Agents also seized more than 20 kilograms of drugs and $20 million in cash from the cartel, the Justice Department said.
DEA agents move in on a residential house during an arrest of a suspected drug trafficker on Wednesday in Diamond Bar, California. Federal agents fanned out across the U.S. after a six-month investigation aimed at dismantling the upper echelon of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as CJNG.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Wednesday announced more than 750 arrests after a six-month investigation targeting Mexico’s violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as CJNG.
The Drug Enforcement Administration-led operation, called “Project Python,” is the largest to date in U.S. efforts to take down the notorious drug dealing organization now considered one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico and known for brutal kidnappings and murders in that country.
In addition to the nationwide arrests, agents seized more than 20 kilograms of drugs and $20 million in cash. Officials say the cartel has hubs in Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Chicago and Atlanta and is a major presence on the Southwest border.
“CJNG has contributed to a catastrophic trail of human and physical destruction in Mexico,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczowski. “It is the most well-armed cartel in Mexico. Its members willingly confront rival cartels and even the security forces of the Mexican government. CJNG is responsible for grisly acts of violence and loss of life.”
The US restriction of travelers from Mexico has become a major hurdle for Mexican drug traffickers.
The coronavirus epidemic is affecting the global economy in the most serious of ways, and the Mexican government is scrambling to contain its spread. Even though the country has yet to implement a full lockdown, the coronavirus epidemic is taking its toll on the economy. Mexican drug trafficking syndicates have not been spared either. Just like legitimate businesses, they are beginning to feel the pinch.
Limited Supply of Drugs Precursor Ingredients from China
China is a prime manufacturing powerhouse. As the epicenter of the coronavirus scourge, it was the first country in the world to go into lockdown. Since the outbreak, the country’s industries have had to scale back production to allow the epidemic to blow itself out. The result is a decrease in supplies to overseas companies.
Mexican drug cartels typically get precursors for opiates, such as fentanyl and meth, from China. The novel virus has, however, held up the supply chain. According to a recent Vice report, the Sinaloa Cartel, the most dominant cartel in the region has increased narcotics prices as a result.
Methamphetamine prices have been hiked by over five times. According to the investigative report, Mexican drug lord Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada has ordered his dealers to increase the price of meth from $100 a pound to $600. Fentanyl prices have also soared from $35,000 a kilo to $42,000. The raw chemicals are a major export of Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic. The zone was among the first in mainland China to have its factories shut down.
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman may face murder charges after several former Mexican police officers accused him of killing six Americans and a DEA agent within a nine-week span in late 1984.
Three former Mexican police officers told the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles they witnessed Guzman carry out the killing spree between late 1984 and early 1985. Jorge Godoy, one of the former cops who is now under witness protection, told WFAA that Guzman took pleasure in killing people.
Four Americans who were Jehovah’s Witnesses — Benjamin Mascarenas, 29; his wife Pat Mascarenas, 27; Dennis Carlson, 32; and his wife Rose Carlson, 36 — were murdered during a missionary trip in Guadalajara, Mexico. Godoy said he was the bodyguard of drug kingpin Ernesto Fonseca at the time and the missionaries made the wrong decision of knocking on a drug lord’s door on Dec. 2, 1984.
He told WFAA he saw them rape the women and torture the Americans. He added that Guzman shot each person and watched their bodies fall into an open grave. Former DEA agent Hector Berrellez also said Guzman was involved in their deaths.
Full Read – http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/01/mexican-drug-lord-el-chapo-tortured-killed-6-americans-and-dea-agent-within-9-week-span-report-says.html
The CEO of Phantom Secure was indicted on March 15, along with four associates, following allegations that the Canada-based company had sold “tens of millions of dollars” in altered BlackBerry phones to international drug cartels, reports indicate.
Last week, the Department of Justice apprehended Vincent Ramos in Seattle. He and his associates are charged with racketeering and conspiracy to facilitate drug distribution, crimes that have a penalty of prison for life, the BBC reported. This is the first time U.S. officials have targeted a company for knowingly encrypting technology for outlaws in order to evade law enforcement and obstruct justice, the Justice Department said.
“With one American dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, our great nation is suffering the deadliest drug epidemic in our history,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Incredibly, some have sought to profit off of this crisis, including by specifically taking advantage of encryption technologies to further criminal activity, and to obstruct, impede, and evade law enforcement, as this case illustrates.”