Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

'Massive' smuggling ring dismantled in Arizona

Monday, October 31, 2011 |

by Dennis Wagner - Oct. 31, 2011 12:43 PM
The Arizona Republic

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/10/31/20111031arizona-drug-smuggling-bust-103111.html#ixzz1cPu0V0fh




A deputy's routine traffic stop last year helped authorities penetrate what they say is one of the biggest smuggling operations ever identified in Arizona, a network that allegedly has moved $2 billion of narcotics across the border in just five years.

At a news conference Monday, investigators announced the seizure of more than 30 tons of marijuana and arrests of 76 people who are suspected of affiliation with Mexico's notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
Matt Allen, special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, said the criminal network is "one of the most prolific drug smuggling organizations ever uncovered in the state."

"This is a historic drug bust," added Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. "...We have to stand up and bring the fight to the cartels and say, 'This is America. You're not coming here.'"

Babeu said the investigation, known as Operation Pipeline Express, began in June 2010 when one of his deputies pulled over a vehicle near Stanfield that was loaded with 1,500 pounds of marijuana. Intelligence gathered during that stop led to a massive criminal investigation involving about two dozen law enforcement agencies.

Allen said the group moved an estimated $33 million in marijuana, cocaine and heroin into the United States monthly. He said those arrested came from all levels of the organization - from drug-carrying mules to scouts and commanders who organized the trafficking.

Authorities said the ring, built around cells based in Chandler, Stanfield and Maricopa, used backpacker and vehicles to run narcotics across the border and through the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, a notorious smuggling route. Investigators seized 108 semi-automatic rifles and other weapons during the probe, which Babeu said was completed without an exchange of gunfire.

"We in Arizona continue to stand and fight against the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own this place," he said. "...While this is a historic drug bust, sadly, this represents only a fraction of what my deputies face every day."

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13 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Since the Zambada Niebla revelations, the US is trying sooooo hard to make it look like it doesn't support the Sinaloa Cartel.

Anonymous said...

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is my favorite sheriff right after Sheriff Joe Arpio.
Great news Sheriff keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA Americans look like idiots but there you go buy the drugs leave el chapo alone

Anonymous said...

Gerardo on the BB forum you can get a video related to this article.

http://borderland-beat.924382.n3.nabble.com/Arizona-busts-massive-Mexican-drug-smuggling-operation-video-td3469270.html

Anonymous said...

No comments????? hahahaha all the white boys are mad cuz no more mary jane to blaze???

Jesus the Moose said...

Please have Mexican law enforcement interrogate those guys. Whatever they do gets people to snitch and confess.

Anonymous said...

i hate paul babeu he is a racist always on fox news saying mexican this mexican that one day he's going to mess with the wrong person's money and i'm not talking about the cartels

Anonymous said...

Just so you people out of those 76 people atleast 60 people for sure maybe more will snitch and trust me i know. Ask a lawyer and he will tell you that in drug cases 9 out of 10 people will snitch.

scotty mole and the left nuts said...

i just cant understand why anyone would pay money for that mexican dirt weed! you couldnt give that shit away in b.c ;)

Anonymous said...

@9:14 u got that right fucken snitches

Anonymous said...

"This is a historic drug bust," added Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. "...We have to stand up and bring the fight to the cartels and say, 'This is America. You're not coming here.'"

With this statement Mr. Babeu, you have earned yourself the title 'CLOWN OF THE DAY'!!!

Anonymous said...

this is america you aint coming here.... idiot they already here

Anonymous said...

simple chart. only 2b in drugs business?

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