Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Illegal Border Crossings Plunge, Drug Seizures Up Along US-Mexico Border

Illegal Border Crossings Plunge, Drug Seizures Up Along US-Mexico Border
December 13, 2011 10:24 AM

Florida Citizens with drugs they stopped from
getting across the Arizona border.

Reporting Tom Reopelle
Filed under
Business, Heard On Radio, Local, News, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
Related tags
Border, california, Drugs, Illegal, Immigration, Marijuana, mexico
Top Features
CBSLA iPhone App CBSLA iPhone App
Create A Tailgate & Invite Your Friends Tailgate Fan
Back To School: Features, News & PhotosFollow Us On Twitter
Finalists Have Been Announced! Go VoteNFL Power Rankings

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — The number of immigrants crossing illegally into California from Mexico may have dried up, but business is still booming for drug smugglers along the U.S. border.

KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of narcotics seized along the border in the last year.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents reported seizures of over 158 tons of narcotics in the current fiscal year — up nearly 50 percent from 2010.

Authorities recently found up to 9 tons of marijuana inside a big-rig truck at the Otay Mesa border crossing in late November.

Officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly conducted an inspection of the truck and an X-ray search which uncovered hundreds of bricks of marijuana with a street value of over $13 million, authorities said.

Seven suspects were

And according the CBP’s Jackie Wasiluk, it’s not just marijuana that’s fueling the increase in trade.

“We’re seeing an increase in everything, so even though we’re seeing much more marijuana compared to other kinds of drugs, year over year we’re seeing more cocaine, more heroin and more methamphetamine,” said Wasiluk.

While authorities believe that increased border enforcement is one of the primary factors more drug shipments are being seized, they also point to a significant drop in illegal immigration.

The number of people caught attempting to enter the U.S. illegally was down 23 percent from 2010 — the lowest levels in 40 years.

But according to one researcher, it’s the slumping economy — and not more effective border enforcement — that could ultimately be deterring illegal immigrants.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Is the United States a Narco 'Safe Haven' for Mexican Drug Lords?

Is the United States a Narco 'Safe Haven' for Mexican Drug Lords?

By: Sylvia Longmire

12/06/2011 ( 7:00am)

Bookmark and Share

For years, if not decades, Mexican drug lords and various upper-level members of Mexico’s transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) have resided in the United States. But because the savage drug war in Mexico has become so dangerous for them, they now prefer to spend more and more time at their “vacation” homes in the relative safety of US cities and communities.

Knowing that violent TCO members are living among us is disturbing on many levels, and has begged the question of whether the United States can be equated to Pakistan as a country that allows itself to be a “safe haven” for violent criminals and narco-terrorists?

In April 2006, the Department of State defined terrorist safe havens as follows:

"A terrorist safe haven is an area of relative security exploited by terrorists to indoctrinate, recruit, coalesce, train, and regroup, as well as prepare and support their operations… Physical safe havens provide security for many senior terrorist leaders, allowing them to plan and to inspire acts of terrorism around the world. The presence of terrorist safe havens in a nation or region is not necessarily related to state sponsorship of terrorism. In most instances cited in this chapter, areas or communities serve as terrorist safe havens despite the government's best efforts to prevent this."

Using the State Department’s own definition, one only has to replace the term “terrorist” with the term “TCO,” and a strong argument can be made that the United States fits technically can be construed to be a narco-terrorist safe haven.

Even Mexican President Felipe Calderón believes the US is a safe haven for leaders of cartels based in his country. In October 2011 he told The New York Times Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera - the capo of the Sinaloa Federation and arguably the most wanted man in the Western Hemisphere - was holed up somewhere north of the border.

“The surprising thing here is that he or his wife are so comfortable in the United States” that it “leads me to ask … how many families or how many Mexican drug lords could be living more calmly on the north side of the border than on the south side?” Calderón asked.

“What leads Chapo Guzmán to keep his family in the United States?” Calderón mussed.

Calderón broached the subject of Guzmán’s wife because in August 2011 Emma Coronel gave birth to twin girls in a Los Angeles hospital. Calderón said reporters ought to be asking why she was never detained.

There are no charges pending against Coronel; therefore, US law enforcement agents have no grounds to detain her. And, unfortunately, the same is true of many other members of Mexico’s TCOs who are residing in the United States.

The fact is many TCO members and individuals working for them have dual citizenship or are legal permanent residents of America. While they may have extensive criminal records in Mexico, as long as they haven’t committed a crime in the United States and Mexico hasn’t sought their extradition, they can lead relatively normal lives north of the border without law enforcement interference. This isn’t to say US law enforcement agencies aren’t aware of their presence or activities; it’s just that there’s not much they can do unless these TCO members commit a crime here.

It’s this situation that ultimately separates the United States from places like Pakistan when it comes to the “safe haven” definition. In April 2009, the State Department wisely updated their definition to read:

“Terrorist safe havens are defined in this report as ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed areas of a country and non-physical areas where terrorists that constitute a threat to U.S. national security interests are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.”

There are no areas in the US southwest that can be defined as “ungoverned, under-governed or ill-governed.” The US government is also not actively assisting TCO members living in the country or purposely ignoring their presence. In fact, US southern border region law enforcement agencies are more alert than ever to the potential threats posed by TCO members living in their jurisdictions. But that doesn’t mean the Mexican government will see it that way.

President Calderón has pointed his finger at the United States and blamed the federal government for the violence in his country. He says the drug war is a direct result of Americans’ demand for illegal drugs and US guns laws that allow tens of thousands of firearms to be smuggled across the border every year. Based on his casual statements about “El Chapo” Guzmán possibly living in the US, his next salvo may be to declare the United States a “narco safe haven” and to attempt some sort of legislative (and ultimately symbolic) action to this end.

Hopefully, this isn’t where Calderón is headed. He knows the US government is trying to fight this war as a partner with Mexico, despite its various policy shortcomings. President Obama also knows Calderón’s approval rating has been slipping and that his political party isn’t faring well in the run-up to Mexico’s July 2012 presidential election. It’s possible Calderón may still try to play the “narco safe haven” card, but if he does, it undoubtedly will be rebuffed by Obama.

In the meantime, US agencies can work harder to make America a much more difficult operating environment for TCO members by more aggressively scrutinizing suspicious financial transactions and expanding human intelligence networks to identify future drug smuggling activity.

Mexico’s “narcos” don’t operate in a vacuum on either side of the border. And while their networks are extremely difficult to penetrate, it’s not impossible. US law enforcement agents just need the proper tools and support to ensure that TCO members’ lives here are made as difficult as possible - that they’re made to understand their presence north of the border isn’t welcome.

A retired Air Force captain and former Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Homeland Security Today correspondent Sylvia Longmire worked as the Latin America desk officer analyzing issues in the US Southern Command area of responsibilty that might affect the security of deployed Air Force personnel. From Dec. 2005 through July 2009, she worked as an intelligence analyst for the California state fusion center and the California Emergency Management Agency's situational awareness Unit, where she focused almost exclusively on Mexican drug trafficking organizations and southwest border violence issues. Her book, "Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars," was published in Sept. To contact Sylvia, email her at: sylvia(at)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


PCSO has busy week in the Vekol Valley

It was a busy week for PCSO patrol deputies and members of SWAT who were assisted by Search and Rescue. From November 14th to 19th, deputies came across 4,094 lbs. of marijuana, made 10 arrests and seized one hand gun.

The week was capped off by members of PCSO Search and Rescue, working with SWAT, who participated in a three-day operation focusing on drug and human smuggling routes in the Vekol Valley area.
The operation was part of ongoing efforts by Homeland Security, ACTT (Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats) to target smuggling operations in the area.
Two separate load vehicles were discovered in an area with thick brush. A Chevrolet Tahoe tracked during the early morning hours on November 18th was discovered abandoned and turned up over 1,500 lbs. A stolen Chevrolet pickup was seized during the early morning hours of the 19th after Search and Rescue tracked the vehicle to a small trail south of Interstate 8 and Freeman Road. The total amount of marijuana inside the vehicle was 1,808 lbs.
Additionally, a group of 6 illegal immigrants were also apprehended near Stanfield Road south of Interstate 8 during the early morning hours of November 17th.
Agencies participating in the three day operation were: Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, Immigration Customs Enforcement, United States Border Patrol – Tucson Sector, and the Gila River Police Department.
On November 14th, PCSO patrol deputies encountered two separate incidents involving drug smuggling. The first occurred at 3:50 pm when a deputy traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 noticed a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria speeding near Arizona City and initiated a traffic stop.
The driver pulled off to the shoulder at mile marker 208. As the deputy approached the vehicle, he observed two large bundles of marijuana in the back seat. The driver, identified as Leeh Bernice Liston, 42, of Tucson and passenger, Manuel Lopez Gomez of Mexico, were asked to exit the vehicle and subsequently arrested.
Pictured are the bundles of marijuana found inside the trunk of Liston’s vehicle.
Further inspection of the vehicle turned up several more bundles of marijuana in the trunk, totaling more than 250 lbs.
Both Liston and Gomez have been charged with Transporting Marijuana for Sale. Gomez will also be charged for being in the United States illegally.
The second seizure occurred at 6:52 p.m. after a patrol deputy traveling north on Stanfield Road observed a 1998 Chevrolet Suburban exceeding the posted speed limit of 50 mph.
Just north of Peters Road, the deputy initiated a traffic stop. After the vehicle stopped, the driver’s side door opened and a Hispanic male exited; fleeing east into a field. The deputy ordered a second Hispanic male passenger to remain in the vehicle with his hand up. As the deputy approached, he could see several bundles of marijuana in the back seat, partially covered by a black tarp.
A search of the SUV turned up 20 bundles of packaged marijuana, totaling more than 450 lbs. The male subject was removed from the vehicle and found to be in possession of a 9MM handgun, magazine and 32 rounds of ammunition. Because he was believed to be in the county illegally, the subject was transported to the Border Patrol Substation in Casa Grande and turned over for processing.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Last month we helped deal the Sinaloa Cartel a body blow by taking down several of its key members who used Pinal County as a way to get their drugs into the United States. Despite those efforts, this week proves the problem continues and it will not end until the border is properly secured. ”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Controversial Muslim cleric Caught Being Smuggled Into US Over Mexico Border

U.S. border guards got a surprise when they searched a Mexican BMW and found a hardline Muslim cleric - banned from France and Canada - curled up in the boot.

Said Jaziri, who called for the death of a Danish cartoonist that drew pictures Said Jaziri of the prophet Mohammed, was being smuggled into California when he was arrested, along with his driver Kenneth Robert Lawler.  The 43-year-old was deported from Canada to his homeland Tunisia in 2007 after it emerged he had lied on his refugee application about having served jail time in France.

His fire and brimstone sermons and rabble-rousing antics catapulted him into the public eye during his short tenure as imam at a Montreal mosque.  

He branded homosexuality a disease and led protests over cartoonist Kurt Westergaard's illustrations poked fun at Islam and were published in a Danish BorderSaid newspaper in 2006.
He also caused anger when he campaigned for a bigger mosque to accommodate Montreal's burgeoning Muslim population.
       Caught: Jaziri was arrested being smuggled across the San       Diego border crossing, along with his driver Kenneth Robert Lawler 

Friday, January 14, 2011

America’s Third War: Texas Strikes Back

I never thought that we’d be in this paramilitary type of engagement. It’s a war on the border,” said Captain Stacy Holland with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Holland leads a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art helicopters that make up the aviation assets used by the Texas DPS to fight Mexican drug cartels.
In recent years, the cartels have become bolder and more ruthless.
They cross the border with AK-47s on their backs, wearing military camouflage. They recruit in prisons and schools on the American side. Spotters sit in duck blinds along the Rio Grande and call out the positions of the U.S. Border Patrol.
To combat the cartels, the Texas Department of Public Safety is launching a counterinsurgency.
Tactical strike teams send field intelligence they gather to Austin to a joint operation intelligence center, or JOIC in military terminology.
It certainly is a war in a sense that were doing what we can to protect Texans and the rest of the nation from clearly a threat that has emerged over the last several years, said Former FBI prosecutor Steve McCraw, who runs the undeclared “war.”
And now that there is added pressure on the cartels, the drug runners are employing new techniques, known as a splash down. When the heat is on, they attempt to return to Mexico with the drugs, often times in broad daylight. And because the Texas law enforcements authority ends at the border — in this case the river — they even have time to put on their life jackets.
The cartels may be ruthless, they may be vicious, they may be cowardly … but they’re not stupid, said McCraw. They will adapt their tactics and recently they’ve adapted their tactics to utilize smaller loads, cross with rafts, stolen vehicles on our side.
President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Neapolitan have recently said the Mexican border is more secure now than it has been in 20 years, but some along this border strongly disagree.
“To suggest the southwest border is secure is ridiculous,” said Holland. 


12 suspects, 2 soldiers Die in Mexico Gunbattle

VERACRUZ, Mexico – Twelve suspected drug cartel gunmen and two soldiers were killed in a nearly six-hour gunbattle in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities reported Friday.
About 100 soldiers, marines and police located a drug gang safe house in the state capital of Xalapa and surrounded it late Thursday, said Veracruz state Public Safety Secretary Sergio Lopez Esquer.
The gunmen resisted fiercely and a standoff ensued, with authorities firing tear gas into the house and exchanging fire with those inside.
Other gunmen shot up homes and cars in surrounding neighborhoods, apparently to try to draw soldiers away from the safe house.
Security forces finally stormed the house early Friday and seized grenades, ammunition and vehicles, army Gen. Rene Aguilar Paez said. There were no arrests.
The soldiers were responding to tips about armed men traveling in convoys of sport utility vehicles in the area — a hallmark of Mexico's drug gangs. There was no immediate information on which cartel is suspected to have been involved.
Officials reported this week that 34,612 people have died in drug-related killings across Mexico in the four years since President Felipe Calderon declared an offensive against drug cartels.
The killings reached their highest level in 2010, jumping by almost 60 percent to 15,273 deaths from 9,616 the previous year.
Also Friday, authorities in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco reported the discovery of a local prison guard's mutilated body in a parked car.
The guard's face and scalp had been skinned and stretched over the headrest of the front seat. The rest of the body was found in bags in the car, according to a report by police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.
Handwritten messages found in the vehicle were signed by an unknown group calling itself "the baddest cartel" and threatened to do the same to any guard "who messes with the prisoners' families."
In the nearby town of Tecpan, meanwhile, authorities reported a local policemen was found shot to death and hung from a tree.
A message was also found near his body; such notes are frequently left by drug cartels to threaten rivals and authorities.
And in the northern state of Coahuila, prosecutors said Friday that police recovered a car stolen from a local mayor when he was kidnapped and slain earlier this month.
The man driving the car tried to escape from police and opened fire on them with an AK-47 assault rifle, a weapon favored by the cartels. The suspect died when police returned fire, according to a statement from prosecutors.
Three mayors have been killed in Mexico so far this month, and more than a dozen were gunned down in 2010.
The motives in many of the attacks remain unclear.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Illegals Trashing our Countryside!!!

Not only do they bring drugs into this country the Illegals are also bringing in their garbage.

Everywhere you go from the border to "Interstate 8" some 60 miles from the border you find their left over trash.

Our city, county, and state road crews and parks departments are the ones that are stuck cleaning this mess up.  This is just another cost to the taxpayer of this country caused by Illegals.

These are just a few of the items we found out in the desert and around I8.

So where are all the environmentalists  on this issue?  It seems if it were American citizens trashing the countryside there would be hell to pay.   

Wake up America your country is being destroyed before your eyes!!!