On May 14, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas stopped a 19-year-old Mexican woman behind the wheel of a gray 2001 Mazda Tribute. After showing the officers her passport, they referred to a secondary inspection because she was acting nervous. She was traveling from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, to Texas on a U.S. visa.
During the secondary inspection utilizing a non-intrusive imaging system, officers discovered packages concealed within the vehicle’s roof. The border patrol agents ripped open the roof and found 20 packages containing 23.16 kilos of cocaine and one package containing 1.8 kilos of heroin. The drugs are worth $2 million on the street. The unidentified woman was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security agents. The drugs and her car were also seized.
A pair of Molly purveyors from Syracuse, New York, were convicted on drug trafficking and money laundering charges yesterday. Both Rosario Gambuzza and Ernest Snell were found guilty of conspiring to import and distribute a controlled substance analogue. Gambuzza was also convicted on 19 counts of money laundering in connection with $73,000 he wired to a supplier in Shanghai. According to federal prosecutors, the duo distributed more than 10 kilos of the club drug MDMA, commonly referred to Molly by kids these days. Continue reading
The alternative news site, Red Noticiero, has whipped up a series of videos compiling Mexican cartel fashion. After all, today’s mercernary has to look his best when terrorizing the populace, chopping the heads off alleged snitches and enemies, and fighting anti-narco forces. The footage is set up in montages of weapons and other gear seized by law enforcement with popular narcocorrido songs providing the soundtrack. The first video above shows us the Sinaloa Cartel fancies luxurious brands like Versace.
The second clip shows the military ingenuity of Los Zetas, who create crude armored vehicles to shore up their defenses. This cartel also seems to be getting a discount at embroidery maker with all the different baseball caps, golf shirts, and flak vests stitched with the cartel’s name and insignia. Oh, and they love gold too.
In the third video, we see the Gulf Cartel likes to keep it simple with black vests, black polo shirts, and trucks with signs on the door that read “C.D.G.” But when it comes to firearms, the Gulf Cartel keeps pimping like Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel.
Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación likes to put stickers on its product. Still relatively new, this cartel hasn’t reached baller status yet. There look resembles a S.W.A.T. team.
In the final video, the Knights Templar show that they’re serious about their Christian crusader approach to narco-trafficking with crests depicting crosses and Jesus Christ.
Maybe William Robert Barsanti spoke too soon. At the time of his arrest in 2011, the 27-year-old cannabis cultivator informed officers that he would never be convicted of growing marijuana in Trinity County, California, because marijuana growing enforcement “was a joke.” Barsanti also allegedly claimed the jury would be stacked with growers since so many Trinity County residents harvest ganja. Well, Barsanti didn’t take his chances with a trial. In March, he pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of marijuana cultivation. On Monday, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Continue reading
Alfredo Andrade Parra
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign and Assets Control added Alfredo Andrade Parra to its list of infamous drug traffickers not to do business with. Parra was arrested in Mexico back in April on narco-trafficking charges. According to the U.S. government, Parra is a major doper who is responsible for smuggling multiple-ton shipments of marijuana and cocaine a month from Mexico to the United States. The drugs allegedly belong to the Los Zetas cartel. Parra took his marching orders from cartel sibling leaders Miguel Trevino Morales and Omar Trevino Morales.
Adam Szubin, OFAC director, claims Andrade Parra’s ability to smuggle large quantities of drugs into the U.S. and receive bulk cash proceeds returned to Mexico make him a key component of the ruthless Los Zetas drug trafficking organization in the region near Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico. Continue reading
Gilberto Santiesteban Jr.
Gilberto Santiesteban Jr. was the manager, director and leader of a family of marijuana growers based in Miami, Florida, whose empire crumbled after he, his father, and his brothers were implicated in the murder of a man who robbed some of their high-grade bud. On April 29, Santiesteban Jr. pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and with conspiracy to commit kidnapping one year after the clan was busted by Miami-Dade narcotics detectives and federal agents.
The 34-year-old pot farmer was responsible for locating, designing, installing, implementing, and caring for at least 21 houses used to cultivate marijuana, according to William Athas, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. According to court documents, Santiesteban Jr. began his criminal enterprise in 2005, which increased in scope and sophistication as time went by. Continue reading
A laboratory drug being developed by the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College could seriously help cocaine addicts from wanting the drug. Wired Magazine reports that the anti-cocaine vaccine has been used successfully on primates which means it is one step closer to being approved for humans. The vaccine, which would work wonders in addiction therapy, works by preventing the dopamine high associated with taking cocaine. It combines elements of the common cold virus and the particle GNE, which mimics yeyo.
Ronald G. Crystal, lead author of the study and the genetic medicine department’s chairman, told Wired that the vaccine “eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-Man before it can reach the brain.” Gobble, gobble, gobble!
Aurelio Cano Flores, aka “Yeyo” and “Yankee.”
In 2001, Aurelio Cano Flores started off as a corrupt cop working for Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. By the time Mexican and American law enforcement authorities captured him in 2010, Flores had risen to the rank of plaza boss in Los Guerra, Mexico, overseeing mass shipments of marijuana and cocaine across the border into the United States. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein sentenced Cano Flores to 35 years in prison. In late February, a federal jury in Washington D.C. convicted the man known as “Yankee” and “Yeyo” of conspiring to import multi-ton quantities of cocaine and marijuana into the United States.
At a post-trial hearing, federal prosecutors proved that from 2000 to 2010, the Gulf Cartel distributed in excess of 1.4 million kilograms of cocaine and 8,000 metric tons of marijuana. Continue reading
A joint law enforcement operation led by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in South Dakota landed ten men in custody, including a self-proclaimed motorcycle gang member and two sex offenders. The charges include federal conspiracy to sell more than 50 grams of meth to wire fraud and illegal possession of firearms charges.
Agents arrested 39-year-old Sean Romanjenko of Deadwood, South Dakota, who claimed on his Facebook page that he is a member of the Bandido Motorcycle Club. The reference has been scrubbed from his page since his arrest, although he has posted photos of his club. According to his profile, he is employed as a lumberyard manager for the Deadwood Home Center. He’s facing ten years in prison for felony possession of a firearm. Continue reading
Following Juan Ramon Ibarra Sr.’s arrest in May 2010 on drug trafficking charges in Laredo, Texas, his family went to Elizabeth Nevarez, regional manager of AA Best Bail Bonds, for help. Now, Nevarez will spend the next five years in prison for her assistance. On May 10, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña sentenced the 44-year-old bail bondswoman to 57 months in prison following her conviction to one count of money laundering this past November.
In the guilty plea, Nevarez admitted to assisting Juan Ramon Ibarra Sr. and two other co-conspirators arrested for cocaine distribution by hiding the true source of their bail money. Continue reading