LA Times: Texan warns Obama – Mexican cartels ‘spilling over’ border

"Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday warning that Mexican cartel violence is increasingly 'spilling over' the border and calling for more security.

Abbott cited a 'deadly shootout' involving 'cartel operatives' last weekend in the town of Elsa, about 250 miles south of San Antonio, in which a Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy was shot three times. Sheriff's officials have said the deputy was wearing a protective vest and is expected to recover.

Two suspects were charged Wednesday in connection with the attempted drug deal and kidnapping, a contract job to recover a lost load of marijuana for the Gulf Cartel, according to a KRGV-Rio Grande Valley interview with Hidalgo Sheriff Lupe Trevino. Carlos Zavala and Carlos Juan Hernandez were charged with three counts of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of criminal attempted capital murder.

'Thankfully the officer survived, but the Hidalgo County Sheriff confirmed that the shooting spilled over from ongoing drug wars involving the Gulf Cartel in Mexico,' Abbott said, noting the shooting was not an isolated incident.

During the last two weeks, he said, three 'high-level cartel leaders' have been arrested while hiding in Texas."  Read more …


Fox News Latino: US Authorities Arrest Boss Of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel

"The alleged leader of the Gulf cartel in the Mexican city of Matamoros was arrested last week by U.S. authorities, according to a local Texas newspaper.

José Luis Zuniga Hernández, alias 'Comandante Wicho,' was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents Wednesday near the small town of Santa Maria, Texas. 

Zuniga 'freely admitted' to being a Mexican national in the U.S. without the proper documentation to reside in the country and was found to be in possession of a .38-caliber handgun, according to the Monitor newspaper in Texas."  Read more …


Houston Examiner Opinion: All that’s left is lawlessness

"While the ATF was letting guns walk across the border, the Obama administration, Homeland Security and Gov. Rick Perry was letting marijuana and a host of other drugs walk into the country, Texas and Arizona.

Now if you're from these parts of Texas, this would be the results of a certain party banking on beefing up a voter base and another certain party attracting business to Texas. This bit of information proves without doubt, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is clueless on the border.

Mexico's drug cartels, on a interesting note, are more business savvy then the Obama administration and Perry's Texas. Unofficially speaking, cartels have created more jobs in the country then the stimulus package. They'd take a back seat to Perry's job creation among illegal immigrants though."


SA Express News: Are narcos hiding out in Texas?

"Two alleged Gulf Cartel leaders arrested last week in South Texas likely were hiding out north of the border to avoid the extreme violence caused by warring cartels in Mexico, analysts said.

These cartel capos are potential gold mines of information for law enforcement, but the schisms they're fleeing may have spilled into the U.S. in two recent incidents, they said. And the demise of these bosses works to the benefit of their opponents across the river.

Border Patrol agents on Thursday arrested Eudoxio Ramos Garcia, 34, at a house in Rio Grande City. Ramos is the Gulf Cartel's former plaza boss, or regional commander, for the Mexican border city of Miguel Alemán, according to court documents."  Read more …


NYT: 76 Arrested as Officials Break Up Mexico-to-Arizona Drug-Smuggling Ring

"PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials on Monday announced the breakup of a large drug-smuggling ring that used lookouts on hilltops in southern Arizona to move huge quantities of marijuana and other drugs across the Mexican border to users throughout the United States.

Over the last month and a half, federal, state and local officials have arrested 76 people, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles, the authorities said. All were linked to the Sinaloa cartel run by Joaquín Guzmán, Mexico’s richest and most wanted outlaw, who goes by the nickname El Chapo, officials said.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Arizona officials estimated that the ring had been in operation for at least five years and had generated more than $2 billion in profits by smuggling more than three million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States. Such large smuggling rings usually use tractor-trailers to get their contraband across, the authorities said, but this operation relied mostly on migrants on foot straining under their loads."  Read more …


Austin Statesman: Border crime can’t be categorized as one statistic

"An in-depth analysis of the latest crime numbers reveals that the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border defies any single description.

'The border is so diverse, you couldn't put the whole border in one bucket,' said Rusty Fleming, a volunteer public information officer for the sheriff's department in rural, sparsely populated Hudspeth County.

The statistics used by the American-Statesman, which are the same as those provided to the FBI as part of its Uniform Crime Report, were provided by the Department of Public Safety and include data recently published on the department's website as part of its detailed 2010 crime report." Read more …


EPT: Mexican drug cartels strengthen ties with US gangs

"Mexican drug cartels are strengthening alliances with gangs in the United States beyond ethnic, ideological and geographic boundaries, warns a new report from the federal National Gang Intelligence Center.

The gang-cartel link is most prominently seen in El Paso between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juárez drug cartel, but similar alliances are emerging in various parts of the country, according to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.

El Paso police report a drop in gang membership and criminal gang activity, but nationally, gangs are expanding, evolving and becoming more sophisticated, the National Gang Threat Assessment reported.

'Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are observing a growing nexus between the Mexican drug cartels, illegal alien smuggling rings and U.S.-based gangs,' the study stated.

The recently released report stated that different cartels are aligned with various gangs, including gangs that work with more than one cartel, depending on the situation.

Local law enforcement officers said most street gangs in El Paso don't deal directly with Mexican cartels, but the alliance between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juárez drug cartel is well documented.

The Barrio Azteca was formed in the mid-1980s by El Pasoans in state prison and has since grown into one of the most active regional crime networks, having branches in Juárez and Midland-Odessa." Read more …


KOSA West Texas: Addressing Border Issues in Marfa Schools 10/28/11

The following is a press release from

Marfa, Texas – The U.S. Border Patrol’s Marfa sector, in collaboration with local and state law enforcement agencies, has kicked off ‘Operation Detour’, a public awareness campaign to prevent a trend by drug trafficking organizations that lure young adults into engaging in criminal activity. Operation Detour was conceived and designed by members of the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector.

“Drug smugglers have increased their efforts to recruit teenagers as smugglers, scouts and lookouts,” said Chief Patrol Agent John J. Smietana, Jr. “Being lured into their trap is a very real danger to our young people with severe consequences. Operation Detour is an effort to point out those dangers and to give kids an awareness of the help that is available to them.”

“We appreciate the willingness of the schools to provide this opportunity and we certainly couldn’t get the message out without the assistance of our partners from the law enforcement and criminal justice agencies,” he said.

The campaign consists of an hour-long program that includes two videos explaining how the drug trafficking organizations are organized and what the consequences are for participating in these organizations. The presentation also includes a slideshow that explains the various criminal activities associated with drug smuggling. Also included is a panel discussion with law enforcement officials explaining how their organizations enforce the law and what the potential penalties are for getting caught in narcotics trafficking.

The program, which is designed for high school students, was presented in Marfa on Monday and will be presented in Sierra Blanca and Van Horn later this week. During the week of May 11, it will be presented in Fort Davis, Valentine, Alpine and Sanderson. Students in Presidio will receive the program the following week.

Participating with Marfa Sector are the Alpine Police Department, Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations, the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Department and the area’s Juvenile Probation Departments. Also the Presidio County Sheriff’s Department, the Terrell County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Rangers.  Link to article.

NYT Mexico Brief: 20 Killed in Shootouts

"Twenty people were killed Friday in multiple shootouts in two states, law enforcement officials said. In Michoacán, 14 bodies were found in three different locations. Of these, 10 people died in the city of Pátzcuaro after a confrontation with soldiers patrolling the area. Michoacán has been beset by violence in recent years, much of it attributed to the Familia drug cartel, and recently the cartel’s turf war with a splinter group called the Knights Templar. In the border state of Sinaloa, a confrontation between members of an organized crime gang on a highway left six people dead, three of them unarmed civilians." Link to article.

Austin Statesman: Three Predator drones added to border fleet


Three Predator drones added to border fleet

"WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department is adding three drone aircraft, including one in Texas, to a fleet used mostly to patrol the border with Mexico, although it doesn't have enough pilots to operate the seven Predators it already has. The drones are being purchased after lobbying by members of the so-called drone caucus in Congress, many from Southern California, a hub of the drone aircraft industry. 'We didn't ask for them,' a Homeland Security official told the Tribune Washington Bureau on condition of anonymity. A new Predator B will arrive in Corpus Christi within days. Another Predator is slated for delivery to Arizona by year-end. A third drone will be based at Cape Canaveral, Fla., early next year." Link to article.