By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter May 7, 2008, two:00 PM PDT
In a recent drug bust at the San Diego Condition College Federal agents and SDSU law enforcement culminated a yearlong investigation into drug dealing all-around campus and identified it to be additional innovative, additional pervasive and additional dangerous and considerably reaching than they expected or have noticed in advance of. These arrests coincided with the 1st anniversary of a woman student freshman’s cocaine-connected demise.
According to nearby newspaper reviews ninety-6 suspects, together with seventy five SDSU learners, have been arrested on drug-connected costs as a outcome of the undercover operation, introduced right after Jenny Poliakoff, 19, was identified dead in her off-campus condominium right after a evening of celebration.
One of the key suspects in this global drug investigation is Omar Castaneda, a gang member from Pomona with ties to the Mexican Tijuana drug cartels, officials reported.
Castaneda, 36, right after his arrest he was arraigned in San Diego Excellent Court docket on costs of possession of cocaine for sale. He is suspected of staying a important hyperlink among medications flowing into California from Tijuana and revenue at SDSU and other California campuses.
The violent Tijuana drug cartel also recognised as the Arellano-Felix business (AFO) has a agency and fatal keep on all drug trafficking pursuits in Baja and San Diego California. Their reach controls drug smuggling in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas and Baja, and has sturdy links to San Diego, California. The AFO dispenses an estimated $one million weekly in bribes to Mexican officials, law enforcement and Mexican military officers and maintains its individual-effectively armed, educated, paramilitary safety power. The DEA considers the AFO the most violent and aggressive of the Mexican border cartels. In this article is the DEA’s qualifications profile on the AFO and its leaders. Click on or google: Hazardous Mexican Cartel Gangs
The SDSU Law enforcement Section approached the DEA and county narcotics task-power officials for assistance in December of 07, when it became apparent that the drug trafficking on campus was widespread and concerned Mexican organized criminal offense drug cartels and their gang associates and they feared that it considerably out striped their ability to take care of a possibly pretty challenging global drug trafficking investigation.
“We were being coming in call with additional types of narcotics,” SDSU Law enforcement Main John Browning reported. “If you are critical about this, you have to go to somebody who has the assets to choose it to the up coming level.”
As the investigation was unfolding, the campus dealt with an additional drug-connected demise. An autopsy confirmed that Mesa Higher education student Kurt Baker died Feb. 24 at an SDSU fraternity from oxycodone and alcoholic beverages poisoning.
“We know there is drug use in college or university . . . but when you have an business which is in fact primarily based out of a college or university region, which is a entire unique factor,” reported Garrison Courtney of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “You just do not see that.”
Study implies that profitable university and large college campuses are fertile markets for drug sellers. Mexican drug cartels have recognised this for several years and are believed to have infiltrated numerous of America’s college campuses by means of cartel gang associates. Federal authorities stage to the Mexican drug cartels who are finally accountable for border violence by obtaining cemented ties to street and jail gangs like Barrio Azteca on the U.S. aspect. Azteca and other U.S. gangs retail medications that they get from Mexican cartels and Mexican gangs. Mexican gangs run their individual distribution networks in the United States, and they generate most of the methamphetamine used north of the border. They have even bypassed the Colombians quite a few occasions to buy cocaine specifically from producers in Bolivia, Peru and even Afghanistan. These similar gangs typically operate as cartel surrogates or enforcers on the U.S. aspect of the border. Intelligence suggests Los Zetas . Click on or google: They are recognised as “Los Zetas have hired associates of many gangs at unique occasions together with, El Paso gang Barrio Azteca, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos to more their felony endeavors. Authorities on the two sides of the border consider numerous of these gang associates and other surrogates of the potent Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated and operate openly on numerous American college campuses particularly in states bordering Mexico together with Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
One suspect, Phi Kappa Psi member Michael Montoya, worked as a neighborhood-provider officer on campus and would have acquired a master’s degree in homeland safety up coming thirty day period. An additional student arrested on suspicion of possessing 500 grams of cocaine and two guns was a felony-justice important.
Authorities recognized 22 SDSU learners as drug sellers who bought to undercover agents. At least 17 others allegedly supplied the medications. The rest of the suspects apparently bought or possessed unlawful medications.
Authorities reported learners from seven fraternities were being concerned in the drug ring, which operated openly across campus.
Proof confirmed that “most of the associates were being aware of organized drug dealing developing from the fraternity properties,” officials reported. Drug agents confirmed that “a hierarchy existed for the purposes of selling medications for cash.”
Authorities singled out the Theta Chi fraternity as a hub of cocaine dealing.
One alleged dealer, Theta Chi member Kenneth Ciaccio, despatched text messages to his “devoted buyers” announcing that cocaine revenue would be suspended about an future weekend because he and his “associates” prepared to be in Las Vegas, authorities reported.
The similar message posted “sale” selling prices on cocaine if transactions were being completed in advance of the sellers remaining San Diego.
Until finally yesterday, Ciaccio was highlighted on SDSU’s World wide web internet site promoting the Compact for Achievement method, which assures selected Sweetwater Union Large School District learners admission to the university if they retain a B regular.
SDSU President Stephen Weber reported that even when campus law enforcement made a decision to talk to for help from other authorities, “it was not apparent that we were being heading to end up at the stage wherever we were being right now.”
Ramon Mosler, chief of the narcotics division of the District Attorney’s Office in San Diego California, reported the investigation could have occurred on any college or university campus in The united states. Mosler reported his device joined in because the university took the uncommon step of asking for help.
“Oftentimes administrations do not want us to do this things, and which is regrettable,” Mosler reported. “I imagine it is really significant to do this just about every now and then to wake individuals up. It raises everyone’s consciousness to the dangers of medications.”
According to the look for-warrant affidavit, Thomas Watanapun bought $400 worth of cocaine to undercover agents from a Lexus sedan registered to his father in Los Angeles.
Authorities reported some of the suspects built minimal effort to conceal their pursuits.
Sellers “were not picky about who they bought to,” Mosler reported.
Also arraigned was Patrick Hawley, twenty, who was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and selling cocaine in the vicinity of the campus, officials reported.
According to a 2007 examine by the National Center on Dependancy and Substance Abuse at Columbia College, nearly 50 percent of the nation’s 5.four million comprehensive-time college or university learners abuse medications or alcoholic beverages at least when a thirty day period.
Law enforcement officials in San Diego say street gangs here continue to have sturdy ties to organized criminal offense teams in Tijuana. A gunman killed a short while ago in an attack in Tijuana is believed to belong to the two a gang in Barrio Logan and the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson documented.
For several years, Mexican drug trafficking teams have recruited U.S. gang associates to do every thing from smuggle medications to murder. Tijuana’s Arellano Felix Drug Cartel and a gang from San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood go back again at least fifteen several years.
Many learners enrolled in American universities are believed associates of gangs numerous are now coming from the U.S. Armed forces as they rotate out of the providers. Many are veterans who wherever inspired to sign up for the U.S Armed forces for combat teaching by Mexican cartels and gang leaders.
The cartels are confronting law enforcement and the military on a regular bases in Mexico and hope that these similar techniques will before long shell out off and enable them to confront the U.S Law enforcement in a significantly additional expert, powerful and dangerous means.
Richard Valdemar, a thirty-yr-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Section, travels the place lecturing and instructing law enforcement about army-educated gang associates. Valdemar and other gang experts say gangs are encouraging associates to sign up for the army for teaching to find out urban warfare and find out the newest weaponry.
The military’s present-day emphasis on urban warfare performs into the street-fighting mentality of gangs, experts say.
“When individuals go into the army, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive techniques, and the use of a good deal of innovative strategies,” reported LaRae Quy, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They choose that back again on the streets with them. This is a legitimate issue for law enforcement.”
Valdemar cites former Camp Pendleton Maritime Sgt. Jesse Quintanilla as just one large-profile example. A army court docket sentenced Quintanilla to demise in 1996 for killing his executive officer and wounding his commanding officer.
When interrogators asked Quintanilla why he dedicated the crimes, Quintanilla reported it was for “his brown brothers,” according to Valdemar. Quintanilla confirmed them a tattoo on his chest with the term “Sureno,” a reference to a California gang, according to court docket files.
Army recruiting headquarters in Washington, D.C., dismiss the promises as urban myth. An Army spokesman reported military qualifications checks are comprehensive and weed out gang associates.
The ARELLANO-Felix Firm (AFO), typically referred to as the Tijuana Cartel, is one of the most potent and aggressive drug trafficking organizations working from Mexico it is undeniably the most violent. More than any other important trafficking business from Mexico, this business extends its tentacles specifically from large-echelon figures in the law enforcement and judicial techniques in Mexico to street-level individuals in United States metropolitan areas. The AFO is accountable for the transportation, importation and distribution of multi-ton portions of cocaine, cannabis, as effectively as massive portions of heroin and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico. The AFO operates largely in the Mexican states of Sinaloa (their delivery spot), Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas, and Baja California South and North.
From Baja, the medications enter California, the major stage of embarkation into the United States distribution network.
The ARELLANO family, composed of seven brothers and four sisters, inherited the business from Miguel Angel FELIX-Gallardo on his incarceration in Mexico in 1989 for his complicity in the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena. Alberto Benjamin ARELLANO-Felix assumed leadership of the family structured felony company and supplies a businessman’s solution to the administration of drug trafficking functions.
The AFO also maintains sophisticated communications facilities in quite a few important metropolitan areas in Mexico and the U.S. to conduct electronic espionage and counter surveillance measures towards law enforcement entities. The business employs radio scanners and products able of intercepting the two tricky line, radio and cellular phones to ensure the safety of AFO functions. In addition to technological products, the AFO maintains caches of innovative automatic weaponry secured from a variety of global resources. Click on or google: Mexican drug cartels and terrorist are recruiting for additional fighters to teach as soldiers
A Joint Job Power composed of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been established in San Diego, California to concentrate on the AFO the Job Power is investigating AFO functions in southern California and connected regional investigations which keep track of drug transportation, distribution and cash laundering pursuits of the AFO all through the United States. Click on or google: Dangerous Mexican/U.S. Prison Enterprises Operating Alongside the Mexican border
San Diego sheriff’s workplace
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