By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter May well seven, 2008, two:00 PM PDT
In a latest drug bust at the San Diego Condition University Federal brokers and SDSU police culminated a yearlong investigation into drug working around campus and discovered it to be much more sophisticated, much more pervasive and much more harmful and considerably reaching than they anticipated or have observed just before. These arrests coincided with the initial anniversary of a female pupil freshman’s cocaine-relevant demise.
According to regional newspaper reviews ninety-six suspects, which include seventy five SDSU students, have been arrested on drug-relevant prices as a outcome of the undercover operation, introduced following Jenny Poliakoff, 19, was discovered lifeless in her off-campus apartment following a night time of celebration.
1 of the primary suspects in this international drug investigation is Omar Castaneda, a gang member from Pomona with ties to the Mexican Tijuana drug cartels, officers claimed.
Castaneda, 36, following his arrest he was arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on prices of possession of cocaine for sale. He is suspected of becoming a key url among medicines flowing into California from Tijuana and revenue at SDSU and other California campuses.
The violent Tijuana drug cartel also recognized as the Arellano-Felix firm (AFO) has a business and deadly maintain on all drug trafficking actions in Baja and San Diego California. Their get to controls drug smuggling in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas and Baja, and has sturdy inbound links to San Diego, California. The AFO dispenses an estimated $1 million weekly in bribes to Mexican officers, police and Mexican military officers and maintains its have-well armed, skilled, paramilitary stability pressure. The DEA considers the AFO the most violent and aggressive of the Mexican border cartels. In this article is the DEA’s history profile on the AFO and its leaders. Click on on or google: Risky Mexican Cartel Gangs
The SDSU Law enforcement Department approached the DEA and county narcotics process-pressure officers for aid in December of 07, when it became apparent that the drug trafficking on campus was prevalent and involved Mexican organized crime drug cartels and their gang users and they feared that it considerably out striped their potential to manage a most likely extremely difficult international drug trafficking investigation.
“We ended up coming in make contact with with much more types of narcotics,” SDSU Law enforcement Main John Browning claimed. “If you are severe about this, you have to go to somebody who has the resources to acquire it to the subsequent degree.”
As the investigation was unfolding, the campus dealt with another drug-relevant demise. An autopsy showed that Mesa University pupil Kurt Baker died Feb. 24 at an SDSU fraternity from oxycodone and liquor poisoning.
“We know you will find drug use in faculty . . . but when you have an firm which is basically based out of a faculty space, which is a full unique detail,” claimed Garrison Courtney of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “You just really don’t see that.”
Investigation suggests that lucrative university and large faculty campuses are fertile marketplaces for drug dealers. Mexican drug cartels have recognized this for yrs and are thought to have infiltrated lots of of America’s faculty campuses by cartel gang users. Federal authorities stage to the Mexican drug cartels who are eventually dependable for border violence by getting cemented ties to street and jail gangs like Barrio Azteca on the U.S. facet. Azteca and other U.S. gangs retail medicines that they get from Mexican cartels and Mexican gangs. Mexican gangs operate their have distribution networks in the United States, and they make most of the methamphetamine utilised north of the border. They have even bypassed the Colombians various situations to obtain cocaine straight from producers in Bolivia, Peru and even Afghanistan. These exact gangs often function as cartel surrogates or enforcers on the U.S. facet of the border. Intelligence indicates Los Zetas . Click on on or google: They are recognized as “Los Zetas have hired users of a variety of gangs at unique situations which include, El Paso gang Barrio Azteca, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos to further more their prison endeavors. Authorities on both of those sides of the border feel lots of of these gang users and other surrogates of the powerful Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated and function brazenly on lots of American faculty campuses particularly in states bordering Mexico which include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
1 suspect, Phi Kappa Psi member Michael Montoya, worked as a community-support officer on campus and would have attained a master’s diploma in homeland stability subsequent thirty day period. A further pupil arrested on suspicion of possessing 500 grams of cocaine and two guns was a prison-justice key.
Authorities discovered 22 SDSU students as drug dealers who bought to undercover brokers. At minimum seventeen many others allegedly supplied the medicines. The rest of the suspects apparently acquired or possessed illegal medicines.
Authorities claimed students from 7 fraternities ended up involved in the drug ring, which operated brazenly throughout campus.
Proof showed that “most of the users ended up informed of organized drug working transpiring from the fraternity properties,” officers claimed. Drug brokers confirmed that “a hierarchy existed for the uses of advertising medicines for revenue.”
Authorities singled out the Theta Chi fraternity as a hub of cocaine working.
1 alleged vendor, Theta Chi member Kenneth Ciaccio, sent text messages to his “devoted shoppers” announcing that cocaine revenue would be suspended in excess of an impending weekend mainly because he and his “associates” planned to be in Las Vegas, authorities claimed.
The exact information posted “sale” rates on cocaine if transactions ended up completed just before the dealers still left San Diego.
Right until yesterday, Ciaccio was showcased on SDSU’s Web web page marketing the Compact for Good results software, which guarantees sure Sweetwater Union High College District students admission to the university if they preserve a B common.
SDSU President Stephen Weber claimed that even when campus police made the decision to question for aid from other authorities, “it was not apparent that we ended up heading to close up at the stage in which we ended up these days.”
Ramon Mosler, chief of the narcotics division of the District Attorney’s Workplace in San Diego California, claimed the investigation could have took place on any faculty campus in The us. Mosler claimed his unit joined in mainly because the university took the unusual phase of inquiring for aid.
“In many cases administrations really don’t want us to do this stuff, and which is regrettable,” Mosler claimed. “I consider it is really essential to do this just about every now and then to wake men and women up. It raises everyone’s awareness to the dangers of medicines.”
According to the look for-warrant affidavit, Thomas Watanapun bought $400 really worth of cocaine to undercover brokers from a Lexus sedan registered to his father in Los Angeles.
Authorities claimed some of the suspects manufactured minor work to conceal their actions.
Dealers “were not picky about who they bought to,” Mosler claimed.
Also arraigned was Patrick Hawley, twenty, who was arrested on suspicion of armed theft and advertising cocaine in the vicinity of the campus, officers claimed.
According to a 2007 analyze by the Nationwide Heart on Dependancy and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, practically 50 % of the nation’s 5.4 million complete-time faculty students abuse medicines or liquor at minimum at the time a thirty day period.
Legislation enforcement officers in San Diego say street gangs listed here continue to have sturdy ties to organized crime groups in Tijuana. A gunman killed just lately in an assault in Tijuana is thought to belong to both of those a gang in Barrio Logan and the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson reported.
For yrs, Mexican drug trafficking groups have recruited U.S. gang users to do everything from smuggle medicines to murder. Tijuana’s Arellano Felix Drug Cartel and a gang from San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood go back again at minimum fifteen yrs.
Numerous students enrolled in American colleges are thought users of gangs lots of are now coming from the U.S. Military services as they rotate out of the products and services. Numerous are veterans who in which encouraged to join the U.S Military services for beat teaching by Mexican cartels and gang leaders.
The cartels are confronting police and the military on a frequent bases in Mexico and hope that these exact techniques will soon pay back off and empower them to confront the U.S Law enforcement in a considerably much more experienced, efficient and harmful strategies.
Richard Valdemar, a 30-calendar year-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, travels the region lecturing and instructing police about military services-skilled gang users. Valdemar and other gang professionals say gangs are encouraging users to join the military services for teaching to discover city warfare and discover the most recent weaponry.
The military’s current emphasis on city warfare plays into the street-battling mentality of gangs, professionals say.
“When persons go into the military services, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive techniques, and the use of a lot of sophisticated tactics,” claimed LaRae Quy, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They acquire that back again on the streets with them. This is a reputable concern for regulation enforcement.”
Valdemar cites previous Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Jesse Quintanilla as just a person large-profile instance. A military services court sentenced Quintanilla to demise in 1996 for killing his govt officer and wounding his commanding officer.
When interrogators asked Quintanilla why he dedicated the crimes, Quintanilla claimed it was for “his brown brothers,” in accordance to Valdemar. Quintanilla showed them a tattoo on his upper body with the term “Sureno,” a reference to a California gang, in accordance to court paperwork.
Military recruiting headquarters in Washington, D.C., dismiss the promises as city myth. An Military spokesman claimed military history checks are considerable and weed out gang users.
The ARELLANO-Felix Corporation (AFO), often referred to as the Tijuana Cartel, is a person of the most powerful and aggressive drug trafficking businesses running from Mexico it is undeniably the most violent. More than any other key trafficking firm from Mexico, this firm extends its tentacles straight from large-echelon figures in the regulation enforcement and judicial systems in Mexico to street-degree persons in United States cities. The AFO is dependable for the transportation, importation and distribution of multi-ton portions of cocaine, cannabis, as well as significant portions of heroin and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico. The AFO operates largely in the Mexican states of Sinaloa (their start area), Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas, and Baja California South and North.
From Baja, the medicines enter California, the key stage of embarkation into the United States distribution network.
The ARELLANO family, composed of 7 brothers and four sisters, inherited the firm from Miguel Angel FELIX-Gallardo on his incarceration in Mexico in 1989 for his complicity in the murder of DEA Specific Agent Enrique Camarena. Alberto Benjamin ARELLANO-Felix assumed management of the family structured prison organization and delivers a businessman’s technique to the management of drug trafficking operations.
The AFO also maintains intricate communications centers in various key cities in Mexico and the U.S. to conduct electronic espionage and counter surveillance actions towards regulation enforcement entities. The firm employs radio scanners and equipment able of intercepting both of those tough line, radio and cellular phones to ensure the stability of AFO operations. In addition to technical equipment, the AFO maintains caches of sophisticated automatic weaponry secured from a selection of international sources. Click on on or google: Mexican drug cartels and terrorist are recruiting for much more fighters to prepare as troopers
A Joint Job Force composed of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been set up in San Diego, California to focus on the AFO the Job Force is investigating AFO operations in southern California and relevant regional investigations which keep track of drug transportation, distribution and revenue laundering actions of the AFO during the United States. Click on on or google: Dangerous Mexican/U.S. Legal Enterprises Working Together the Mexican border
San Diego sheriff’s business office
San Diego Trubune