Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating Collages and Significant University Campuses in America

 
By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter Might seven, 2008, 2:00 PM PDT
 
 
In a modern drug bust at the San Diego State College Federal agents and SDSU police culminated a yearlong investigation into drug dealing close to campus and located it to be extra advanced, extra pervasive and extra unsafe and far reaching than they anticipated or have noticed before. These arrests coincided with the initially anniversary of a female scholar freshman’s cocaine-relevant demise.

In accordance to community newspaper reports ninety-six suspects, together with seventy five SDSU college students, have been arrested on drug-relevant costs as a result of the undercover operation, launched following Jenny Poliakoff, 19, was located dead in her off-campus apartment following a night of celebration.

Just one of the key suspects in this intercontinental drug investigation is Omar Castaneda, a gang member from Pomona with ties to the Mexican Tijuana drug cartels, officers reported.

Castaneda, 36, following his arrest he was arraigned in San Diego Superior Courtroom on costs of possession of cocaine for sale. He is suspected of becoming a important backlink between medicine flowing into California from Tijuana and income at SDSU and other California campuses.

The violent Tijuana drug cartel also regarded as the Arellano-Felix firm (AFO) has a agency and lethal hold 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 potent backlinks to San Diego, California. The AFO dispenses an believed $1 million weekly in bribes to Mexican officers, police and Mexican military officers and maintains its possess-properly armed, trained, paramilitary security power. The DEA considers the AFO the most violent and intense of the Mexican border cartels. Listed here is the DEA’s qualifications profile on the AFO and its leaders. Click on on or google: Unsafe Mexican Cartel Gangs

The SDSU Law enforcement Department approached the DEA and county narcotics process-power officers for help in December of 07, when it turned distinct that the drug trafficking on campus was common and associated Mexican organized crime drug cartels and their gang members and they feared that it far out striped their means to tackle a potentially pretty complicated intercontinental drug trafficking investigation.
“We were being coming in get hold of with extra kinds of narcotics,” SDSU Law enforcement Main John Browning reported. “If you’re serious about this, you have to go to somebody who has the means to consider it to the future stage.”

As the investigation was unfolding, the campus dealt with another drug-relevant demise. An autopsy showed that Mesa College scholar Kurt Baker died Feb. 24 at an SDSU fraternity from oxycodone and alcohol poisoning.
“We know there is certainly drug use in college . . . but when you have an firm that’s actually based mostly out of a college location, that’s a full diverse thing,” reported Garrison Courtney of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “You just don’t see that.”
Research suggests that beneficial university and higher college campuses are fertile markets for drug sellers. Mexican drug cartels have regarded this for yrs and are considered to have infiltrated a lot of of America’s college campuses via cartel gang members. Federal authorities place to the Mexican drug cartels who are in the end accountable for border violence by acquiring cemented ties to avenue and prison gangs like Barrio Azteca on the U.S. facet. Azteca and other U.S. gangs retail medicine that they get from Mexican cartels and Mexican gangs. Mexican gangs run their possess distribution networks in the United States, and they produce most of the methamphetamine used north of the border. They have even bypassed the Colombians several instances to acquire cocaine directly from producers in Bolivia, Peru and even Afghanistan. These same gangs usually do the job as cartel surrogates or enforcers on the U.S. facet of the border. Intelligence implies Los Zetas . Click on on or google: They are regarded as “Los Zetas have employed members of numerous gangs at diverse instances together with, El Paso gang Barrio Azteca, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos to even more their prison endeavors.  Authorities on both sides of the border feel a lot of of these gang members and other surrogates of the impressive Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated and run openly on a lot of American college campuses notably in states bordering Mexico together with Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Just one suspect, Phi Kappa Psi member Michael Montoya, labored as a group-support officer on campus and would have acquired a master’s diploma in homeland security future thirty day period. A different scholar arrested on suspicion of possessing 500 grams of cocaine and two guns was a prison-justice important.

Authorities identified 22 SDSU college students as drug sellers who sold to undercover agents. At least seventeen other individuals allegedly provided the medicine. The rest of the suspects seemingly acquired or possessed illegal medicine.
Authorities reported college students from seven fraternities were being associated in the drug ring, which operated openly across campus.
Proof showed that “most of the members were being informed of organized drug dealing occurring from the fraternity houses,” officers reported. Drug agents verified that “a hierarchy existed for the applications of providing medicine for money.”
Authorities singled out the Theta Chi fraternity as a hub of cocaine dealing.

Just one alleged supplier, Theta Chi member Kenneth Ciaccio, sent text messages to his “trustworthy prospects” asserting that cocaine income would be suspended about an upcoming weekend due to the fact he and his “associates” prepared to be in Las Vegas, authorities reported.
The same information posted “sale” selling prices on cocaine if transactions were being completed before the sellers remaining San Diego.
Until eventually yesterday, Ciaccio was showcased on SDSU’s World-wide-web web site endorsing the Compact for Achievement software, which ensures specific Sweetwater Union Significant University District college students admission to the university if they preserve a B typical.
SDSU President Stephen Weber reported that even when campus police made a decision to talk to for help from other authorities, “it wasn’t distinct that we were being going to stop up at the place exactly where we were being now.”
Ramon Mosler, chief of the narcotics division of the District Attorney’s Office in San Diego California, reported the investigation could have transpired on any college campus in America. Mosler reported his unit joined in due to the fact the university took the unusual move of asking for help.
“Frequently administrations don’t want us to do this stuff, and that’s regrettable,” Mosler reported. “I believe it really is essential to do this every now and then to wake people today up. It raises everyone’s recognition to the dangers of medicine.”
 
In accordance to the search-warrant affidavit, Thomas Watanapun sold $four hundred value of cocaine to undercover agents from a Lexus sedan registered to his father in Los Angeles.

Authorities reported some of the suspects manufactured small exertion to conceal their actions.
Sellers “weren’t picky about who they sold to,” Mosler reported.
Also arraigned was Patrick Hawley, twenty, who was arrested on suspicion of armed theft and providing cocaine in close proximity to the campus, officers reported.
In accordance to a 2007 study by the Nationwide Heart on Addiction and Material Abuse at Columbia College, nearly fifty percent of the nation’s 5.four million total-time college college students abuse medicine or alcohol at least when a thirty day period.

Legislation enforcement officers in San Diego say avenue gangs below go on to have potent ties to organized crime teams in Tijuana. A gunman killed recently in an assault in Tijuana is considered to belong to both a gang in Barrio Logan and the Arellano Felix Drug Cartel. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson documented.
For yrs, Mexican drug trafficking teams have recruited U.S. gang members to do every little thing from smuggle medicine to murder. Tijuana’s Arellano Felix Drug Cartel and a gang from San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood go again at least 15 yrs.
Several college students enrolled in American educational institutions are considered members of gangs a lot of are now coming from the U.S. Armed forces as they rotate out of the services. Several are veterans who exactly where encouraged to be a part of the U.S Armed forces for combat coaching by Mexican cartels and gang leaders.

The cartels are confronting police and the military on a frequent bases in Mexico and hope that these same strategies will before long fork out off and allow them to confront the U.S Law enforcement in a substantially extra professional, effective and unsafe methods.
 
Richard Valdemar, a thirty-yr-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, travels the country lecturing and teaching police about armed forces-trained gang members. Valdemar and other gang gurus say gangs are encouraging members to be a part of the armed forces for coaching to discover urban warfare and discover the most current weaponry.
 
The military’s existing emphasis on urban warfare performs into the avenue-fighting mentality of gangs, gurus say.
“When folks go into the armed forces, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive strategies, and the use of a large amount of advanced techniques,” reported LaRae Quy, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They consider that again on the streets with them. This is a respectable worry for legislation enforcement.”
Valdemar cites former Camp Pendleton Maritime Sgt. Jesse Quintanilla as just one higher-profile instance. A armed forces courtroom sentenced Quintanilla to demise in 1996 for killing his executive officer and wounding his commanding officer.
When interrogators questioned Quintanilla why he dedicated the crimes, Quintanilla reported it was for “his brown brothers,” according to Valdemar. Quintanilla showed them a tattoo on his chest with the phrase “Sureno,” a reference to a California gang, according to courtroom paperwork.
Military recruiting headquarters in Washington, D.C., dismiss the claims as urban myth. An Military spokesman reported military qualifications checks are considerable and weed out gang members.
 
The ARELLANO-Felix Organization (AFO), usually referred to as the Tijuana Cartel, is one of the most impressive and intense drug trafficking companies working from Mexico it is undeniably the most violent. Additional than any other important trafficking firm from Mexico, this firm extends its tentacles directly from higher-echelon figures in the legislation enforcement and judicial techniques in Mexico to avenue-stage folks in United States metropolitan areas. The AFO is accountable for the transportation, importation and distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine, cannabis, as properly as big quantities of heroin and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico. The AFO operates principally in the Mexican states of Sinaloa (their beginning spot), Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas, and Baja California South and North.

From Baja, the medicine enter California, the main place of embarkation into the United States distribution network.
The ARELLANO family,  composed of seven brothers and 4 sisters, inherited the firm from Miguel Angel FELIX-Gallardo on his incarceration in Mexico in 1989 for his complicity in the murder of DEA Unique Agent Enrique Camarena. Alberto Benjamin ARELLANO-Felix assumed management of the family structured prison company and offers a businessman’s method to the administration of drug trafficking functions.

The AFO also maintains complicated communications facilities in several important metropolitan areas in Mexico and the U.S. to perform digital espionage and counter surveillance measures from legislation enforcement entities. The firm employs radio scanners and machines capable of intercepting both hard line, radio and cellular phones to be certain the security of AFO functions. In addition to technical machines, the AFO maintains caches of advanced automatic weaponry secured from a wide range of intercontinental sources. Click on on or google: Mexican drug cartels and terrorist are recruiting for extra fighters to prepare as soldiers
A Joint Endeavor Pressure composed of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been established in San Diego, California to target the AFO the Endeavor Pressure is investigating AFO functions in southern California and relevant regional investigations which monitor drug transportation, distribution and money laundering actions of the AFO all through the United States. Click on on or google:  Dangerous Mexican/U.S. Prison Enterprises Functioning Along the Mexican border

Resources:
DEA
FBI
San Diego sheriff’s business
San Diego Trubune