Sunday, February 14, 2016

Arizona just made its largest meth bust ever, and it may be a signal from Mexico's most powerful cartels

US Customs and Border Protection agents at a border crossing in Nogales, Arizona,seized 387 pounds of methamphetamine on February 5, the largest meth seizure in the crossing's history.

A tractor-trailer hauling bell peppers that was attempting to cross at the Mariposa Commercial Facility was stopped, and CBP agents pulled 400 packages of meth worth $1.1 million out of the trailer's front wall and rear doors.

The driver, Juan Rodolfo Lugo-Urias, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations agents.

But the location and size of the bust indicate that he may have been just one part of the operation.

While fragmentation among Mexican cartels in recent years has made it easier for upstart traffickers to enter the trade, 387 pounds is a lot of meth, and it's more than likely that this was an operation run by an established cartel.

The location of Lugo's capture raises the possibility of two organizations: the Sinaloa cartel and the Beltran-Leyva Organization. And it may be a signal that neither of those organizations has faded from the scene, despite recent setbacks.

The Sinaloa cartel


Despite Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's recent encounters with the law, the Sinaloa cartel maintains an active presence in Mexico and the US and is heavily involved in smuggling a wide variety of drugs.

These DEA maps released last year show that the cartel controls the territory on both sides of the crossing at Nogales.


The Nogales border crossing and the entirety of Arizona are suspected of being Sinaloa cartel areas of influence.

"The Sinaloa cartel maintains the most significant presence in the United States," the DEA saidin an intelligence report released last summer.

Guzmán's Sinaloa organization, a multibillion-dollar operation, is "the dominant [transnational criminal organization] along the West Coast, through the Midwest, and into the Northeast," the report added.

If Lugo was working for the Sinaloa cartel, then the product he was carrying would have slipped into the organization's extensive trafficking network within the US.

As part of the dominant cartel operating in the US, Sinaloa operatives supply much of the country. In 2013, the DEA believed that the cartel supplied "80% of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine — with a street value of $3 billion — that floods the Chicago region each year."


Based on the testimony of former Sinaloa operatives, this map shows the cartel's distribution network as of the late 2000s.

And if Lugo was working for the Sinaloa cartel, it would not be the cartel's first effort to hide drugs in a shipment of peppers.
Beltran-Leyva Organization

That Lugo was captured in Nogales, however, also suggests another possible backer.

The city was identified as an area of "significant or increasing presence" for the Beltran-Leyva Organization, or BLO, by the DEA's 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment.


Meth seizures were up all along the US border in 2014.

The BLO, formed by the Beltran-Leyva brothers, was originally a close partner of the Sinaloa cartel, but it broke with Guzmán's organization in the late 2000s.

Since 2010 the BLO has been significantly weakened, with much of its top leadership — including the Beltran-Leyva brothers and their top enforcer, "La Barbie" — killed or captured.

Despite those losses and the cartel's decline, it has maintained some alliances with Mexican cartels, and the DEA said that in 2014 the BLO was both active in the US and working with Colombian traffickers to move cocaine into the US.
'Meth is the only way here to make some real money'

Regardless of who sent this specific shipment, agents on the US border have seen a surge in meth trafficking in recent years.


Members of the Bundeskriminalamt German law enforcement agency, the Federal Criminal Office, with portions of 2.9 tonnes of confiscated chlorephedrin, one of the main ingredients used to make methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, at a news conference in 2014 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

"In fiscal year 2014, the United States Border Patrol seized a record 3,771 pounds of meth at the Mexican border," author Ioan Grillo wrote in January 2015.

That was "more than double the 1,838 pounds it seized in 2011."

Meth is incredibly cheap to produce, with often readily available chemicals, like those found in flu medicine, cobbled together in makeshift labs.

"These guys get ingredients worth $65 and turn them into drugs worth $18,000 or more," Mike Vigil, former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, toldGrillo.

All told, Americans spend $6 billion to $22 billion on meth every year.

With money like that to be made, the shipment seized in Nogales is unlikely to be the last.

"How the f--- else are we going to get by?" a meth cooker named Bernardo told Grillo in Mexico. "I might get a job picking tomatoes now and again but meth is the only way here to make some real money."

Source Business Insider 

59 comments:

  1. From what I understand coke is scarce currently and that will only drive the demand/price for meth through the roof. Not good at all

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    1. Meth prices are at an all time low, and production is up. Do the math

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    2. lol i remember meth being like 15k a lbs. back in the days,now its like 3.5k a lbs. , coke is scarce because the cost vs. the risk its not really worth in the USA market, its being shipped elsewhere like eastern europe were it could fetch 65k plus a K, or to the Aussies you'll get closer to 80k a K , leaving very little to the USA market

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    3. Precisely put my friend.

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  2. Sinaloa practically owns most of the damn U.S.. wow

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    1. Don't get your panties in a not..that's what they tell you but not true..Zetas have big presence in Colorado Texas Arizona Louisiana Tennessee Mississippi Oklahoma Indiana Minnesota Wisconsin Ohio Utah .

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    2. Ok zeta nuthugger whatever helps you sleep at night

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    3. youre wrong for sure Zs do not have nuts

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  3. Sp acording to these so called experts sinaloa cartel brings in 80% of meth,coke and heroine huh.I thik that's not accurate, besed on the fact that each time there is a bust they claim it's cds eventhough it's la familia, golf or onother cartel. Lol

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    1. If you read it again it says Sinaloa bings in 80% of the Chicago area's meth, coke, heroine, and marijuana each year.

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  4. Chivis; se esta calentando China, Nuevo Leon. Algo grande esta pasando en ese pueblo. Muchos muertos en lo que va del año y todo el año pasado.
    Muchos pesados de ese pueblo ansido ejecutados.


    G(-)057

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    1. Oyes G(-)057 en China, Nuevo León alli esta lleno de Golfos esta rumbo a Reynosa. Lo mas seguro que se están matando entre los mismos Golfos. O tu que crees que sea esa ola de ejecuciones? Y en Multimedios no dicen nada...

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    2. Orale we got ourselves a genuine operator ladies and gents.. and he even has a clave hahahahaha

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    3. 1:20 The clave "G" is for Güey?

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    4. Valor Por Tamaulipas reportó que los cazadores de Reynosa muertos en China, Nuevo León eran familiares del comandante Panilo del CDG. Quien le mataría sus familiares esto me huele a traicion de Golfas entre el Toro y Panilo.

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    5. Golfos vs Golfos
      Ya no quedo ninguno en ese pueblo de los antiguos mandos. El licenciado era el mas chingon y era uno de los jefes maximo del CDG. A el lo mataron en Dallas,TX y segun rumores tenia ranchos en Francia y era originaria De China N.L

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  5. And people on here say they're done.....CDS will never end as long as sinaloa exists, too much families to ever wipe them all out

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    1. No it will never end but that don't mean they're not down and struggling..they're at the lowest point of the cartels existence. EPN and the DEA along with ATF and ICE will not stop until they've destroyed what CDS has built..reason being the USA claims CDS is responsible for most of the drug in US.

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    2. The big families are struggling, the lower ranked families who just do their thing without bothering anybody are doing as good as ever.....EPN is just trying to get rid of the top traffickers to make it seem like mexico is progressing. They're tryig to bring it back to the 90s where the Pri was in control and everyone in the business did their job and that was it. Chapo made the whole business get out of control by wanting to create a monopoly for himself, that has only harmed all the lower ranked families who run way more risk now but in the end it seems have come out winning

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    3. What is the wholesale price of Coke currently if anyone knows?

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    4. @4:15 Welcome to “Lallo 101” If you want "commercial" garbage which is what 95% of what is out there and has been for the past 10 years, then you can get it for about $25K-$28K a bird if you’re buying one. SWIM’s Mexican informed him of $22K in the LA area but they have a long standing relationship. Just a guess off the dome I'd say that 90% of what hits the streets is no more than 60%-70% pure "before" a dealer stomps on it. The absolute maximum purity would be no more than 80% and that's if it wasn't stepped on and re-pressed before hitting the tunnel. Due to the materials and manufacturing process the Colombians use, as I’ll explain in a second. There are over 200 variants of the coca plant of which only 4 are commonly used to produce the Perico. Columbian coca plants are of the “ENVN” Variety which contains “nearly” the same percentage of cocaine alkaloids as the best on the planet (Peruvian) but it has a much higher percentage of cinnamoylcocaines & truxillines which result in lower quality finished product, on top of that add their use of Kerosene & Sulfuric Acid for production equals an inferior product. SWIM's Importer for over 30 years produces Perico ten “1 kilo” batches at a time, no more than that ever. They use the Worlds Best “Peruvian” coca leaves, which are of the "ENVT" Variety, although harder to process they contain the highest percentage of cocaine alkaloid with a lower percentage of cinnamoylcocaines & truxillines as well as a high percentage of “flavonoids” versus the other varieties which account for its non-bitterness and why it was cultivated for decades for use in the soft drink industry and it is also the source for Pharmaceutical Grade Cocaine . Combine that with the Bolivian process which is purified 2 times via recrystallization using Diethyl Ether and Acetone instead of Kerosene & Sulfuric Acid results in a final product you can stamp with the Trademark “Peruvian Flake” confirmed by those OHH SOO PRETTY iridescent crystals which are virtually indistinguishable (visually) from pharmaceutical cocaine. $28K a bird, $135K for a six pack… You get what you pay for ALWAYS!

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  6. 800-1000/k in Culiacan. LA 5000. Perico in Culiacan 18000-20000, LA 25000. What would you rather work with. Lose 4 k's of blow or shards... For similar profits...

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    1. Risky business.....Cokes on its way out. Too much risk for little reward.

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    2. Is this the price for any joe blow or for those better connected? I ask because have seen prices quoted as 28k plus in LA on here and sometimes 30. I'm sure prices differ over time but those where recent.

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    3. Also why have the Coke prices gone up so high? Is it a strategy to flood the market with meth that is produced in house so to say . So not to have to deal with outside sources ?

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    4. Cartels make literally close to 10,000% profit off Methamphetamine compared to maybe 800% for Lallo due to "transportation" expenses acquired along the route from Columbia to Mexico and then on to the U.S.A. The amount of people that have to be greased along the way is insane, SWIM has heard they pay $2M per ton or $1K per kilo in Columbia and then at least another million to get it to Mexico. And probably $2M-$3M to get it to the U.S. Using P2P meth cost them $200,000.00 a ton, and about $100K-$150K to get it from Sinaloa to Cali. So you can see there's huge gap in the RISK vs. REWARD program at hand here. I know Chapo was starting to grow Coca in the hills obviously to cut out the middle man like they did with "H" but who knows how good the quality would have been since it's not a native shrub and how the climate compares to Peru, Bolivia or Columbia. Anyway AMERICA is the fucking problem, Mexico is just providing a service. You stop the demand you stop the supply, until then the train never stops.

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  7. This map is really outdated. The east coast is mostly Zetas & Golfo while the west coast is Michuacan/ Tijuana & CDS. Juarez,Zetas & BeltraneZ both share the plazas in the USA & MX. That doesn't mean CDS is not in the East Coast they are there but not like how the map shows. California also has Zetas from L.A. to Central California. Tulare has Z43 family, Fresno has the Treviños/MORALES Family, & Madera has the BeltraneZ family. Florida is heavily occupied by the Columbia's thank to Zetas & Golfos because of the agreement they have with them & pretty much the states in the gulf of Mexico is occupied by Zetas & Golfo.

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    1. California especially LA and all the major cities are CDS

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    2. no they're not CDS are you kidding me? there's more jalisco and Michoacan presence right now in CA..

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    3. 625 Many Michoacanos work with Sinaloenses in CA and many send orders from Sinaloa since they are not allowed to go back home for working with other entities. Specially those Michoacanos from Fresno, Stockton, Sac, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and small towns in the Central Valley. The instability in Michoacan made it hard for the good ones so many used the logistics from Sinaloa.

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    4. How can anybody be sure of anything.? I mean someone could have first hand knowledge of a particular group but not of all groups sounds like a lot of guessing and or cheering.

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  8. Y el Cartel Arellano Felix apa? Are the Arellanos a thing from the past now?

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  9. Have to ask the more knowledgeable posters: With sales of billions of meth in USA--just who are these users. Is there a typical profile. With that amount spent per this article then one would expect 1 out of "x#" US adults to be consistent users.

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    1. Your typical profile adults moms dads who need a boost to get chores done..mostly adults 21and up would be your majority users. In place's like Texas Arizona 1 in 12adults have tried or use ..white people use more than any other race with Latinos in second ..blacks don't use as much ..teachers lawyers DA's chefs musicians and construction workers also many third shift workers and its big with house wife's homemakers..

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    2. Thank you 6:44. I see. Some users may not truly recognize dangers of eventual addiction if used enough. I live in 24 hour international city--no doubt a modest % of service workers have two jobs.

      Very interesting range of users.

      Cheers

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    3. You also have to UNDERSTAND, I'm not trying to be condescending, just trying to eliminate any of the cartel nut huggers from chiming in with nonsense. You have to understand about 99.99% of the figures you hear about on ANY media source are ridiculously over blown horse shit. When ever you hear law enforcement say something lik ethis actual qoute "Eagle-eyed cops seized nearly 1.5 tons of pot at a truck stop on a Texas highway Thursday -- worth nearly $7.5 million." Ask them WHERE? WHERE on EARTH is it worth that price. First of all who the hell buys Mexican weed anymore? Law enforcement like to break it down into ounce prices even grams to make their bust look like they actually achieved something. In reality they confiscated 1.5 tons of weed while 2 tons of Cocaine, 500 Kilos of Heroine and 200 gallons of Methamphetamine in liquid form (which equals 1,000 lbs. of crystal) drove right passed their parade into the U.S.A.

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  10. Meth is like the new weed in schools sad..but the map is a totally inaccurate west coast has caballeros and cjng moving major weight who do think showed the sinaloas how to cook sus padres..no but east coast zetas juarez ..its funny that the cheerleaders say oh this state controls but in the crimnal organization everone needs each other el cocinero es michoacano y el chofer es de tijuana y el ciliente de zacateacas and shit like that

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  11. Dont you remember the big bust a few years ago in guadalajara 15 tons snd they said que de sinaloa but they were wrong again and the 208 million de el chino all money was from los hermanos valencia again....the dea is full of it

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    1. Hear you. Top shelf cannabis costs more than meth. I assume per use or session.

      Have no idea about brick--for once one explores the good stuff--the brick is analogous to a cup of four day old coffee--does the job but not too palatable/pleasurable.

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    2. Depends location. For example, shards in CA is avg., 3-3500/lb. Cannabis 2-2500/lb. This in Indiana is 8k and cannabis around 3-3500.

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    3. If heard that Mexico is now producing top grade bud in Mexico. Any truth to that? On the flip side which is contradictory I've heard that top shelf bud is being smuggled INTO Mexico for elite clientele .

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    4. Mexico does not produce high grade bud. There is a very small market for h.c. made in canada and shipped to rich Mexicans mostly in d.f. the group doing this about to go down.

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  12. Arizona made its largest bust of meth ever means: Arizona got the highest consumption of meth ever!!!

    REGULATE RECREATIONAL use of ALL DRUGS NOW! Allow for the sale AND consumption in designated location ONLY.

    All sale AND consumption outside of the approved channels shall be pursued and punisched as before.

    RESULT: very few would be interested in buying on the black market (because price will be higher than the regulated market and quality unknown) and hence the black market would evaporate.

    The drugs would be off the streets (and living rooms), access would be cheap, there would be no more marketing of drugs (giving away free samples). Instead we would have grown ups making informed choices using clean drugs.

    The 'drug houses' would be approved and regualted by the government (instead of as now approved and regualted by organized crime).

    We would most likely have a reduction in drug use (like e.g. Portugal and Holland) and the cost to society would be GREATLY reduced. The biggest losers would be all those feeding off the flow of criminality (i.e. corruption). Honest and hard working people would be the winners.

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    1. In Holland drugs got old, in Portugal they don't have money...

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    2. I agree!! they should legalize them all and let us make the choice of whether we want to use them or not!!! who are they to tell us what we can and cant use anyway!!!! its already been proven that just because its illegal thats not stopping anyone from using them or transporting them!! But the usa and there whole messed up war on drugs!!! what a joke that is!! the dea are the real criminals!!! it just gives them a license to go kicking down doors and harrassing people and its only illegal because the government is not getting there cut of the money!!! they dont like seeing people get rich and there not getting there cut of it!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. This idiot is saying just cause the seisure was made at an az port of entry that makes the ppl of az consume the most meth lol. Your mind works backwards bro.

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    4. That's what happens when you're on Meth. lmao

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    5. I got 2 words that have already been proven effective and has been acknowledged by key law enforcement officials as to such. SILK ROAD!

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  13. They arrested Chapo but they're not really going after anybody else. Maybe they'll do some more damage to his faction of CDS, but I doubt much else will happen. It seems that BLO or at least some people in it like Chapo Isidro have allied with CDS because although Sinaloa is very violent, the violence is not the same kind as back in 2009, when it was CDS vs BLO.

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  14. I cross at the border and wait for about one 2 hours to get through at Santa Teresa in New Mexico. I watch as about one in 15 transport trucks drive through the commercial facility and only about one is stopped and for X-ray or to be checked physically. I can only imagine how many drugs go through in that wagon train that flows across the border unabated.

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    1. That would be the perfect place for them to deliver there goods, and your right about the lack of inspection, I was out there for a year working, and they hardly would ever check the semis going through there...that's the Hotspot!

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    2. At the busiest crossing from Mexico to the U.S., the San Ysidro Border about 100K cars and trucks pass into the U.S. per day. Per US Customs less than 10% of the vehicles that cross into the U.S. get searched. So hypothetically, you load up every single vehicle with a ton of Meth, 90,000 of them will make it untouched. And we call that a war, lmao the sheep keep allowing our government to blow smoke up our asses, the refreshing of the tree of liberty is long over due people.

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  15. Thar is nof true lol who ever believed cds brings in 80% of the drugs is not to bright. U.S. is saying that so they can get all those snitches, especialy after zambadas snitched on DEA lol

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  16. Prices for coca is roughly 25-27 in LA e about 23-26 en Miami. It is a little bit cheaper in Mia porque los Colombianos are landing loads there direct without it going through MX. Los Colombians are working to revive the Caribbean routes.

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    1. Are those prices for the well connected, or for your average joe blow?
      Better worded are those prices for Mexicans with close connection to the ones crossing it over? Also is that for primo uncut or at least uncut in states?
      Everything I've heard from my area "so cal " and on bb is 28k and up.

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  17. Depends who you know...

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