Friday, February 17, 2017

The Cartels Next Door:(2nd in a 6 part series) Far from dead, Juárez Cartel flexes its muscles

Posted by DD republished from Albuquerque Journal
Thanks to BB reader Judeg99 for the heads-up on this story.

 By Mike Gallagher / Journal Investigative Reporter



Which cars in the daily traffic jam on the Bridge of the Americas heading into the United States are being used by the Juárez Cartel to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine across the border? (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal) 
SECOND IN A SERIES: The Juárez Cartel is one of the heavyweights among Mexican drug cartels that earn billions in profits as they funnel heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into drug-hungry countries such as the United States. Crime, death and ruined lives flow right along with those drugs to places as varied as New York City, West Virginia, Albuquerque and Española.


The death of the Juárez Cartel has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, it is alive and well and doing a booming business.


The cartel boss, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, and two of his top associates are locked up, but that is nothing more than an inconvenience because there are hundreds of cartel members operating out of the northern border city and throughout the Mexican state of Chihuahua – and reaching into the United States.

Vicente Carrillo Fuente

Men like Ignacio “Nachito” Villalobos Salinas – he has been the main supplier of drugs of all types through the Columbus-Palomas port of entry in recent years and in the words of one federal judge “a notorious drug trafficker.”
Villalobos is a member of La Linea (The Line), the enforcement arm of the Juárez Cartel.

In 2010, he was running guns for La Linea in an operation that had the mayor, a city commissioner and the police chief from Columbus buying AK-47-type weapons in the United States and helping smuggle them into Mexico for the Juárez Cartel.

That investigation was brought up short when word of the wiretaps on Columbus officials was leaked to the police chief from a longtime friend who was married to a then-assistant U.S. attorney.

Villalobos faded out of the news but by 2015 he was in charge of running the Juárez Cartel’s operation in Palomas.

He was reporting to Edgar Estopellan Torres, who in turn reported to Arturo Vasquez, who was the boss of La Linea.


Full service



Members of the Juárez Cartel received drugs hidden in secret compartments in tractor-trailers at this South Valley auto body shop for redistribution in the state and elsewhere. (Federal Court Exhibit)

Villalobos was running a full-service drug network – cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. The fact the contraband had to cross an international border to reach lucrative markets in the U.S. was simply a logistical challenge that was met in a variety of ways:

• “Backpackers” carried loads of marijuana across the desert to Interstate 10 near Deming, where it could be picked up by couriers in pickup trucks.

• Larger loads of marijuana were hidden in secret compartments in tractor-trailers driven through the Juárez-El Paso port of entry to Albuquerque.

• Cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine also were hidden in false compartments in tractor-trailers, pickup trucks and cars.

 
Jesus Muñoz Lechuga

The drugs were transported to an auto body shop in Bernalillo County’s South Valley operated by Jesus Muñoz Lechuga, another member of the cartel, who was in the country illegally.

Muñoz used the name Anchondo to lease the property, which is owned, according to Bernalillo County Treasurer’s Office records, by Jerry Padilla Jr., who was convicted of running a large-scale drug operation in the 1990s and whose brothers ran the Los Padillas street gang.

Padilla has not been implicated in the latest investigation.

Muñoz unloaded the shipments at the body shop and coordinated deliveries to buyers through texts with Villalobos or Estopellan. Muñoz would then ship the drugs to buyers in New Mexico, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and other cities.

Typically, the money would be sent back to Estopellan by couriers using the same hidden vehicle compartments used to transport the drugs into the U.S.

One of Muñoz’s couriers, Leonardo Martinez Olivas, who was also in the country illegally, told the court he was coerced into helping the network by threats the cartel would murder his wife and son.
 

In October 2014, a federal agent arranged to purchase 10 kilograms of cocaine from Villalobos’ organization. Agents seized 5 kilograms but not Villalobos.

Then federal agents began tapping the phones of people working for Villalobos through servers in the U.S.

The text traffic provided agents with real-time information about when and where drugs and money were going.

By the time agents were ready to sweep up the network in October 2015, several of the main players, including Muñoz, had fled back to Mexico. Villalobos never left Mexico.

The 10-month investigation led to the seizure of 6 kilograms of cocaine, almost 3 kilograms of methamphetamine, a half-pound of heroin and 1,000 pounds of marijuana. Federal agents also seized more than $260,000.

Money seized during the investigation of Villalobos' drug smuggling operation. (Federal Court Exhibit)
Money seized during the investigation of Villalobos’ drug smuggling operation. (Federal Court Exhibit)
Twelve people were arrested here in New Mexico. Ten pleaded guilty. Two were convicted at trial in Las Cruces last October.

And eight men – the heart of this one network – are fugitives, believed to be in Mexico.

The general expectation of U.S. law enforcement is that this group was again smuggling drugs into New Mexico before the ink was dry on the guilty pleas of their associates.

In control

The Juárez Cartel became firmly established in the early 1990s when Amado Carrillo Fuentes, “The Lord of the Skies,” took over the corridor.



He established close ties with Colombian cocaine kingpins and persuaded them to send their product into the United States through Mexico.

Those deals brought Carrillo Fuentes a tremendous amount of influence on all the major drug cartels in Mexico and billions of dollars in profits.

He died in the late 1990s, and his brother, Vicente, took over the Juárez Cartel. He had an uneasy alliance with leaders of other cartels, including Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guzmán had already been involved in a series of “wars” with other cartels before he and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes started killing each other’s relatives. That led to thousands of killings throughout northern Mexico reaching its height in mid-2010.

Will Glaspy is the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso division, which oversees a region from the Big Bend area in Texas to the Arizona-New Mexico line.

“As far as we’re concerned, the Juárez Cartel has always maintained control” of the Juárez corridor, he said in an interview, “I don’t know if they ‘won,’ but they gained control of it, and for other reasons, probably, violence was reduced.”

But the Sinaloa Cartel also uses the Juárez corridor, as does the Sinaloa Cartel’s most recent rival, the New Generation Jalisco Cartel. U.S. law enforcement is still trying to figure out what arrangements have led to this crazy quilt of rivals using the same bridges to El Paso to transport drugs.

Guzmán has been extradited to the United States and faces federal charges of heading an organized criminal enterprise.

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes is in a federal maximum security prison in Mexico.

The United States also has asked for Carrillo Fuentes to be extradited, but that has hit legal roadblocks in Mexico.

The Juárez Cartel is now run by two men most Americans have never heard of: Carlos Quintana Quintana and Julio Olivas Torres.

Yet it continues to affect the U.S. drug market by supplying drugs to Denver, Chicago, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Kansas City through New Mexico and West Texas.

It has long been one of the bigger exporters of Colombian cocaine into the United States. And according to DEA intelligence reports, the Juárez Cartel has significantly increased the cultivation of opium poppies in the state of Chihuahua.
     /


NEXT IN THE 6 PART SERIES; 
The Cartels Next Door: ‘Mayor of Mexico’ ran a slick operation

74 comments:

  1. All that man powder resources wire taps warrants for 3 kilos of coke and $260k ? Bet you the feds charged alot of "overtime". Not worth it stop this "drug war". Sounds like the government lost alot more on this "operation" than the cartel did. If the DEA was a corporation it would of been bankrupt a long time ago. Now we have ICE and FBI also chasing drug miles. It's crazy, expensive, and not worth it.

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    1. Federal Agents don't get overtime moron.

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    2. I was thinking the same thing. At minimum, if it was a 4 man taskforce we spent more than 260k. The craziest thing is that we are arresting ang killing people with the same names as people we arrested and killed before. How many more El-M4's and Anthrax and Tios can we kill?

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  2. I always wondered when Anado died, one of his Lt. from the Herrera Clan "Green Boots" ponchito was ambushed in a restaurant and killed. Do you know if it was the Juarez cartel cleaning house or other operatives.

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    1. I've read he was dea informant,could've been Juárez cartel but his brother stayed with JC so I kind of doubt it.

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    2. I heard his brother is still really big

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    3. It's when Mamado Carrillo Fuentes died.

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  3. Sinaloa cartel as well as CJNG have managed to run drugs from Juarez only because of the sheer numbers of people they have brought into Juarez from throughout Mexico that work for them. Most of their lownlevel people just move into Juarez first and begin selling dope to the residents of the city. This leads to La Linea busy exterminating them while the bigger dope dealers find a way to transport drugs into the U.S.
    It is not necessarily simple to picture this but the city of Juarez thanks to these foreing cartels has become filled with street level dope dealers by the thousands if not tens of thousands.

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  4. Cartels have always been deeply embedded in US and Mexico but people keek getting highissimo.
    -Sol Rompido

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  5. There seems to be no solution for eradicating drug trafficking. Big big business. Always another to take its place when one falls. Columbia is the hub of the drug trafficking exporting tons and tons of its poison to Mexican cartels . Furthermore Mexico capitalized on the market with logistics making it impossible to stem the flow of narcotics into the United States. It's definitely a dirty business but very profitable.
    Question is, will this ever end ? Will countries ever heal ? Or is this plague here to stay like the common cold we dread but acknowledge.

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    1. The only thing coming out of colombia is cocaine. The rest is from Mexico.More than one country cultivate. Peru , bolivia, ect.

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    2. It will end when every nation is under one world government dont worry because it is meant to happen for it is written

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    3. Columbia is the drug hub?? You're like 20 years late with that comment. Fact is Mexican cartels own the drug business for the simple fact they diversified their portfolios where as columbians are only coke producers and even that is fading. CDS owns a 30-40% stake in the coke business in Columbia.

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    4. Drug trafficking will end when consumption does. So, never.

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    5. Legalization will put an end to the nasty side effects.

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    6. More coke is in Bolivia or Peru than in Colombia

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    7. 10:04pm the sooner the better because your comment leads me to believe you are on something..

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    8. @6:34 that something is the Word not drugs or alcohol

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    9. Cds does not have a stake in cocaine produced in colombia. The growth and sale of cocaine in colombia will always be controlled by Colombians. Mexican buy cocaine that's it

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    10. 3:04 is correct but Peru cultivates more coca than any country for processing into hydrochloride.

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    11. Colombia is not the hub it is the producer of cocaine along with Peru and Bolivia. Guatemala is the where Mexicans buy from the Colombians.

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    12. @906 did FARC sell any franchises?

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  6. That's not Vincent Carrillo Fuentes

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  7. Looks like them boys outta burque got the inside scoop. But corrpution in the USA doesnt exist.

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    1. I'm from Burque and the Padilla's are a well respected family as well as giving respect in return. From Guadalajara to the east coast. We've been in the same area since the 1600s when the first Spaniards Padilla's settled. There's several large families and not everybody is drug dealers. Some are politicians, some productive members of the community. And some, well, you know. Ha ha..I'm glad none my people didn't get caught up in this. Stricty coincidence that those locos were renting there. There's enough problems with the media already..Chicanos, mexicanos,we're all raza and take pride in who we are.

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    2. 8:51 don't worry about the fake news, just cover your tracks better early and often, make it steel proof, beware of showers AND YOUR INE
      BY THE WAY, ISN'T THERE AN AL QAEDA TERRORISTA "PADILLA"?
      --somebody is in trouble when they need to recruit kitchen helper dishwashers to be "terroristas", before the new age of terrorism, the CIA had to go and work it out with the recruit candidates they had already in their pockets, according to Charlie's War.

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  8. I was in Juarez not long ago. I had no problems. It's pretty safe. When I got to the bridge to go back to USA I realized I didn't have the money to pay to cross the bridge. A mexican street vendor gave me the money. I thought that was really nice. Good people.

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    1. Are you sure he didnt give you a backpack aswel haha

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    2. That is funny, but I'll tell you that the way that the US customs and the BP has treated me every single time I cross back to the US, it wouldn't have been a good idea to give me a backpack! I, an American citizen am paying taxes to be accused by these bastards of being a criminal cause my skin is as dark as the Chicano agents who are probably working for the cartels anyway? Takes the fun out of going to Mexico. I'm staying in Mexico next time. On the whole I think there are more murders in the USA by far, based on per capita murder rates.

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  9. Does CDS and or CJNG pay piso to Juarez Cartel to traffic through the Juarez plaza to USA?

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    1. The new juarez cartel has a no cristal policy if you get caught selling or doing it you will get kill

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    2. CDS and CJNG in J town deal crystal. They don't pay piso either because CDJ doesn't allow it, as 11.39 pm said. They will kill you, no questions asked.

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    3. Yeah I heard about that no meth too

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    4. Forgive my ignorance. Why do CDS and CJNG ban crystal? There are other drugs that make people just as volatile, I think, so I'm curious as to why they would ban just crystal. Cocaine seems to make some individuals a loose cannon also.

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    5. Interesting.I guess Juarez Cartel doesn't make meth so if it's pushed in Juarez it must be from another state.

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    6. Sinaloa and Michoacán have the best connects for the chemicals that are needed to produce because of the ports. The ingredients come from china or something. But since Juarez can't keep up with the production of meth they don't want to help create a market for it in there territory. That would cause major problems down the road. Plus they believe it kills the consumer in a few years anyways. Plus meth heads have the tendency of being super paranoid and will give up information quick. That's why Juarez doesn't want it their areas. Plus it's really fucks up the community. Sinaloa will get people hooked to it and have little part time sicarios running around causing havoc in Chihuahua. More problems

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    7. Meth is for the poor broke ass, cheaper, and better, like tacos, and like crack, all of which the rich and the beautiful pursue like unas pinchis cervezas, unos pinchis tequilas, or unas pinchis gatas, they are the ones that make it worthwhile, there is no money worth mentioning among the poor broke assed that don'e even have money for the maruchan bag, $0.10 usd on the US or $20.00 pesos in mexico, no cup...

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  10. Chapo failed to take down Juarez cartel

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    1. Chapo failed to take down every cartel if you really think about it

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    2. Pues como no licenciado, se en Chihuahua aye pura gente chingona. Pero con respeto. Sin necesidad de andar de buchón

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    3. According to "Las Casas de la Muerte", La Linia had nice architect designed residences where they tortured and murdered people, while the US department of justice listened in, and casually, the Linias doing it were chihuahua state police, helped by municipales, since way back, when Cesar Duarte was lobbying to become a mexican federal congressman, another "coincidence"...their murdering even got worse when FECAL sent the mexican army, including more and more women, to heat up the panista governor's "plasa", the usual favorite epn method to get to power and the presidency...
      --please note, all that crap has nothing to do with gramero or maruchanero pride, it is all about power and big money, no fee to cross the bridges either way.

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  11. Not to be a Nutt grabber but the Juarez Cartel would be the best cartel to join ... Always keeping it low

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    1. ur such a nut hugger!

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    2. Not that it is too bad to be a hugger or a grabber, but my dear Nutcrackers, no se las coman tamién! You suppos' to just Dance the ballet in your tutus and crystal slippers...

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  12. It seems to me that Carlos Quintana Quintana (sexto),Julio Olivas Torres and Cesar Carrillo Leyva are the bosses. If I'm not mistaken Ricardo Garcia Urqueza (El Doctor) has been released as well, not sure if he is active. I believe Ledesma is long gone.

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    1. Well Iv heard from old school guys (I'd consider these guys very good sources considering the events and facts I knew about them and long sentencing ) back in the day. Talking 9-10 years ago. That Amado didn't die under the knife.
      Also around 2011 I was shown a video of these two tied up guys sitting on a bed being questioned about Amados disapearance. They were responding that they had caught him and a few guys slipping and buried them at a ranch. They named the ranch. I think Amado was kidnapped and murdered near the beginning of the Sinaloa vs Juarez war. It was all kept very secret. Maybe cause most of the world already thought he was dead. These are just stories that Iv been told by very real and credible people.
      Shout out to Cuauhtémoc Chihuahua.

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    2. Nope thats where you are wrong " "JL" still in charge along with R8or el monico leader of La Linea

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    3. I heard JL died in sinaloa. He was partying and a couple of his guys had killed some contras and since JL was all coked out he decided to go take a look. When he arrived contras splattered him with bullets killing him

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  13. All this is old information nothing new honestly this series is crap with all do respect. Netflix 13th. Now that's a deep documentary that make ALOT of sense. Sorry BB don't wanna disrespect the great work ALL of u do. But this is old news. I hate how everybody is so quick to blame Mexico. This whole drug epidemic was all premeditated. Do your homework ppl stop blaming Mexico!

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    1. @3:52 goldcup, I saw your first complaint but didn't publish it because I thought you might catch on to what this series and even what BB is about. It is to inform English speaking world what is happening in Mexico A VERY high percentage of the people in the USA have any idea. This series from the Albuquerque Journal is not intended to bring you "breaking news". It is intended to give readers some history on the cartels and how we would up where we are today. We have thousands of readers, some of them just found us last week, some last month, some last year or 2 years ago. They have not been BB followers over a long period of time. They read on BB about the battles and violence going on today but have no idea how all this developed.

      I don't understand your attitude about giving some history is blaming Mexico for anything.

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    2. Exactly. I'm 3 years into bb. Always good reads. Get grossed out sometimes. Buts that's part of the news I'm reading. Thank you guys and your hard work.

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    3. I think goldcup was attempting to bring attention to Netflix movie 13th as in the13th amendment. It explores the US slavery, jim crow, and current segregation using the penal system n the war on drugs. 25% of the world incarcerated population is in the US. Prison population in US has doubled every decade since 1980. I recommend it

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    4. Need to execute more to reduce prison population.

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  14. Replies
    1. Cartel de sinaloa doesn't even own Sinaloa lol much less Juarez

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  15. You know what I wonder? I wonder if that dude Lechuga is related to Hondo Lechuga from la eMe. Hondo had a big drug dealing family since back in the 70s. That would make Jesus Lechuga a 2nd or 3rd generation drug dealer.

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  16. Borderland Beat is the SHIZ-nit! CHIVIS I love you.
    have a great weekend people! Al CIEn

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  17. News just out Damaso video captured mayo zambada

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    1. 9:24-Any more info?Is this video posted anywhere?Please fill us in.Inquiring minds want to know!

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  18. Traigo ganas de descular hombres

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  19. The pic with the name Vincent Carrillo Fuentes is actually Ignacio “Nachito” Villalobos Salinas.

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  20. DD, off topic but heard a few gun shots here in my colonia here Sabinas last night followed by Fuerza Coahuila flying down my street. Just wondering if you've heard anything? Been living here for 4yrs now and this is the 1st time I've seen or heard a hint of anything like this. As you know it's a quiet little town for the most part.
    Keep up the great work!!

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    1. @6:52AM Thanks for the news. As you know there is not likely to be anything on the news about it. I will ask around. As you probably know the gossip network here can spread news from one end of town to the other aster than Western Union. Can you give me any more details such as which colonia and approximate time.

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    2. Hey DD, ever hear anything else about this. I asked around but nobody has any info. At least the people I talked to anyways.
      Thanks

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    3. @10:46 I made some inquires also. "I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything, I don't know nothing".

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  21. Ya I know we'll never hear anything in the news. Word does travel fast amongst the people though. Colonia Fundidores around 10:30pm. I'll ask around too and let you know if I hear anything.

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  22. Anyone here ever have 2 do static line jumps into New Mexico because of their annual FTX over at Fort Bliss? It's a good 25 minute drive in a government van from those creepy barracks in New Mexico before you get to Fort Bliss,Tx. - Sol Prendido

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    1. Tell us about the time you beat up Big Foot.

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    2. Stolen valor alert.

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  23. Because the job is physically demanding drugs can never play any part in your life. Try doing a 20K with a 50 pound rucksack through the desert while on drugs. I guarantee the sun will kill you right away. It takes time and discipline but eventually you work your way up 2 a 40K. Drugs don't help you. They kill you. - Sol Prendido

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  24. Tejanos for trump 2020

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    1. Hell naw!!!! Texans for better government in 2020

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