Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

7 members of the Sinaloa Cartel arrested in Utah

Friday, September 2, 2011 |

Cash was seized as evidence during a series of raids Tuesday against the Sinaloa Cartel in the Salt Lake Valley. / DEA / AP


ST. GEORGE (AP) - Agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration took down several key figures from the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel on Tuesday during the wrap-up of an 18-month investigation they say "decimated" a Utah-based cell of the violent transnational crime ring.

At least seven arrests took place Tuesday in the Salt Lake Valley and along Interstate 15 in or near Juab County as part of Operation Broken Glass, which has netted more than 30 arrests in Utah, California and Nevada over the course of the investigation.

"It was a great day," DEA Supervisory Special Agent Sue Thomas said. "We removed the cell head, who was the guy who was coordinating the shipments coming to Utah from Mexico and California."

Thomas said no drugs were found in the man's vehicle when he was stopped by the Utah Highway Patrol near Nephi.

"But we know he was associated with a load that was coming into town," she said. "He was traveling to Utah from Phoenix and had crossed the (U.S.-Mexico) border just a few days earlier."

Thomas said she did not have information on whether any of the suspects are in the country illegally.

"It takes ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) a little while to get their pedigree," she said.

Prosecutors were expected to begin seeking federal indictments against the suspects in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City during the next few weeks.

DEA agents aren't certain how long the cell had been operating, but Thomas said it was a well-coordinated operation that was deeply entrenched in the Salt Lake City area. The cell was handling large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, she said.

Most of the drugs were being moved into Utah in small packages by couriers.

"The traffic stop (in Juab County) is just a small part," Thomas said. "As the case progressed, we had the opportunity to take some drug traffickers out (of the operation) - just quietly. ... I-15 is a pipeline and ... we'll know that drug flows are coming into Salt Lake City. It is usually advantageous to our operation to not stop them in Salt Lake City."

The Sinaloa Cartel is one of seven major drug enterprises in Mexico that have been battling with each other and government officials since Mexico's president declared war on the cartels in late 2006.

Reports of beheadings and bodies dissolved in vats of acid became common after the outbreak of the "war," but in spite of government action on both sides of the border, the flow of drugs from Mexico into the United States has continued largely unimpeded.

The Sinaloa Cartel maintains a strong influence throughout northern Mexico and, while its leaders generally remain in Mexico, the globe-spanning organization's influence has been growing throughout the United States.

Thomas said the drugs allegedly involved in "Broken Glass" tend to cross the border in California and then travel to transportation hubs such as Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, where they can be sent out to other locations.

"A huge shipment can come into Salt Lake City, but only a small portion may make it back to Southern Utah," she said. "It can branch out all over the country."

Tuesday's arrests in the Salt Lake Valley included a raid on a home in South Jordan and a Mi Ranchito restaurant in South Salt Lake.

Authorities seized more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine, 200 pounds of marijuana, a kilogram each of heroin and cocaine, as well as guns and more than $322,000 in cash.

"We think that was a drop in bucket in terms of what they were moving," Thomas said.

A pound of methamphetamine is worth about $14,000 on the street, she said.

Authorities expect Tuesday's action to have an immediate impact on the availability of street drugs.

"All the drug task forces throughout the state ... recognize the cases we're working on are going to impact communities within the state," Thomas said. "They work hand in hand with us. ... We're very fortunate to have that partnership between local and federal (agencies)."



Source: The Associated Press

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22 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent work.

Anonymous said...

all of this is bullshit, just like the Prohibition during that time they caught almost all the kingpins if they cant catch the cartel leaders then this is just a waste of tax payers money and time as long as the cartels stay in business the dea, fbi will always have a never ending job

Anonymous said...

guess the feds are pissed and retaliating against Mayo's son narking them out, haha.

Anonymous said...

It is always good to interrupt the flow of cartel business and getting any drugs 'n guns off the street is better than not. I'm glad.

Anonymous said...

RE: 6:57 What are you talking about? You make no sense at all.

I have to laugh at the differences in investigative techniques. In the US you can have an 18 month investigation. You catch a majority of the offenders and can build a good case against them in court. In Mexico, if you investigated for 18 minutes, the corrupt police and politicians would alert the offenders and if they were taken to prison, the warden would let them out that night.

Anonymous said...

FUCKIN IDIOTS THAT WAR IS FAR FROM OVER THEIRS ALWAYS ANOTHER MEXICAN READY TO DO WHAT IT TAKES

Anonymous said...

DEA.. What a bunch of fucken lazy retards. It's about time you get off your asses and make a little bust

Anonymous said...

I dont claim to have the solution to this "war" but what they (law enforcement) have been doing since the beginning hasn't worked and, will quite obviously, never work and yet they dont see the need to change the plan of action. The way they are going after the cartels and DTO now is like trying to empty the pacific ocean with a bucket; you might get some water out of the ocean but the ocean remains completely unchanged and rather untouched (just like the DTOs)
this is all a big farce. All of these busts just serve to placate the general public and put on a show for the media.

Anonymous said...

The DEA and U.S. law enforcement is a joke when it comes to the so called "War On Drugs" just watch the show "COPS" and watch as they make the bust of some poor junkie with less than $50 worth of dope they act as if they just busted the "French Connection"! They waste tax dollars taking time with the arrest and taking them to jail! American prisons are FULL of hundreds of thousands of people that had less than an ounce of dope! The cops making those types of arrests should be fired! They actually send people to prison in the U.S. for tiny amounts of dope and that is pathetic! no wonder the country is so financially screwed! They should pass a law that if its under one ounce you only get a ticket like a misdemeanor! They need to legalize a drug such as methadone or buprinorphine making it available over the counter so addicts can maintain their drug habits without needing to purchase from street dealers. Those things in and of themselves would fix 90% of all the problems surrounding the so called "War On Drugs" but the problem is the U.S. government doesnt want to fix the problem, they use the sell of illegal drugs to fund operations they no congress will not approve as well as using them to enslave a certain segment of the population. Look at the man behind the curtain!

Anonymous said...

There is going to be allot of very sick junkies ripping and robbing in those areas where they have made it difficult to get heroin, great job dumb asses!Just as they did with alcohol they need to give those addicted an alternative that they can legally obtain! The drug policies in America have been written by retards that do not have a fucking clue! There is so much fucking failure in Washington D.C. I am embarassed to be an American...

Anonymous said...

Rumor:Metro3 and his brother "El Negro" were killed by federal forces.

J said...

El Negro was arrested (confirmed) months ago, don't know how much truth there is to that rumor.

Anonymous said...

There is no "war on drugs", it is merely arguments by those dealing it and policing it as to how to divide it. Here and in Mexico. If they make a bust, generally it is token unimportant people with small quantities just to says, see, were getting those bad guys.

Anonymous said...

Since they busted a few... I would love to replace them. Since Obama can't provide a job for me, I wouldn't mind working for the Sinaloa cartel and make a lot of mula. Contact me at Iwannawork4cartel@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha if I was chapo i would charge my clients double and say its because of the severe war on Drugs and how hard it is to operate in these times.hAhaha eventhough some of us know he is protected by the goverment,but his clients might not know that.Come on chapo use this war on drugs to your advantage!! your already more powerful then calderon and probably richer then obama.

Anonymous said...

As long as the drugs are illegal there will be narcos.The only way to finish with this problem is to legalize drugs. But it will never happen because then the d.e.a and border patrol & u.s law enforcement will be left with out a job. Vivia mexico cabrones

Anonymous said...

Sinaloa= Tacuaches

Anonymous said...

Sinaloa = Beautiful state

Anonymous said...

EL Chapulin-Monta Perros y su chile La Momia Zambada van caer!...Arriva Los Aretes!..

Anonymous said...

Los aretes mejor se abrieron cuando entraron los meros jefes...el dia Que caiga el chapo cae el "gobierno" mexicano...

Anonymous said...

"DEA"YOU ARE MAKING A MISTAKE YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO TOUCH ANY BODY FROM DSC TALK TO YOUR SUPERIORS BEFORE MAKING MORE MISTAKES

Anonymous said...

I CAN SEE THERE ARE SOME DUM ASSES ASSOCIATED OR KNOW SOME CARTEL ON THIS SITE! THAT OR JUST SOME WANNABES THAT THINK THEY KNOW WHAT TIME A DAY IT IS, YOU CAN BE FOUND ON THIS SITE FOR OPENING YOUR BIG FUCKEN MOUTHS, YOU DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR HEAD CHOPPED OFF FOR BEING SO DUM, YOUR NOT FUNNY AT ALL!! YOU MOTHER FUCKERS MAKE MONEY ON PEOPLES PAIN AND SELL TO KIDS!! I KNOW A LOT OF DICKS LIKE YOU, MAYBE I WILL GO UNDER COVER AND HELP BUST ALL YOU MOTHER FUCKERS! I HATE ALL YOU DRUG DEALING PUTOS! I LOST A LOT OF HOMEBOYS BECAUSE OF THE POISON YOU PUNKS SELL JUST TO SHOW OFF! AND ALL OF YOU ARE FUCKEN RATS WHO WOULD SELL YOUR MOTHER OUT, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

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