Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Over 1 million seized in Tijuana

Sinaloa Cartel drug proceeds seized in Tijuana

Last night, agents of the PEP (State Preventative Police), during a coordinated traffic stop, arrested two men, driving a van, southbound to Rosarito.  Inside the van, hidden in boxes, and in multiple denominations was 952,000 dollars in cash.  The money was in smaller bills, consistent coming from drug sales and distribution, one roll contained 6,000 $5 dollar bills.  The two men arrested in the operation are alleged to be in the service of a Sinaloa Cartel cell operating in Tijuana.  

Elias Lopez, 'El Panther',  and Armando Limon Arrenado were the two men detained, who told officers the money was bound for Culican, Sinaloa, via Rosarito, or Baja Sur, and was proceeds from drug sales in the Los Angeles area.  'El Panther' led authorities to another safe house, where the PEP arrested two women, Ana Patricia, and Sandra N, 47, and 30 years old.  An additional 102,000 was seized at the residence, apparently hidden inside a couch.

This is the latest in a series of, of escalating seizures and lost product for the organized crime groups that operate in the city.  In recent months, thousands of pounds of marijuana have been lost along the Southern California coastline, which is thought to belong to Sinaloa cells operating in Baja.  More then 700 pounds of marijuana were seized last week at the Otay Mesa crossing, hidden in bundles of carrots.

  Two weeks ago 12 kilos of cocaine, thought to be Sinaloa owned were also seized in Tijuana.  90,000 said to belong to the group under Fernando Sanchez Arellano, and also said to be from drug sales in Los Angeles was confiscated after an arrest earlier this summer.  One point of notice is the minimal amount of cocaine seized at the border crossings, and in the city itself.  This suggests a lack of product being moved across the border, or in the city at all. Last year, seizures of upwards of 250 kilos were occurring, at a much higher volume.  

Violence in the city has slowed to a crawl, with a minimal amount of murder among organized crime groups.  High profile arrests linked to the cells of Sanchez Arellano occurred earlier in the year, but things have progressed as normal, with no violence, or escalation of conflict following the arrests. 

Sources, AFN Tijuana.