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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Borderland Beat

Borderland Beat

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Sinaloa Cartel: largest heroin seizure in New York history

Posted: 19 May 2015 06:20 PM PDT

Lucio R. Borderland Beat republished from NY Post

Narcotics cops in the Bronx confiscated more than 70 kilograms of heroin, valued at more than $50 million in a record-breaking bust that netted $2 million in cash and a firearm.

"To put it in perspective, this load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City," said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.

Authorities said the mammoth stash, tucked away in the bowels of a large SUV, was just one in a series of shipments slated for delivery throughout the five boroughs, as well as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

This particularly shipment — a massive load of narcotics and cash — was recovered from a vehicle and an apartment in the Fieldston section of the Bronx, not far from Horace Mann School, where children sit in class every day, and adjacent to Van Cortlandt Park, where families are just beginning to enjoy the warm weather.

Arrested were Jose Mercedes, aka "Hippie," who was described as the head of the multi-million organization. Also arrested was Yenci Cruz Francisco. They are charged with operating as a major trafficker and first-degree criminal Possession of a controlled substance.

They were both arrested Sunday, and arraigned Monday night in Manhattan Criminal Court, and held without bail. Two additional defendants were arrested in November.

"The $50 million street value of the heroin in this case is a conservative estimate," said Brennan of the record-breaking seizure. "While this important seizure stopped a huge amount of heroin from flooding our city, it also highlights the critical need to intercept heroin before it ever reaches our region."

"New York City is the bull's eye for drug traffickers and heroin is their weapon," said DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt

Investigators used wiretaps to learn that a local drug trafficking crew was receiving sizable shipments of heroin at least once a month from suppliers in Culican, Mexico, an area controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel.

 Last week, cops intercepted phone conversations about a large load of heroin that was expected to be delivered over the weekend.

Agents set up surveillance outside 210 West 251st St. in Fieldston, where the organization was suspected of maintaining a stash location in Apt. 5E.

A day before the arrests, agents tracked a Chevrolet Suburban and a Honda Accord driven by Mercedes, Cruz Francisco and a third crew member from the Bronx site to a parking lot in Montville, NJ, where tractor-trailers were parked.

More than an hour later, the vehicles headed back to the Bronx. The next morning, cops stopped Mercedes as he tried to pull away in the SUV, and searched the vehicle.

A hidden compartment under the floor of the vehicle contained 70 rectangular-shaped kilogram packages of heroin labeled with the identifying name of "Rolex." Also inside the vehicle was $24,000 cash.

Agents conducted a series of court authorized searches at apartments associated with the group. Inside the West 251st Street apartment, agents recovered $2 million from underneath the floorboards.

A search at a Magenta Street apartment in the Bronx yielded a .380 caliber firearm.

Talía Vazquez: Doctor Mireles will remain in prison, because of elections

Posted: 19 May 2015 06:47 PM PDT

Lucio R. Borderland Beat

To anyone following the imprisonment of autodefensa leader Dr. Manuel Mireles, it is a no brainer, that because there is an election on June 7th, it means the Michoacán autodefensa spokesman will remain in prison until the elections are over.

The government has been meticulous in shutting down the "genuine" autodefensas movement in the coastal region of Michoacán.  Popular and respected leaders have been imprisoned, or have been killed.  As it stands there are about 500 autodefensas imprisoned.

Some autodefensas have taken to political tactics to create change, running for various offices. 

Dr. Mireles good friend, Enrique Hernández Salcedo, former autodefensas leader of Yurécaro, was running for the municipal's mayor, when he was assassinated last week.  Like Dr Mireles, Hernández was outspoken about political corruption and narco crime.  And like Dr Mireles, he was imprisoned on murder charges with absolutely no basis that he committed the crime, and the case was thrown out due to lack of evidence.

Hernández spoke of his time in prison, saying he was isolated and tortured.  At the time of his murder he had a whopping 90% support of voters. 
Thousands attended the funeral of Enrique Hernández
Thousands turned out for Hernández' funeral, the mass was officiated by two priests including Padre Goyo of Apatzingán. Hernández' widow spoke of  of the torture he received in prison.  His daughter spoke of his determination. 

His eldest daughter Guadalupe spoke at his funeral, saying her father knew what the danger was when he decided his course.  The entire family knew and supported him.

"I hold not hate for the perpetrators, and vengeance is not in my heart.  That is left to a higher power. 
"My father was a man of values, he was an honest man, living outside corruption, he would never take the temptation of receiving something for nothing."

"There is something that each of us can do.  If we begin with ourselves, living free of any corruption, temptation and with honesty, from there begins something completely different for us".

She continued by saying that she and the family will continue to support the cause.  Her mother is named as a possible replacement on the ballot.

Dr. Mireles may not even know his friend was killed.  This week, in a rare letter,  Mireles sent to Jorge Vazquez, he noted how difficult communication is for him.  In the letter he speaks of the death of Hipolito Mora's son, Manuel.  And that was five months ago.
Cilck on  to enlarge image
Mireles' sister Vicky Mireles, had hoped that since the PGR was now able to release her brother due to his favorable court rulings, saying all that is needed is PGR to file to vacate the case.  That was to be done on yesterday.  She expressed concerns for his health, saying that his diabetes is not controlled and he is in jeopardy of losing his limbs.

However, Talia VazquezAlatorre, the former defense attorney of Dr. Mireles gave an interview today saying the hope that Dr. Mireles' sister has of his release, is a false hope.  She attributes his non-release to the election, and not so much because of the legal process. 

"I am the first to want him out of jail, since the first day, but that will not be possible in time campaigns "she said.

She said the main reason ha little to do with acts of justice but by the fear of Mireles'   impact  on the electoral process,

"I do not think any party wants to see Mireles in the street two weeks before the elections, because he is a very loved and respected person, nationally. Many authorities govern one's life and justice based on an electoral calendar, "she charged.

Ms Vazquez contends she remains a great advocate for Dr. Mireles, even though she resigned as his defense attorney, after a dispute with Padre Goyo's apparent attempt at negotiating a deal for Dr. Mireles' release.  A deal was never reached, and most people conclude there must be a whole lot more to that story. 
Enrique Hernández and Dr. Mireles
As it is now, many of the close women in his life are fighting each other, each saying they have the best interest of Dr. Mireles at heart.  Pricila Abud of Grillonautas turned on Dr Mireles over the proposed deal, calling it "shameful".  His former wife Ana, referred to Dr Mireles as a devil, who had "nothing", his daughter also conducted an interview saying as far as she was concerned her father was dead.

Yet, now when the man cannot speak and be heard, all these parties claim to be his advocate.  His former wife, his daughter, his son, Pricila, Talia all are now waving the banner and claim to be speaking for him. 

What is absolutely true is his closeness to his sister Vicky.  As for relationships with the others, those who turned their back to him, I guess we have to wait for the conclusion of that story.

Enrique Hernández was a true Mireles advocate.  Just days before his death he announced he was working with Morena political party attorneys in hopes of assisting in the release of Dr. Mireles.

Osiel Cardenas Jr. Sentenced to 10 months in Supermax

Posted: 19 May 2015 11:59 AM PDT

Lucio R. Borderland Beat- Republished from San Antonio Express

"Today is my father's birthday," Cardenas Jr. said in Spanish. "Instead of going to visit him like they do every year, (my family) is here to support me."

Osiel Cardenas Jr., 23, the son of one of Mexico's most notorious drug lords, was sentenced Monday to 10 months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle military-grade ammunition into Mexico on New Year's Eve.

Cardenas Jr. is the son of Osiel Cardenas, 48, who was the former leader of the Gulf Cartel and is now incarcerated in the reputed Supermax prison in Colorado for his role in orchestrating drug cartel activities along the Texas-Mexico border.

Cardenas Jr., a U.S. citizen born in Texas but raised in Mexico, had faced a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. He was also fined $10,000 and will serve three years of supervised release.

Still, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen cautioned Cardenas Jr. against visiting Matamoros, Mexico, in the future.

"You're at a crossroads … you need to decide which way you're going to go," Hanen told Cardenas Jr., also known as "Mini Osiel." "If you follow down the same pathway as your father, you're going to end up in the same place."

Cardenas Jr. pleadedguilty in February to trying to sneak hundreds of rounds of bullets past U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Brownsville en route to Matamoros on Dec. 31, including 290 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 161 rounds of .223mm ammunition.

Authorities also found in his black 2015 Cadillac Escalade 29 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and a pair of .233mm rifle magazines, which are designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List. Cardenas Jr. admitted to having more than 14 grams of marijuana concealed in his underwear.

His mother, Celia Cardenas, penned a handwritten letter in Spanish to the court, apologizing for the conduct of her son, whom she called inexperienced and immature.

Hanen appeared to sympathize with Cardenas Jr., describing him as smart, yet burdened with the legacy of his infamous father, the cartel capo and mastermind behind the ultraviolent Los Zetas, which later split from the Gulf Cartel and became its own criminal organization.

In a heartfelt plea for leniency, Cardenas Jr., who has spent the past several months in solitary confinement for his safety, asked that Hanen allow him to spend the day with his family, who was in the courtroom.

"Today is my father's birthday," Cardenas Jr. said in Spanish. "Instead of going to visit him like they do every year, (my family) is here to support me."

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