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

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Interrogation Of Germán Alegría Estrada

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The name of the shadowy figure known as El Güero Pulseras returns to Borderland Beat yet again in another video. This obese bad boy has been getting down for the mighty Cartel de Sinaloa (CDS) for a number of years now. 

Every movement that he has made thus far as an operative for CDS remains unimpeded in the state of Chiapas. The actions of his adversaries have yet to take him out. 

For this broadcast, police chief Germán Alegría Estrada will reveal on camera the names of all guilty parties allegedly involved within the criminal landscape of Chiapas. 

From every town that they hold control over and have illicit business dealings in. To the intimate details of a local merchant who was recently killed right after his abduction. 

All municipalities mentioned exist within an area of operations of no more than 200 miles in length. 

Police chief Estrada was killed with one gunshot to his head off camera right after his interrogation. 

Video translation is as follows:

Interrogator: What’s your name and what position do you hold for the government?

Captive: My name is Germán Alegría Estrada. And I am the director of the municipal police in the town of Berriozábal.

Interrogator: What other job do you hold?

Captive: I’m in charge of the plaza for Jesus Machado Meza aka El Güero Pulseras in Berriozábal.

Interrogator: Do you have knowledge of Pulseras hierarchy in the state of Chiapas?

Captive: Yes. 

Interrogator: Tell us everything you know. 

Captive: Jair Hernández Terán and his brother alias Travieso are in charge of the plaza for the city of Tapachula. They also have Gordo Ernesto Molina, a government employee, on board with them. We currently have very few hitmen. We’re having to do most of the work ourselves. In addition, there’s a checkpoint in the town of Tuzantán. If they happen to see something in that area that needs to be handled. There’s a house there where people are brought in to be interrogated. And if the individuals are good to go, someone in the town of Tonalá is notified about this. 

Interrogator: Who exactly is notified in Tonalá?

Captive: The person in charge there is El Fresa. He’s the individual that’s notified. Just the same, they only 10 individuals within their group. The people who operate there are a mob for Commander Marin. If it happens to be them that capture a suspicious person. They then hand that person over to Fresa. 

Interrogator: What else can you tell me?

Captive: My shift is on Fridays and Saturdays. And I follow their orders. 

Interrogator: What all do you know about the car wash merchant and why he was abducted?

Captive: He was directly dealt with from people at the top. I was contacted by Commander Gopes, his last name is Rojas. Word had come down from the bosses that they had to be abducted. I was instructed to turn the cameras away. We used a Honda CRV and a Chevy Tacoma, both white in color. They killed the merchant and the other individual was taken away. 

Interrogator: Who exactly are you referring to when you say people at the top?

Captive: When I say from the top I’m referring to Gabriela Zepeda and Panchito Orantes (Francisco Javier Orantes Abadía -Undersecretary of Security). They’re the ones who give out the orders to Commander Rojas. 

Interrogator: How do you guys operate in the city of Tuxtla (Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas)?

Captive: They have 2 or 3 vehicles in Tuxtla where they operate. Law enforcement handles all of the jobs. They set up the cameras and erase the video footage afterwards. Everything has been prearranged beforehand with the C5 personnel. The apprehensions are made by the PEP (State Preventive Police) agents or any other police authority in Tuxtla. They’re then handed over to Pulseras mob. Both Alexis Zuart, director of police for the City of Tuxtla. And Marco Antonio Burguete Ramos, director of the State Border Police, gather there. 

Interrogator: What else can you tell me outside of this?

Captive: I know that Ivan Meras aka El 300 is in charge of Villa Las Rosas and that he’s currently a government employee. He’s the son in law of Orantes and brother in law of Yair aka El Hercules. Alex Cruz aka El Pelón is in charge for the towns of Venustiano Carranza and San Francisco Pujiltic. He runs all of that area. In fact he’s the individual responsible for the abduction of businessman Carlos Amadeo Moguel, which took place recently in the city of Tuxtla. He’s the person who worked him over. And in the city of Comitán, everyone already knows that mayor Mario Guillén aka El Señor Fox  is Güero Pulseras boss. He created a tactical unit for the municipal police for the sole purpose of being able to safely patrol everywhere. 

Interrogator: What about for the town of Suchiapa?

Captive: They have people in the ranches, family members of politician Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca. He’s the actual godfather of both Gabriela Cepeda and Panchito. He’s interested in never losing that municipality. And that they remain the only individuals who hold control over that airport. 

Interrogator: What message would you like to give out to the everyone? 

Captive: Well, for them to think long and hard about what they’re going to do here. Things aren’t as easy as it seems. We were promised so many things and given very little in return. It’s not worth it to give support to people who come in from other states. Because if they lose the war. The only thing that they’re going to do is go back to their home state. And the problem is done and over with on their end. 

Jesus Esteban Machado Meza aka El Güero Pulseras

Gabriela Cepeda Soto

Comitán mayor Mario Guillén aka El Señor Fox 

Comitán mayor Mario Guillén aka El Señor Fox 

Maps for every community or town mentioned have been assembled in one glorious slide.

FBI Among Agencies Investigating Houstonian Who Vanished In Mexico, Sources Confirm To ABC 13

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Wednesday marks 16 days since Air Force veteran John Gamboa was last seen or heard from as he got set to return to Houston from Mexico City.

The FBI and other federal agencies are now investigating the disappearance of a Houston Air Force veteran who went missing in Mexico City.

Friends and family said the last time they saw or heard from John Gamboa was Feb. 16, when he arrived in the capital.

Eyewitness News reporter Alex Bozarjian's numerous calls and conversations with the FBI on behalf of John Gamboa's mother got the ball rolling on this.

Multiple sources confirm they're pursuing investigative leads both here and in Mexico.

Fermina Gamboa, John Gamboa's mother, also said there was at least one withdrawal attempt from her son's account the day after he went missing.

"I am just saying that whoever holds my son, please let him go," Fermina Gamboa said.

It's been 12 grueling days for Fermina Gamboa, who spoke to ABC13 last Thursday pleading for her son's safe return from Mexico City.

A Houston Air Force veteran is believed to be missing after his mom says he had plans to travel to Mexico City last week.

She told ABC13 she was too distraught to speak to us on camera this week, but her message is still the same.

"Money can be replaced, but life cannot. We only have one life," she said.

Multiple sources, including friends, now confirm a rough timeline of his movements before he went missing.

They said he arrived in Mexico City on the night of Feb. 16 and then took an Uber to his Airbnb. A friend provided ABC13 with photos of his belongings left behind in the room.

At about 11:30 p.m., John Gamboa reportedly went to Montana's Disco and Bar alone. According to his friends, that's his last known location.

"I am not sure honestly if he's even alive," Fermina Gamboa said.

A missing person's flyer has since surfaced from La Fiscalia General de Justicia, Mexico's attorney general's office.

Retired FBI agent Jim Conway said the feds can't conduct investigations in Mexico but use liaisons to communicate with authorities.

"The national police, the attorney general's office, the intelligence office, whatever it may be, and the process of the investigation begins, as it does traditionally, of gathering evidence, looking at cell phone activity, talking to witnesses. That all takes place," Conway, who's now president and managing director of Global Intel Strategies, said.

Sources confirmed to ABC13 that multiple federal agencies are actively investigating after we contacted them.

Eyewitness News also made U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher's office aware. They have since reached out to Fermina Gamboa.

Fletcher's office said in a statement:

"My heart goes out to John's mother, Fermina, and his loved ones during this difficult time. My team and I are monitoring the situation, and we are in contact with authorities about this ongoing situation. We will do everything we can to help bring John home."

Conway said the good news is that security services in Mexico City are relatively sophisticated, and they have historically had a good working relationship with the U.S.

"When I was there, we provided a lot of training, a lot of equipment under Plan Merida. We provided a lot of support to the Mexican security services, so hopefully that comes into play, and this will all have a happy ending," Conway said.

Fermina Gamboa said her son is a five-year Air Force veteran. She also said he gave her a double bone marrow transplant when she had cancer, which is a testament, she said, to what kind of man he is.

"He sacrificed himself just to extend my life," she said.

ABC 13

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mexico Close To Capturing 'CJNG' Leader El Mencho In 2024, According To Report

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was reposted and translated from INFOBAE 

Disclosure of information suggesting organized crime financing for Lopez Obrador's 2006 presidential campaign halted the major operation.

By: Andres Martinez


Recent disagreements between Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) over an investigation into alleged organized crime financing of the 2006 presidential election have resulted in an unexpected beneficiary: Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho," leader of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG).

Tension between the two sides has hindered operations aimed at capturing one of the most wanted criminals, reported journalist Oscar Balderas on MVS Noticias. The planning of an operation aimed at arresting 'El Mencho' was affected due to a diplomatic conflict, leaving the CJNG leader to operate more freely.

The discord between Mexico and the DEA intensified following the release of information suggesting organized crime financing of Lopez Obrador's 2006 presidential campaign. This triggered a series of leaks that undermined trust and collaboration between the two countries on security issues.

Mutual accusations and the cessation of cooperation between Mexico and the U.S. have given 'El Mencho', and by extension the CJNG, a tactical advantage in this period of political and diplomatic turbulence. (Infobae México/Jovani Pérez)

Officials from the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) and the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) indicated to journalist Balderas that there were robust plans for the capture of 'El Mencho', based on intelligence provided by the US, as well as by the Australian Federal Police and the Panamanian National Police. However, these strategies were compromised by the subsequent breakdown of relations and cooperation with the DEA.

The situation of "suspension" in joint operations highlights the significant impact of diplomatic relations on the fight against drug trafficking.

Mutual accusations and the cessation of cooperation between Mexico and the US have given 'El Mencho', and by extension the CJNG, a tactical advantage in this period of political and diplomatic turbulence.
Despite previous efforts to coordinate action against the cartel, recent tensions have made it clear that the path to capturing one of the most notorious drug traffickers has become more questionable than ever.

Security sources told Oscar Balderas that since September 2023, intelligence authorities had located the CJNG leader, while predicting that his capture could take place in the first three months of this year.

At the end of January 2024, different foreign media, such as Deutsche Welle, ProPublica and Insight Crime, published three separate reports 4 had investigated the financing between 2 and 4 million dollars that the Sinaloa Cartel gave to people close to the campaign of then presidential candidate López Obrador in 2006.

The arrest of the CJNG leader is expected to take place in 2024. (Screenshot)

"U.S. anti-drug agents uncovered what they considered solid evidence that major drug traffickers had delivered around $2 million to political operators working on his (AMLO's) first presidential campaign," reads the publication by journalist Tim Golden of ProPublica.

In this regard, President López Obrador rejected the accusations and affirmed that they are just a kind of election campaigning.

"It is completely false, it is a slander, they are of course very upset and unfortunately the press is very subordinated to power (...) Just tell the State Department, the US Government (that) if there is something they don't like, they should state it openly, they should not send it to say it because it is slander," said the head of the Federal Executive in his press conference on January 31.

Meanwhile, during President López Obrador's morning conference at the National Palace on February 22, the president informed that the US newspaper The New York Times sent him, in a "threatening" tone, a questionnaire to clarify the alleged financing of drug trafficking in his last presidential campaign in 2018.

"It seems to me that the Department of Justice (US) has made it clear, that President López Obrador is not being investigated. It would be the responsibility of the Department of Justice to review any allegations," US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby responded that same day.

'Like An Addiction': Thousands Of Americans Fall Prey To Mexican Cartel Timeshare Scam: Jalisco

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was reposted USA TODAY

Steve Fisher
FEBRUARY 22, 2024 

The first call came in December 2011. It was a real estate broker from Mexico offering an exciting opportunity: A buyer wanted to pay Stephen, a financial manager from the Midwest, $65,000 for his timeshare in Cancún – far more than the $47,000 he had spent on it six years earlier. 

Stephen agreed. He loved his two-bedroom condo, with its view of the Caribbean and an entrance lined floor to ceiling in marble. The concierge treated his family like royalty. 

“We felt like kings and queens,” Stephen said. 

He had originally bought two weeks a year so his children could spend time near the ocean. As they grew older and joined sports teams, there was less and less time for family vacations.

The telemarketer’s call seemed fortuitous. 

But there was one catch: Stephen – then 54 – would have to first cover a Mexican federal tax of $3,900 that would be held in escrow, and credited back to him when the deal closed.

Looking back, that was the first sign that he was getting duped by a telemarketing scam, one that would end up costing him nearly $1.8 million as he tried time and again to sell his timeshare. 

“It’s almost like an addiction,” said Stephen, who asked that only his first name be used because he doesn’t want his employer to know. “I kept thinking the next person was going to help me get out of it.”

According to a U.S, government investigation, over the past decade, thousands of Americans – many of them elderly – have fallen prey to a complex scheme involving one of Mexico’s most violent cartels.

In timeshares, the cartel has found a business venture whose profits, U.S. government officials believe, now rival the business it is most known for: drug trafficking. 

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, commonly known as CJNG, started its timeshare fraud business in Puerto Vallarta and has now largely taken over the Cancún timeshare market as well. It has expanded the fraud network to at least two dozen call centers that contact U.S. owners of property in those two cities, as well as other areas popular with North American retirees, including Acapulco. 

Buying into a few weeks of a condo is seemingly hawked on every corner in many Mexican resort towns, and people on vacation buy in, only to find later that they’re paying for time they don’t use and are looking to sell.

“You have these people that are desperate,” said Brian Rogers, head of consumer advocacy nonprofit, called Timeshare Users Group, which provides information on how to avoid scams. “The victims are limitless.”

Based on their investigation, a U.S. government official estimated the fraud from Mexico-based companies at hundreds of millions of dollars a year. 

“It’s more cash in hand than they make from drugs,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The overhead is really low for this.” 

Few of the telemarketing firms have been criminally charged, partly because the business shape-shifts, abandoning shell companies and bank accounts as authorities identify them, then quickly creating new ones. 

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned 40 Mexican companies associated with the Jalisco cartel and its telemarketing scam. But few people have been arrested.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has received an average of 1,400 complaints per year, related to timeshare fraud from Mexico, over the past five years. And more people are reporting timeshare fraud every year.

“What we’re seeing here is an increase in the number of complaints,” said FBI Deputy Assistant Director James Barnacle. ”That’s evidence that the fraud schemes are growing.”

One of the most prominent cases was brought in 2019 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which indicted six Mexican men for defrauding dozens of Americans out of $20 million. Four of the six – including the head of the company and an accountant – have been arrested and convicted. One was sentenced to five years in prison, one four years, and two got 18 months.

Ruthless, entrepreneurial cartel perfects the timeshare scheme

The Jalisco cartel is known for its brutality, with regular headlines across Mexico documenting beheadings, torture, and deadly gunbattle against Mexican military forces. They also are known for their business acumen and ability to diversify their revenue streams. 

As with their well-oiled drug trafficking operations, the cartel turned defrauding American citizens with timeshares into a science. U.S. government investigators found it refined its schemes over time, learning with each iteration what was most likely to persuade elderly Americans to send money to Mexican bank accounts. 

The cartel hires call center workers who speak perfect English and teaches them to lure unsuspecting Americans into believing they are steps away from freeing themselves from their timeshares, which often charge maintenance fees owners no longer want to pay. 

The employees are taught to craft documents with names of companies, brokers and attorneys that appear legitimate. In some cases, they steal the identities of actual lawyers and even real estate agents and promise they are them. 

Even if the timeshare owners do their own research, they’ll find slick websites.

If victims do catch on, the cartel has another layer prepared to draw them back in: New employees call them, sometimes months later, saying that their information was found in a police raid of a call center. They tell them they have been scammed and are owed restitution. 

Enter people posing as government investigators ready to help get to the bottom of the fraud, whose services come with their own costs – often far less than what the victim has lost. 

The money flows through Mexican banks, which cannot be counted on to take a stand, according to Spencer McMullen, an attorney in Mexican law based in Guadalajara. His office sees an average of one timeshare fraud case a month. 

“Mexican banks are not doing their job,” McMullen said. 

And the cartel controls its employees with an iron fist. Last June, cartel leaders turned their fury on eight call center employees who local news outlets reported had tried to quit. Their remains were found in 45 black plastic bags at the bottom of a canyon outside Guadalajara. 

The cartel expects its workers to make calls to Americans every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., working in shifts, according to government officials.

One of those calls was to Filomeno Medina, 73, a retired United Airlines employee who in 2022 was told a buyer would pay $50,000 for 10 weeks of his timeshare in Cancún. 

Like Stephen, Medina was told he had to first pay a capital gains tax and a federal tax. Then they said they sent the buyer’s check via FedEx, but it was held up at the border, and he would have to pay a fee for it to be released. 

All the money would be refunded to Medina the day of the sale, the Hayward, California, resident was told. 

“You’re taking Mexican money out of the country so you have to pay some fees,” Medina remembered the callers telling him. They asked for $30,000 and Medina wired the money. 

That was not the end of it. By the time he hired a lawyer to sue for the funds, he had wired a total of $80,000 to Mexican banks, emptying his savings and 401(k). Medina went bankrupt and lost the sports bar he owned in Hayward. 

“I couldn’t stop crying,” he said. 

A sinister scam takes an even darker turn

Stephen was contacted again in 2013 by another person saying someone wanted to buy his timeshare. 

At first, this buyer seemed more legitimate than the last, he said – until they didn’t. Then, he found himself deep in another scheme, one more convincing than anything he had seen.

Like Medina, Stephen was asked to pay capital gains taxes and a customs fee to release the buyer’s payment. He wired $240,000 before figuring out that he was being scammed. 

He reported the company to the FBI’s Internet Crime and Complaint Center, according to documents Stephen filed with the agency. Officials there responded, confirming the company was fraudulent.

Stephen ignored further calls from the company, and they eventually stopped contacting him. Then, eight years later, in 2021, Stephen received a different kind of call, one offering relief from the harm he had endured.

The woman said she was a part of a Mexican law firm that was bringing a class action lawsuit against Mexican banks for knowingly accepting wire transfers on behalf of fraudulent companies.

The lawsuit was being reviewed by the Mexican Supreme Court, the woman told him. And Stephen was due damages and restitution that would eventually total more than $6 million, according to case documents. 

Stephen researched the woman’s law firm. Everything seemed in order.

The attorney general of Mexico was involved as well, she told him, and so was the Financial Intelligence Unit. He would need to pay fees to those government institutions before he could receive the settlement. 

These included tens of thousands in clerk fees, printing fees, docket fees, court of appeals fees, interpreter fees, honorary court costs, a court tax and an exit tax on the settlement, the documents show – and more than $100,000 more directly to the government entities. 

After Stephen paid the fees, things got even more serious. He was told he had been flagged for money laundering by the International Criminal Police Organization, known as Interpol, in Mexico because he had sent so much to Mexican bank accounts.

As proof, the attorney sent him a copy of his passport with a red flag notice attached. His restitution would be withheld until he paid to be removed from that list, she said. He paid it.

And he was on the U.S. Interpol list too, which would mean tens of thousands of dollars more. Fearing arrest back home, he paid that, too, but then thought to call the Interpol headquarters in the United States, only to find out there was no record of him being flagged. 

In May 2021, Stephen filed another report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center detailing every dollar he had transferred from 2011 to date, according to a copy of the complaint. 

This time, he said, he received no response. 

The scam, spanning more than a decade, had spiraled into multiple complex operations involving 99 wire transfers, more than 150 people and at least 12 Mexican bank accounts, with Stephen making the final payment in December, according to documents reviewed by USA TODAY and The Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, part of the USA TODAY Network. By late last year, Stephen had paid Mexican telemarketing scammers just shy of $1.8 million, according to the records.

Stephen said it is difficult to look back over the past decade and think about all the money he sent to Mexico. Sometimes, in moments of weakness, he finds himself hoping the Mexican Supreme Court might still send the promised $6 million to his bank account. 

It’s in those moments that he asked himself: If he had just sent the $35,000 they asked for in January, would that have done the trick? 


Wet Work With Several Decent Size Machetes

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Just when you think that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) couldn’t get any crazier than it already is. It turns around to remind the world that, yes, they actually can. 

For this broadcast, death dealers from the CJNG dismember a nephew of Pancho Tovar in the dead of night. His capture came about after making a deadly incursion into enemy territory. 

A brief interrogation will commence. Followed by the sudden gunfire that kills him. And his dismemberment by several Kaibiles commandos.

Video translation is as follows:

Sicario: Who sent you out here?

Captive: Pancho Tovar. He sent me out to see if we could establish a stronghold here. The truth is I don’t want to be involved in this. He forced me to be here. I honestly don’t want any problems. These are individuals who just aren’t worth working for. We’re better off just…

Sicario: Where exactly do you have your posts?

Captive: There’s a bastion there in the town of Cuatro Caminos. And if you give me a chance I’ll go over there and kill him myself because I know exactly where he’s located. These individuals don’t have any right being here sir. They’re constantly extorting everyone. Especially farm workers. And they won’t allow us to work in peace either. 

Sicario: What relation do you have with Pancho Tovar?

Captive: I’m his nephew. 

Sicario: You’re what?

Captive: His nephew. 

Sicario: Kaibiles, go ahead and do what you do best. This will be the fate of all the Migueladas gunmen you sons of bitches. For every person who wants to act like a dumbass by giving out information and supporting Migueladas.

Image by HEARST

Image by HEARST

Distance between the towns of Cuatro Caminos and La Huacana

La Huacana, Michoacán 

La Masakr3  Borderland Beat Archives

Judge Grants Extradition Of Erick Valencia Salazar 'El 85', 'CJNG' Co-Founder, And Close Collaborator Of 'El Mencho' To The U.S.

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE 

A federal judge granted the extradition to the United States of Erick Valencia Salazar, alias "El 85," a former collaborator of Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) leader Nemesio Oseguera, who is wanted by a federal court in the District of Columbia.

After filing several appeals to stop his transfer, the head of the Fifth District Court in Amparo and Federal Trials in the State of Mexico, Alfonso Alexander López Moreno, determined that the "justice of the Union DOES NOT PROTECT" "El 85" against the extradition agreement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) in August of last year, and the omission of the judge responsible for issuing his legal opinion on the case by the deadline established by the International Extradition Law.

Valencia Salazar was first arrested in 2012 and released by a judge in 2017.

In September 2022, almost five years after being released, Erick was recaptured by elements of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), in the municipality of Tapalpa, Jalisco, where he was vacationing, and who was served an arrest warrant for extradition purposes.

In October 2022, a federal judge granted a provisional suspension to Erick Valencia to temporarily halt his extradition to the United States.

The CJNG founder's freedom was at the disposal of the amparo court at the Altiplano maximum security prison, where he is being held.

In September 2023, Valencia Salazar filed an injunction to stop his surrender to the US government, after he was notified of the extradition order inside the prison.


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Cartel Del Noreste 'CDN-Z' Goes On A Rampage And Sends Messages To Gulf Cartel In Doctor Coss: Nuevo León

 "Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from EL UNIVERSAL

The events took place after the arrest on Monday afternoon of two men in possession of weapons for the exclusive use of the Army by police officers of the Civil Force.

Monterrey, NL.- On Tuesday morning, an armed group set fire to municipal facilities and vehicles in Doctor Coss, 140 kilometers east of this city.

The events took place after the arrest of two men in possession of weapons for the exclusive use of the Army, drugs and tire irons on Monday afternoon by Civil Force police officers. The arrest was made on the Comitas highway, near the El Zacate ranch.

The detainees were identified as Cesar "N", 28 years old, and Juan "N", 76 years old, who during a search were seized two long weapons for the exclusive use of the Mexican Army, loaded with 30 cartridges; two magazines loaded with 27 bullets; 12 plastic bags with marijuana and 25 metal objects known as "ponchallantas" (tire spikes).

Preliminary reports indicate that one of the vehicles set on fire was a school bus used to transport students who live in communities far from the municipal capital, as well as a police patrol car.

These events take place in a context of violence related to organized crime, which left seven homicides in the state on Monday. Four decapitated bodies were found near the ejido La Canela.

Yakuza Narco Traffickers Charged in US For Trafficking Nuclear Materials for Weapons to Iran

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Takeshi Ebisawa, a leader within the 'Yakuza Transnational Organized Crime Syndicate,' allegedly trafficked nuclear materials, including uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

A superseding indictment was unsealed in Manhattan last week charging a Japanese national with conspiring with a network of associates to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries.

According to court documents, Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, and co-defendant Somphop Singhasiri, 61, were previously charged in April 2022 with international narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses, and both have been ordered detained.

Chemical Broker Sentenced To Nearly 19 Years For Supplying Drug Cartel With Massive Amounts Of Fentanyl, Meth Precursors

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

A chemical broker responsible for illegally supplying one of Mexico’s largest and most dangerous drug cartels with enough precursor chemicals to produce more than 2 billion doses of fentanyl and 700 million doses of methamphetamine was sentenced Feb. 23 to almost 19 years in federal prison following a multiagency investigation spearheaded by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles, with assistance from U.S. Marshals Service’s Investigative Operations Division and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Joint Interagency Task Force West.

HSI Executive Associate Director Katrina W. Berger, acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram made the announcement.
Javier Algredo Vazquez, a 56-year-old resident of Queens, New York, was sentenced to 18 years and eight months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine for unlawful importation into the United States, conspiracy to distribute a List I chemical to manufacture methamphetamine for unlawful importation into the United States, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Algredo Vazquez was convicted of the charges in July 2023.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Algredo Vazquez procured more than 5 million kilograms of chemicals, including methylamine, and imported them into Mexico for the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion to produce illicit narcotics and traffic them into the United States. Algredo Vazquez also transferred millions of dollars from the United States to chemical suppliers in China and India to procure the chemicals.
Trial Attorney Kate Naseef, acting Assistant Deputy Chief Nhan Nguyen, and acting Deputy Chief Kaitlin Sahni of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section prosecuted the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and Mexican Attorney General’s Office assisted in securing the conviction.

The Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, which is based in the State of Jalisco in Mexico, is one of the largest, most dangerous and most prolific drug cartels in Mexico and is responsible for transporting tonnage quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl and other drugs into the United States.

For more breaking news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate drug trafficking and money laundering follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSI_HQ.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.