Friday, May 29, 2020

Warehouse with thousands of precursor chemicals owned by the Sinaloa Cartel was seized in Ensenada

"MX" for Borderland Beat; Semanario Zeta
Steel drums containing the precursor chemicals seized in Ensenada

ENSENADA.- After searching a warehouse located on Reforma Avenue, in Valle Dorado neighborhood, authorities seized 12,800 liters (3,381 gallons) of precursor chemicals and 22 vehicles presumably owned by the Sinaloa Cartel, Baja California state authorities confirmed.

The warehouse was cordoned since Monday, May 25. Dozens of agents from the Baja California State Police, Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR) and the National Guard were deployed and closed the street for several hours.

According to the Baja California Attorney General's Office, 64 steel drums containing chemical precursors were found inside the warehouse. They contained acetone, hydrochloric acid and benzyl alcohol. These chemical products are essential for the production and manufacture of synthetic drugs.

In addition, authorities seized seventeen pick-ups and SUVs, three compact cars and two all-terrain motorcycles.

State and federal authorities discovered that the warehouse was presumably used by the Sinaloa Cartel by conducting an extensive investigation in Valle Dorado. Once a judge approved a search warrant, security forces were able to enter the premises and seize it. No persons were detained during the operation.

169.5 kg shipment of fentanyl seized by the Mexican Navy
Earlier that day in Ensenada, a 169.5-kilogram shipment of fentanyl precursors was discovered inside a boat from China. It was hidden among sacks of powdered soap.

Background
According to statistics provided by the Mexican government, 97 percent of drugs seizures in Mexico occur in port cities, including Ensenada. In March 2020, Borderland Beat reported that port cities like Ensenada are major battlegrounds in Mexico's ongoing drug war.

Murders reported in Ensenada are a direct result of the turf war between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), who reportedly has the backing of the Tijuana Cartel (CAF). These groups compete for control of the retail drug sales and port facilities in the region.

In Ensenada, the majority of the people killed between March and April 2020 were drug dealers working for the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). They were killed by assassins under Leopoldo Lizarraga Ochoa ("El Pantera" and/or "El Polo"), who heads a cell of the Sinaloa Cartel in the area. He is fighting the CJNG forces headed by Mario del Val Barocio ("Cabo 33").

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