Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

San Diego: A Chanel box, 1,000's of pounds of marijuana, an unraveling of a trafficking network

A Chanel box, thousands of pounds of marijuana, unraveling of a trafficking network

It works like this, you get recruited, and you recruit a few friends, you give up your account number, and maybe create a new account, and the money starts coming.  One day you have 1,000 in your account, overnight, deposited from a city on the East Coast.  By the end of the week, you will have over 5,000, or 30,000, all deposited in amounts under 10,000.  You take out $950 or so, each time, (minus the $50 per 1k, which is yours to keep) from the ATM, or bank, and hand it over to William Quintero, or someone very much like him.

Drugs seized in the investigation, note the gold engraving on the pistol.

The money is from distributors on the East Coast, mailing payment back to San Diego.  These money laundering/money moving schemes are common, and happen all over, but today, we will cover the incomplete story of William Quintero, who was sentenced recently to 100 months in federal prison, for his role in the trafficking, laundering conspiracy. 

The activities described above may seem complex and murky, but to the IRS agent whose attention it caught it was textbook structuring and funnel accounting. According to court documents detailed the investigations, this is where multiple accounts are created to "funnel" in money from across the country, which amount of profits, and payment for product still owed for across the border.  

In late 2015, one such agent reported his findings about the accounts of William Quintero, and others, and an investigation was initiated.  Likely the IRS agent was part of a task force, or reported his findings to others, either way, by early 2016, Quintero, an otherwise unassuming South Bay resident, with a home in Imperial Beach was under surveillance.  

The surveillance was conducted by a task force dedicated to drug trafficking and border crime, with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officers.  They watched Quintero drive around, they watched him come home, they watched for weaknesses, points of entry into his operation, or simply the existence of one.  

That night off Oro Vista Road, Quintero was pulled over by Sherrif's deputies for tailgating.  Men, like Quintero, aren't often pulled over for tailgating.  According to court documents reviewed by the San Diego Union Tribune, Quintero was seen accepting a white box from two men, which he placed on the floor of his truck.  The task force initiated the stop.  The box was Chanel, the kind used for purses or shoes, large enough to hold 21,000 dollars in cash. 

After the stop, the task force initiated a raid on his residence in Imperial Beach, an apartment building on Grove street.  40,000 in cash was discovered, hidden, and 2,317 pounds of marijuana, hidden in an Astro van, and in a storage unit outside the apartment.  Another 3,619 pounds were found at a storage unit, in Chula Vista, which was discovered through the execution of the warrant on the Grove residence. 

Two other men, linked through Quintero's phone records, Javier Felix Bayardo, and Mario Osuna, who were involved with Quintero, were arrested earlier this month.  Bayardo and Osuna, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, controlled, and maintained bank accounts for drug proceeds to be deposited into.  They used fake Mexican identification cards to create bank accounts.  

Agents on the task force observed these two men across San Diego, where they picked up product in National City storage units, and moved it to Alpine, where a detached bathhouse was used to house the product, for transshipment.  A warrant was executed on August 9th, where agents found an odd array of narcotics.  26.5 kilograms of cocaine, 938 grams of methamphetamine, and 438 kilos of marijuana, as well as firearms.  These were displayed in the file photo published by the San Diego Union Tribune. 

As of today, Quintero and his wife pled guilty to drug charges, and have been sentenced.  William Quintero received a sentence of 120 months, and his wife 37 months.  The other men, and one women have pled not guilty and remain in custody.  One person interviewed last summer, who confessed his involvement in the account structuring fled to Mexico.

These rings exist all around us, and this is just one of many, one stone overturned, and this is what was found. The life's of others.  People you see, people you never will.  The feds reach in with a near invisible hand, and cut you from your life.  That's the game.  Money goes in, product out, cash received, cash seized, and than a single thread can unravel the ring, late night surveillance, cars behind you in the night, always one or two down, waiting and watching......


  1. 1 zip of coke and 500 kilos of weed. Lol

    1. The first reports from the Union Tribune had an error, which looked odd, because clearly there were kilograms in the picture, there were actually 26.5 kilograms. My mistake, I should have caught that. It's been since corrected, and another story following up this one.

    2. Close to 6000 pounds fool, very odd.

  2. Huge loads of cannabis and billionaire drug lords like "El Chapo" Guzman are the direct product of the failed “War on Drugs”.

    Alcohol prohibition in the US was responsible for the massive expansion of organized crime in our nation. In its wake, murder, mayhem, lawlessness and destruction. Once the damage was done we were smart enough to repeal the idiocy of alcohol prohibition. Our government was stupid enough however to go forward and repeat the exact same mistake regarding other vices like cannabis, further strengthening the crime lords we were trying to rid ourselves of.

    The "War on Drugs" that was launched in the US is still being forced on other nations and has been a complete global disaster. Shooting ourselves in the foot wasn't bad enough, we then held a fiscal gun on other nations like Colombia, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica etc. and forced them to repeat the exact same mistake. This total debacle has resulted in the creation of huge powerful global crime cartels and a crime wave of epic proportions destroying the lives of people it was supposed to protect.

    Time to end the failed war on cannabis and legalize!

    1. I agree with you BY but this machine is too large to destroy now. Entire economies are dependent upon this WOD and halting the war would mean halting entire economies, the results would be catastrophic. The trickle down effect from the WOD, the enforcement/offensive on DTOs to the DTOs and the money they move the sheer economic impacts are mind boggling. I don't think the average civilian understands the global economic impact (positive and negative) that the illegal drug trade and WOD has. I am of The opinion that the modern economy would cave in on itself if all drugs were legalized and the WOD was declared over tomorrow.

      Why do you think cannabis is taking sooooo long in the USA, because "they" have to figure out how to regulate, tax, and enforce laws to limit an economic boom that they could not directly profit from, not the governmental coffers but the private industries that currently benefit from cannabis' illegal and criminal status.

    2. Well said sir. That's the sad truth about our current situation. It's too late for change. The WOD feeds too many people.

  3. If I owned a storage facility in San Diego (hell, any American city), I'd be going through those units all day, swiping drugs and cash.

    1. And then you would get found in a dumpster with no life

    2. Currently trying to find some stories of storage facility owners who were complicit in hiding drugs. Can't imagine someone puts $100,000 of product in a unit and then just relies on the masterlock on the door to keep that product safe.

  4. Elvis has left the building.

  5. What a piece of shit. Have fun in jail buddy


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