Police, as well as members of the Secretariat of National Defense.  Staff of the Forensic Expert Services Dept of ​​the State Attorney General's Office is currently gathering evidence.

However, due to the lack of lighting, as well as the complex conditions of the land where the events took place, they have not yet concluded, so the final balance that this action could not be determined by the security forces and is yet be determined.

Schools classes are now officially suspended. Graphic Photos Next Page; VIDEO bottom
A new day of violence was registered in the Carboniferous Region of Coahuila , where a " war " has broken out between authorities and alleged criminals that left at least six dead, according to a press release.

The State Government and the Attorney General of Coahuila confirmed the confrontation in the Mineral La Florida community , in the municipality of Múzquiz.

Based on the above, a search operation was implemented for some of the armed civilians who managed to flee through gaps near the site. An element of the State Police was injured and already receives medical attention.

As soon as the conditions allow, it will conclude with the work of gathering evidence and the corresponding information will be made known to the public, concludes the dependence in the statement sent around midnight.
The message would have been directed by the campus director early on Monday. Students and citizens regretted the events in the region; citizens are terrified.

In response to the confrontation reported yesterday in the Carboniferous zone of Coahuila , Technical High School # 2 announced the suspension of classes.
"Good night, for safety and to events raised today and in order to safeguard the integrity of students and teachers and staff, tomorrow Monday , May 20 classes and work are suspended in our institution  " published on their official Facebook page.
The State Government and the Attorney General of Coahuila confirmed the clash in the Mineral La Florida community in the municipality of Múzquiz on Sunday night.

Director of the municipal police of Monclova, Fernando Olivas, announced that the Red Code had been activated in that locality due to the report that trucks with armed men were approaching on board.
Late at night, the Public Security Secretariat reported that the Office of the Public Prosecutor continued to raise evidence in the area, so that it was not yet possible to define a precise number of the people who died, so that it could rise.
As evidence continues to rise, the final balance will be given. In addition to the deceased, a state agent was injured, for which he was already treated. Through social networks it has transpired that the dead in this event would be even greater.
Weeks of violence in Coahuila:
In less than a month several criminal acts have been reported:

April 26: A woman is found murdered and with a message in Saltillo
April 27: Authorities face a crime cell; 9 of them die
May 5: Armed men shoot a sub-delegation in Ramos Arizpe.
Confrontation: Authorities and criminals "collided" in this community near Barroterán, in the Carboniferous Region.
May 6: Government of the State informs that they arrest those responsible for the previous attack.
May 18: Sicarios attack delegation of the FGE in San Juan de Sabinas; they leave 5 corpses
May 18: State authorities face armed civilians in Nava

Last Night:
May 19: Hit men and state agents "clash" in Múzquiz; leaving at least 6 dead :
Vanguardia now reporting these events as "A War"
             

Posted in Uncategorized
May 20, 2019

Cd Juarez: Armed Commando Opens Fire on a Party

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: El Diario y ElNorte
Ciudad Juarez:  Two dead and three injured, including a minor, left by an armed attack recorded last night in front of a house located on Xochimilcas Street in the Colonia Azteca where a gathering was being held.

Armed men came to the site and emptied their weapons against the attendees of the party.

After the shooting there were screams and terror, the injured people were taken in private vehicles to a hospital. Relatives of the victims went into crisis mode as crying and screaming commenced while trying to absorb the horror of what happened.

Elements of the different police corporations secured the scene and began with the first investigations. Experts from the State Attorney General's Office lifted the ballistic evidence and the bodies. Until tonight the names and ages of the victims were not disclosed and no arrests have been reported.

With this case, there were seven homicides during Saturday and Sunday in the state of Chihuahua, five in Ciudad Juárez, one in Cuauhtémoc and another in the capital. (that we know of as of now)

Approximately at midnight, in Ciudad Juarez, one man was shot dead and another injured in the Eco 2000 Fraccionamiento, in Lince and Tiburon streets.

In another incident, a man was found dead and hand-tied, in a vacant lot on Manzano Street in Colonia Granjas Santa Elena, near the road that leads to Casas Grandes.

In addition, the finding of a woman murdered and buried in a house in Colonia Nuevo México was reported.

The location was made after a search conducted on Saturday by an interdisciplinary group composed of Agents of the Public Ministry of the Unit of Absentees and the Homicide Unit, investigative elements attached to the AEI, as well as criminologists, forensic anthropologists and agents of the K9 group .

"After making a brief inspection, the canine element indicated the point where an excavation was made approximately 1.5 meters deep in which the body of a woman between 20 and 30 years of age was located," the FGE reported.

The activities were supported by the State Search Commission, which verified the compliance in the processing of graves and the treatment and identification of corpses as marked by the protocols.

The deseased wore a dark colored blouse with pink letters, light colored denim trousers and as the only physical characteristic appreciable at the time of the discovery it was observed that she has light colored hair.

The body of the victim was taken to the facilities of the forensic medical service, where the pertinent forensic studies will be performed in order to establish the cause of death and determine their identity officially.

While in Cuauhtémoc, a man was found murdered Saturday and wrapped in a blanket at kilometer 2 of the road that leads from Cuauhtémoc to Cusihuiriachi.

The Attorney General's Office reported that he was tied with wire and only his lower extremities and head were observed.  Staff of Expert Services packed two bushings of a .45 caliber firearm in place.

In turn, this Sunday, a man was found executed, as well as tied hands and feet in the Colonia Aeropuerto, in the City of Chihuahua.

Posted in Uncategorized
May 19, 2019

CJNG Blocks Highways in Michoacan

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: El Financiero y LaVozdeMichoacán
               Alleged members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel block roads in Michoacán

In this regard, the Ministry of Public Security channels and said that the blockade had been carried out by armed ''civilians''.

By: Arturo Estrada
Presumed members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, (CJNG)  made two road blockades on Saturday in the state of Michoacán, both in the municipality of Uruapán.

Civilians armed with assault rifles and hoods robbed drivers of two trailers to hinder vehicular traffic on the state roads of Uruapan and Gabriel Zamora.

According to information gathered by El Financiero, it was learned that the alleged members of the CJNG did not use their weapons, but they did show blankets with the initials of the cartel. La Voz de Michoacán reports that factions from both CJNG and "Los Viagras" arrived heavily armed with their initials on their trucks. The drivers of the tractor trailers stood down for fear of being injured or worse; but ultimately the armed and hooded men fled in the trucks.



     Later, the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) only recognized a blockade by "civilians" on the                                                                    Uruapan-Lombardy highway.
The agency said that personnel of the Michoacán Police moved to that area, after receiving a report to 911, which reported that a group of civilians had stripped the operator of a tractor truck, red, which used to block both lanes of the road at the height of kilometer 88.

Through the State Command, Communications, Computing, Control, Coordination and Intelligence Center (C5), the road and neighboring points are being monitored in order to guarantee free transit and the safety of the population, the secretariat added.

He also stressed that police officers remain in the area to provide security guarantees to those who travel through the aforementioned road, in addition to helping in work to streamline the flow of traffic.
The vehicle, he said, will be made available to the Attorney General of the State of Michoacán , in order to carry out the corresponding actions.

The SSP pointed out that it will not take "a step backwards against any act that threatens the safety of the Michoacán people". There was an operation to catch the perpetrators but the authorities were unsuccessful.

It should be noted that both the CJNG and the criminal group of "Los Viagras'' have unleashed a fratricidal struggle in the state, ie warring factions, which has increased the number of intentional homicides.

The Prosecutor's Office admitted that the number of intentional homicides recorded during the last 16 months reaches an average of 3.4 a day.
Among the most violent cities of the state are: Buenavista, Morelia, Uruapan, Zamora, Huetamo, Apatzingán, Mújica, Lázaro and La Huacana, according to official reports.

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