• More than half of the estimated 268,000 users of ‘ice’ are drug dependent
  • 25-35 year olds have the highest rates of methamphetamine use
  • Regular users had the drug at least once a month in the last year
  • The rate of dependent use had continued to increase since 2009-2010

Australia’s disastrous methamphetamine epidemic seems to be worsening after research revealed the drug’s user statistics tripled in the last five years.

More than half of the estimated 268,000 regular users of ice are dependent on the drug, says the first research quantifying the problem in Australia.

The estimates suggest the numbers have substantially risen during the past five years, while recent increases were most marked among those aged 15-34.

Overall the highest rates of methamphetamine use have consistently been among 25 to 35-year-olds.

‘There is a need for both more health services and better engagement with and retention of clients in treatment services,’ say the authors of the research published online by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Using sources including drug treatment and hospitalization data, they estimated the number of regular and dependent ice users for each year from 2002 to 2014 and the numbers by age group.

Regular users had the drug at least once a month in the last year, while those with ‘impaired control’ of their use and who continued despite health and other adverse consequences were deemed to be dependent.

They estimated that in 2013-14 there were 268,000 regular users, aged between 15 and 54, with 160,000 of them being dependent.

‘This equates to population rates of 2.09 per cent for regular and 1.24 per cent for dependent use,’ said lead researcher Professor Louisa Degenhardt from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.

The rate of dependent use had continued to increase since 2009-10, when the rate was estimated to be .74 per cent, and was higher than the previous peak of 1.22 per cent in 2006-07.

 

HOW ICE DESTROYS THE BRAIN

  • Ice is a stimulant, a methamphetamine that speeds up the messages between the brain and the body.
  • It usually looks like small chunky clear crystals, hence the name ice. It can also come as white or brownish powder.
  • It is usually smoked or injected, with effects felt in seconds. The effects are slower when swallowed or snorted and can last about 6 hours.
  • Ice causes dopamine levels in the brain to shoot from 100 to around 1,250 units, about 12 times as much of a release of dopamine as you get from food and sex
  • When the drug wears off, users experience a debilitating depression and urge to get more of the drug.
  • Persistent use can change brain chemistry, destroying the brain’s pleasure centers
  • Long term use can cause severe impairment in memory, judgment and motor coordination
  • Changes in brain chemistry can lead to violent behaviour, anxiety and wakefulness
  • it also causes psychotic behaviour, such as paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. Many users report feeling insects crawling beneath their skin.

 

 

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3468084/Australia-s-deadly-ICE-age-New-research-reveals-methamphetamine-use-tripled-just-five-years.html

 

AUSTIN, Ind. —Police say a southern Indiana teacher was arrested after they discovered methamphetamine in her classroom.

Laura Nowling, 47, is facing drug possession charges.   Scott County investigators, working with the Indiana State Police, arrested Nowling at Austin Elementary School Thursday afternoon.56cf8b7583205_image

Investigators said they received various tips in recent weeks and they had searched her home, but those searches turned up nothing. On Thursday, drugs were recovered at her home and also at her second grade classroom.

Scott County Sheriff Dan McClain said methamphetamine was discovered in a mint container in her purse.

“At one point she went to retrieve her purse and then decided to leave it. As the officers began to interview her, she eventually admitted she did have drugs in her purse, under her desk,” McClain said.

Investigators had first gone to her home on Slab Road in Austin around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

That’s where McClain said officers discovered opana, OxyContin, hydrocodone, and marijuana in plain view. Nowling’s boyfriend, Matt Kemp, 42, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Zackie White, 31, were arrested.

In addition to tips from the public, the sheriff said Kemp’s court-mandated ankle monitor helped investigators with the case.

“Mr. Kemp was on Community Corrections and we had some evidence from his ankle bracelet he was going to a few places he shouldn’t be going to,” McClain said.

Austin Elementary parents said they appreciated the way the school handled Thursday’s incident.

Nowling was arrested only after the school day was over and her students had left her classroom.

Still, Kellie Darlage, mother to a third grader, said the news was shocking.

“She seemed like any other teacher at the school. It’s scary. It just goes to show you it could be anyone in town,” Darlage said.

Bob Anderson, superintendent of Scott County School District #1, released a statement reading in part, “We have been and continue to cooperate fully with the Indiana State Police Investigation.

Our first and foremost importance is to ensure the safety of our students. We hope a message has been sent to the community that we will not tolerate this type of act in our school system.”

Nowling, who worked in the district for more than a decade, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

All three suspects are facing possession charges and are expected in court Friday morning.

 

 

 

 

http://www.wlky.com/news/austin-elementary-teacher-arrested-after-meth-found-in-classroom/38194870

 

A federal search warrant unsealed earlier this month involves suspected human trafficking and the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine in the Texarkana area.

A search warrant affidavit filed Jan. 13 for property in Genoa, Ark., names Jeremy Paul May, 32, Jamie Gene Yates, aka “Phatboy,” 43, and individuals identified only as cooperating defendants, cooperating witnesses and minor victims.

JAMIE YATESJEREMY MAY

“Information received from multiple sources indicated that Yates was recruiting minor females to work as prostitutes in his rented motel rooms located in Texarkana, Ark., and Texarkana, Texas, where he harbored the minors and provided them with food and drugs,” the affidavit states. “The investigation to date showed that May was Yates’ associate and was actively involved with methamphetamine distribution to minors, introduction of methamphetamine into minors, production of methamphetamine, possession of firearms, sale of firearms and having sex with minors.”

The affidavit sought permission to search outbuildings on property in the 4500 block of Genoa Road on property where May’s parents have a home. May allegedly lived in the outbuilding, where he cooked “red meth,” sold drugs, and provided drugs to young girls in exchange for sex, the affidavit states.

May was allegedly part of a group of men who used social media to solicit girls willing to trade sex for drugs. Witnesses told investigators May kept a large number of firearms at his residence as well.

The affidavit lists numerous incidences of drug transactions conducted by the men at May’s home and in the parking lots of area businesses. May was allegedly selling pounds of methamphetamine weekly.

He is currently in the Miller County jail. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cotten said May is facing six counts of delivery of a controlled substance and a single charge of theft by receiving. His bail is set at $100,000, Cotten said. Cotten said he intends to file a petition to revoke a felony probation May is currently serving for drug offenses and that May’s total possible punishment could exceed 80 years.

Yates is serving time in an Arkansas prison. He was arrested last year on a motion to revoke a probation he was serving for manufacturing or delivering methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest, Yates was driving his 17-year-old girlfriend’s car, was in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia and was within 1000 feet of a school. He is currently serving two consecutive six-year terms.

Neither state nor federal officials have yet to charge the men with crimes related to the minor girls referred to in the search warrant affidavit. At least one of the girls told investigators she had been asked to work as a prostitute in Texarkana.

 

 

 

 

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2016/feb/24/two-men-face-charges-human-drug-trafficking/416757/

 

Opal Cox has been charged with one count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, a felony.

According to court documents, a Great Falls police officer was called Feb. 18 to a residence in the 400 block of 5th Street South to assist Adult Probation and Parole for a call involving narcotics and drug paraphernalia.B9321090163Z_1_20160225211224_000_GT7DIORR5_1-0

While a probation officer was doing a home check on Cox, she located several items typically used to ingest dangerous drugs and a GFPD officer found three hypodermic needles with a clear liquid substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court documents.

Cox was on courtesy supervision with Great Falls Adult Probation and Parole as a conditional release inmate in three Lewis and Clark County cases: felony forgery, felony issuing a bad check and accountability for burglary.

After she was taken into custody, officers learned there was a large supply of methamphetamine in the home that was undiscovered in the initial search, so a second search was conducted and officers discovered meth in several small Tupperware containers wrapped with electrician’s tape, according to court documents.

The total weight found was one and a half ounces, which is more than the usual user amount of a gram or less, according to court documents.

Cox was contacted at the jail and admitted she had purchased two ounces of meth in Butte on Feb. 17 and planned to distribute it in Great Falls to make money, according to court documents.

The state requested bond in the amount of $10,000 concurrent. Bond was set at $5,000 in Cox’s previous case.

 

 

 

 

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2016/02/25/cox-arrested-meth-distribution-charge/80960114/

 

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit locked up eight people on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation of trafficking and importation or methamphetamine in the area.

Agents arrested the following people:

  • Thomas Sprayberry, 35, of Hokes Bluff, AL.
  • Kelli Hutchins, 33, of Guntersville, AL.
  • Elijah Christmas, 19, of Southside, AL.
  • Gary Horne, 37, of Gadsden, AL.
  • Christian Brooks, 25, of Attalla, AL.
  • James Myers, 33, of Glencoe, AL.
  • Dustin Lodge, 28, of Gadsden, AL.
  • Kayla Smith, 26, of Attalla, AL.

All eight suspects face trafficking methamphetamine and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia charges. They remain in custody and have bonds set at $50,000 each.9971333_G

Law enforcement learn about a certain vehicle suspected of transporting drugs to Gadsden on Tuesday. Investigators found the vehicle at Garden Inn Motel on Highway 77.

After learning the driver was in a room upstairs, authorites made contact with him and found secen others in the room.

The driver was identified as Sprayberry.

“We believe Sprayberry had picked up a large amount of methamphetamine from out of state and met these individuals in a motel to divide the drugs up amongst them. All of those arrested were from various parts of Etowah County with one being from an adjoining county” Commander Randall Johnson said in a press release.

Agents searched the room and discovered more than three ounces of methamphetamine and numerous amounts of drug paraphernalia.

A loaded handgun was recovered from Hutchins, according to investigators. Further charges are expected involving the gun.

Gadsden police and the FBI North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force assisted in the investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wbrc.com/story/31320388/8-arrested-for-trafficking-methamphetamine-in-etowah-co

 

Montana Meth: Attacking Addiction

Posted: 26th February 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Bill Morris moved to Montana to escape a toxic relationship with methamphetamine slowly stealing his life, but what Morris didn’t expect was to find more meth than ever in the Billings community.

“I didn’t realize how big the problem was in Billings for the community being the size that it is,” Morris said. “with just a phone call I could score anything I wanted.”

Morris said he encountered people of all age groups and all walks of life dealing and using methamphetamine in the Billings area. Within days of moving to Big Sky Country, the addict gave in to temptation and continued down a path he first set foot on at only 14 years old.

Morris said his original draw to the drug was not only the feeling of euphoria it provided, but the way it helped the young teenager feel a part of a group.

“It made me feel like I could talk to people, I was a part of that crowd,” Morris said, “I was accepted there where I wasn’t in other places.”

Decades later, Morris found himself in an ugly cycle, unable to stop using methamphetamine despite permanent marks on his record and relationships. Rimrock rehab counselor Malcolm Horn deals with many meth-addicted patients, and explains the draw.

“Meth gives you such a good rush that nothing normal compares,’ Horn said of the high.

Horn said addiction is linked with the chemical in the brain dopamine, that helps us be motivated by rewarding us with a sense of pleasure when we do something to survive, such as eat or have sex.

“So when you think of eating a cookie, your brain goes ‘oh, I ate a cookie that felt good,’ Horn explained, ‘but with methamphetamine it’s like 2,000 times stronger, so that nothing else feels good in comparison.”

“I was in denial of my addiction for a lot of years,” Morris said, “I was in my 40’s before I realized that I actually had a problem that was out of my control. I lost my family, my house, my vehicle. I reached the point where I couldn’t decide if I was going to use or not, if meth was in front of me, I was going to use.”

Horn says the dangerous dependency starts to cause a meth user’s brain to stop creating it’s own dopamine. Suddenly, a meth user is faced with the option to feel uncomfortable, unmotivated, and unhappy, or take the easier route and use again.

Unable to resist temptation, many users resort to crime to support the habit.

Yellowstone Country District Attorney Scott Twito says methamphetamine is the most prevelant drug engaging our criminal justice system.

“If we can eliminate meth in our community, we can eliminate about 75% of the dealing that we have with out law enforcement,” Twito says.

According to the Montana Department of Justice, drug related arrests increased 62 percent across Montana, with 35 percent of that overall increase being seen right here in the Magic City.

Twito said Billings is uniquely situated and serves as a big hub for this area of the country. Unfortunately, more meth is now being transported through Billings, making it harder for law enforcement to control, and easier for addicts to access.

“It’s a horrible, horrible drug that creates horrible horrible problems,” Twito said

There is hope.

Turn again to Bill Morris, battling an addiction to meth for three decades, now living meth-free for more than 500 days.

“All you have to do is be willing to do whatever it takes,When we’re out using we do whatever it takes to get the drugs and you have to have that same willingness to find a new way of life.”

Morris credits found that new way of life through rehab, a 12-step program over four weeks, faith and family.

“Tough love and consequences saved my life,” Morris said.

Twito hopes to help more meth users find their way to rehab, rather than behind bars.

“The hope is to find that person just on the edge, maybe something bad has happened in their life and they’re being pushed towards this horrible drug,” Twito said, “and we want to get to them before they fall off the edge, and get to them quickly.”

In the meantime, continuing to talk about methamphetamine and educate one another on what to look out for is an easy step towards combating the community issue.

If you or someone you know is in danger of drug addiction, there is always help available.

A 24 hour help line for narcotics anonymous can be reached at 1-800-990-6262 or online at namontana.org

While the fear is real for anyone struggling with addiction, so is the reward of reclaiming your life.

“I felt for a while that the big reward of recovery was having all of these numbers in my phone of people that I could call and that care about me,” Morris said, “but i’ve found that the biggest joy i’ve gotten from recovery is that i’m in their phone, and they do the same.”

 

 

 

 

http://www.kulr8.com/story/31317415/montana-meth-attacking-addiction

 

Cities de Crystal: San Diego & Tijuana

Posted: 26th February 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

You can walk around San Diego, and see the crystal.  The homeless addicts who shuffle out of their lairs, around downtown and East Village, picking the scabs on their face, the kids on the trolley, eyes glazed black with meth…..The cheap, dirty, bleak motels all over Point Loma, Clairemont, Linda Vista, Ocean Beach, up and down the coast….outposts of crystal addicts, dealing out of the rooms, inhaling lungfuls from a pipe, weighing out grams on a small digital scale, like mice and rats fleeing from the light of day….The floors, tiers, holding tanks of South Bay, George Bailey, Vista, gang members, drug dealers, addicts, homeless fill the ranks of a dangerously overcrowded local jail system….The runners, mothers, working class, mules who cycle through the federal system, arrested coming through San Ysidro with dozens and dozens of tightly wrapped pounds of shimmering, pure, crystal meth…..

 

 timthumb-2
Crystal seized in Tijuana, January 2016

You see it in Tijuana too…..The tienditas, the addicted who roam around Zona Norte and colonias in Eastern Tijuana, where drug shops are protected by the municipal police, and their operators and owners engage in bloody wars for increasingly valuable turf….burned out, dim stash houses with victims tied to metal chairs, blindfolded and beaten….

 

California Attorney General Kamala Harris drug assessment in early 2014 revealed that 70% of the crystal meth in the United States comes through San Diego’s San Ysidro point of entry.  The result is staggering.  Millions are spent annually as the state and federal systems overflow with drug possession and trafficking cases, federal prosectors indict, plea out, hundreds of people a year….yet it still comes.  47% of male detainees in local custody are under the influence of crystal meth.  Crystal is linked in over 1,000 death since 2010, including murder, car accidents, overdoses.

 

 6a00d8341c630a53ef014e8bc66336970d-600wi
Crystal seized in 2011: Operation Jack Hammer

The addicts schemes and crimes are wide ranging, credit card fraud, car theft, counterfeiting, property theft and car theft are among the most common.  Like so many locusts and termites they steal, ravage, pillage, destroy, until they are arrested, and taken through the system.  Men hack arms off with machetes in Southeast San Diego neighborhoods, execute young women, whom they had previously befriended, the amount of murder, chaos, depravity linked to meth is astounding.

 

In Tijuana, they murder, torture, kidnap in much greater numbers, due to the lack of infrastructure and government control/complicity.  Tijuana has seen over 65 murders in the first 30 days of 2016, off hand, I would estimate 3/4 are linked to drug trafficking, the majority being crystal, or heroin. And the other crimes as well, theft of vehicles, property, etc, push the cities residents even further from security.  Stash houses and vehicles are seized, dozens and dozens of pounds are confiscated, and yet it continues to pour into San Diego, un-phased.

 timthumb-1p
Crystal seized at the San Ysidro point of entry

 

The crystal seeps into the city, pouring through open wounds, infecting the city and those who come across it….San Diego is a hub for big crystal loads heading all over, but the price has plummeted locally, pounds dropping to around 3,000 dollars.  In 2010, Armando Villareal, ‘El Gordo’ ran a trafficking and enforcement crew that trafficked dozens of pounds weekly….The price was often as much as 5,500, even 10,000.  The end result is very cheap, very available, very pure crystal. Everywhere.

 

Men and women filter in from the streets and jail, to rehabs, county funded halfway houses, recovery homes, sober livings which occupy real estate all across the city.  They tell their stories in rooms across both crystal cities, addicts sharing their stories, getting another day clean.   US Attorneys extradite suspects from Tijuana, and sentence them to decades in prison.  Women take a hit and work out of a sleazy motel room off Imperial.

 

There is no answer here, there is no solution, it’s an infection, a disease, a virus, mutating and defying everything has it shifts and adjusts to serve it’s needs and wants…

 

 

Sources: AFN Tijuana, San Diego Union Tribune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/cities-de-crystal-san-diego-tijuana.html

 

US Customs and Border Protection agents at a border crossing in Nogales, Arizona,seized 387 pounds of methamphetamine on February 5, the largest meth seizure in the crossing’s history. A tractor-trailer hauling bell peppers that was attempting to cross at the Mariposa mexico_arizona_meth_seizureCommercial Facility was stopped, and CBP agents pulled 400 packages of meth worth $1.1 million out of the trailer’s front wall and rear doors. The driver, Juan Rodolfo Lugo-Urias, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations agents. But the location and size of the bust indicate that he may have been just one part of the operation. While fragmentation among Mexican cartels in recent years has made it easier for upstart traffickers to enter the trade, 387 pounds is a lot of meth, and it’s more than likely that this was an operation run by an established cartel. The location of Lugo’s capture raises the possibility of two organizations: the Sinaloa cartel and the Beltran-Leyva Organization. And it may be a signal that neither of those organizations has faded from the scene, despite recent setbacks.

 

The Sinaloa cartel Despite Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s recent encounters with the law, the Sinaloa cartel maintains an active presence in Mexico and the US and is heavily involved in smuggling a wide variety of drugs. These DEA maps released last year show that the cartel controls the territory on both sides of the crossing at Nogales.

 

screen shot 2016-02-12 at 10_18_41 am

 

The Nogales border crossing and the entirety of Arizona are suspected of being Sinaloa cartel areas of influence. “The Sinaloa cartel maintains the most significant presence in the United States,” the DEA saidin an intelligence report released last summer. Guzmán’s Sinaloa organization, a multibillion-dollar operation, is “the dominant [transnational criminal organization] along the West Coast, through the Midwest, and into the Northeast,” the report added. If Lugo was working for the Sinaloa cartel, then the product he was carrying would have slipped into the organization’s extensive trafficking network within the US. As part of the dominant cartel operating in the US, Sinaloa operatives supply much of the country. In 2013, the DEA believed that the cartel supplied “80% of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine — with a street value of $3 billion — that floods the Chicago region each year.”

 

cartel-drug-map-version-2

 

Based on the testimony of former Sinaloa operatives, this map shows the cartel’s distribution network as of the late 2000s. And if Lugo was working for the Sinaloa cartel, it would not be the cartel’s first effort to hide drugs in a shipment of peppers.

Beltran-Leyva Organization That Lugo was captured in Nogales, however, also suggests another possible backer. The city was identified as an area of “significant or increasing presence” for the Beltran-Leyva Organization, or BLO, by the DEA’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment.

 

meth_seizures_at_the_us_border_mexico

 

Meth seizures were up all along the US border in 2014. The BLO, formed by the Beltran-Leyva brothers, was originally a close partner of the Sinaloa cartel, but it broke with Guzmán’s organization in the late 2000s. Since 2010 the BLO has been significantly weakened, with much of its top leadership — including the Beltran-Leyva brothers and their top enforcer, “La Barbie” — killed or captured. Despite those losses and the cartel’s decline, it has maintained some alliances with Mexican cartels, and the DEA said that in 2014 the BLO was both active in the US and working with Colombian traffickers to move cocaine into the US. ‘Meth is the only way here to make some real money’ Regardless of who sent this specific shipment, agents on the US border have seen a surge in meth trafficking in recent years.

 

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Members of the Bundeskriminalamt German law enforcement agency, the Federal Criminal Office, with portions of 2.9 tonnes of confiscated chlorephedrin, one of the main ingredients used to make methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, at a news conference in 2014 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

 

“In fiscal year 2014, the United States Border Patrol seized a record 3,771 pounds of meth at the Mexican border,” author Ioan Grillo wrote in January 2015. That was “more than double the 1,838 pounds it seized in 2011.” Meth is incredibly cheap to produce, with often readily available chemicals, like those found in flu medicine, cobbled together in makeshift labs. “These guys get ingredients worth $65 and turn them into drugs worth $18,000 or more,” Mike Vigil, former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, told Grillo. All told, Americans spend $6 billion to $22 billion on meth every year. With money like that to be made, the shipment seized in Nogales is unlikely to be the last. “How the f— else are we going to get by?” a meth cooker named Bernardo told Grillo in Mexico. “I might get a job picking tomatoes now and again but meth is the only way here to make some real money.”

 

Source Business Insider 

 

 

 

 

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/arizona-just-made-its-largest-meth-bust.html

 

A body was found Tuesday with a plastic bag wrapped around her head, hands tied behind her body, and her feet bound. The body was on the Cuacnopalan-Tehuacan highway, and is identified as reporter Anabel Flores Salazar.journalist_anabel_flores_veracruz

The El Sol de Orizaba reporter was abducted Monday from her home near the city of Orizaba, in the state of Veracruz.

Between 9:00 and 9:50 hours the discovery was made on the road side in the municipality of Palmar de Bravo in the state of Puebla.

The Attorney General (State FGE) would not confirm the cause of death was asphyxiation or if the woman had injuries with some kind of weapon.

Flores Salazar, was abducted from her home, at around 2 AM Monday, as she was feeding her 15 day old baby, in the Puerta Grande Mariano Escobedo municipality in the metropolitan area of ​​the city of Orizaba.

Eight or more armed assailants dressed in military uniforms, forced their way into Flores Salazar’s home, and went straight to her room. The journalist’s aunt Sandra Luz Salazar, who was in the house at the time, said the assailants claimed they had a warrant for the reporter’s arrest.  Gunmen kept weapons pointed at family members in the home, while Flores Salazzar was forced into one of three gray trucks the armed men arrived in.

“We pleaded with them not to take her. I told them that she had a newborn baby,” said Luz Salazar. Flores Salazar, who covers crime for the newspaper, and leaves behind a baby and a four-year-old son.

Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte Ochoa said on Twitter Monday that authorities were following the case carefully. A statement from the state prosecutor’s office, also released Monday, claimed the reporter had links with an alleged member of an organized crime group. Under Duarte’s time in office there have been 11 murders of Veracruz journalists.

“The administration of Governor Javier Duarte Ochoa has a dismal record of impunity and has been incapable and unwilling to prosecute crimes against the press,” said Carlos Lauría, Committee to Protect Journalists, senior program coordinator for the Americas.

“We urge federal authorities to take over the investigation into Anabel Flores Salazar’s murder, seriously look her journalism as a possible motive, and bring all those responsible to justice.”

A statement from the Veracruz state prosecutor’s office, issued shortly after her abduction, said that in August 2014 Flores Salazar had been in the company of an alleged member of an organized crime group at the time of his arrest. Authorities said they are looking into possible link between Flores Salazar and this individual. The statement did not provide further details

When CPJ asked Luz Salazar about the alleged connection, she said her niece had been having dinner with her family when the suspected criminal, who was at the same restaurant but not with them, was arrested.

“Veracruz authorities have a history of denigrating the activities of local journalists without providing any concrete evidence,” said Lauría. “We urge authorities to abstain from making unfounded accusations that may further endanger the Veracruz media.”

Borderland Beat Reporter Lucio Posted at 4:42 AM

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/the-body-of-abducted-veracruz.html

Cuddled in the safety of his father’s arms, bath-time complete, the baby clings on tightly – the perfect picture of an adoring papa with his newborn son. But the picture takes on a darker significance now, for it would be in these arms that this child would die just seven months later – a moment captured in another, horrifying image. For this is Miguel Pano, the baby whose violent end at the hands of faceless assassins has shocked Mexico. Miguel became one of the youngest ever victims of the country’s brutal gangland war, caught up in the assassination of his parents on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on Friday. Shot dead outside a supermarket, when police arrived just moments afterwards, they would find the tiny child, blood soaking through his baby grow, cradled by his dead father Alberto Pano, 24, killed alongside his wife Alba Colon, 17, at the entrance to Vig’s convenience store on the dangerous outskirts of town.

 30E3121F00000578-0-image-a-2_1454626115786
‘My son and I’: Alfredo Pano clutches his young son Miguel in his arms last August, shortly after he was born

And there was nothing anyone could do to save them from the wrath of the rival gang in the Oaxaca state town of Pinotepa, just a 90-minute drive from the tourist hotspot of Acapulco. ‘It was over in seconds,’ store cashier Reyna Santos told MailOnline. ‘We’re used to crime and having to watch our backs in this town, but to have such a tragedy on our own doorstep was terrible.’

 30D9D4EF00000578-0-image-a-7_1454538869983
Holding on: Seven months later, Alfredo again holds his son close – but this time in death, after he, Miguel and his wife Alba Colon were shot dead outside a supermarket after becoming caught up in a gangland shooting

Tributes have flooded in for the family, with many of Alberto’s friends changing their profile pictures to the image of his murdered infant son overset with the Mexican flag. One user, Ma De Lourdes Mejia, wrote: ‘I miss you a lot…today we will be lighting a candle for you in the town of El Tamal.’ But Miguel, Alberto and Alba were not the only victims of Friday night’s violence. They died alongside Isidoro Gonzalez, an infamous Acapulco gangster known more widely as ‘El Isis’, wanted by Mexico’s federal government on charges of murder and kidnapping.

 0014202602
Wrong place: Alfredo, said to be a low level drug dealer, had been seen talking to Isidoro Gonzalez, an infamous Acapulco gangster known more widely as ‘El Isis’, moments before the three suspected gunmen opened fire

It was to El Isis that Alberto was talking moments before his death: just 24, the young man was already known in the area as one of the gangster’s low level drug dealers, brought in to work for him from Acapulco. ‘Alfredo ran a fish taco stand in the street, but was a well-known dealer for El Isis,’ said Abelardo Ribera, a regional crime reporter for the Despertar de la Costa newspaper. But Alfredo, who is said to have sold marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth and heroin alongside his tasty treats, was small fish to fry.

 30E3124900000578-3432848-Life_cut_short_The_young_age_of_Miguel_has_left_Mexico_shell_sho-m-15_1454668957718
Life cut short: The young age of Miguel has left Mexico shell shocked, and questioning how and why the situation has been allowed to get so bad a baby could be shot dead outside a supermarket
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Family: According to Facebook, Miguel’s parents had been together two years when he was born

El Isis was almost certainly the target of the hit: a member of the Acapulco Independent Cartel, he had set up a tortilla shop front called ‘La Princesa’ (The Princess) for a narco-trafficking operation in the town. And it seems whoever ordered the killing wasn’t intending to give him any chance to escape. The scene was littered with 18 .38 calibre shells, thought to have been shot by three separate assassins, each armed with a six-round revolver. However, Ribera continued, ‘the fact that another rival gang member could be despatched at the same time will have been a bonus for the killers’ in an area where the gunshots of warring cartels regularly sends people running for their lives. ‘El Isis and his gangsters are all from Acapulco, and they are constantly fighting for territory with the local gang, Holy Cartel (Santa Cartel),’ one local told MailOnline, asking not to be named for fear for his family’s lives. ‘The local people can’t leave their houses after dark because the narcos don’t like seeing people they don’t recognise walking around their territory after dark.’

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Drug dealer: Alfredo (far left), the father of Miguel, was believed to have been targeted by a rival gang in the in the Oaxaca state town of Pinotepa. Alberto was seen talking to his gang ‘boss’ El Isis, also killed, who was believed to have been the ultimate intended target of the hit
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Daddy: Alfredo, who also ran a fish taco stall, came from Acapulco, the Mexican tourist hotspot, where El Isis recruited a lot of his dealers

A hotel owner added: ‘This entire region has been turned into a living hell by the drug wars. ‘We see murders here every week.’ ‘The violence never ends,’ acknowledged Abelardo, who averages three murder reports a week covering his beat from the state border to Puerto Escondido. But the murder of Miguel and his family was particularly shocking, even in a town which has buried so many already. Demands for justice to be served have flooded social media, where pictures of the little blood-covered boy have been shared thousands of times. Some have compared him to Alan Kurdi, initially called Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach – another young boy killed because of the decisions of adults intent on making money any way they can. Police have so far discovered four vehicles –  two cars and two motorbikes, all ridden with bullet holes – at a rival gang’s safe house which are believed to have been used in the drive-by shooting. As yet, no arrests have been made following the killing, despite countrywide pressure on the local police force after pictures of slain baby Miguel went viral on social media. ‘Hopefully the awareness of our situation that has been raised by this horrible tragedy of an innocent baby will improve things for everyone,’ said the hotel owner. ‘We’re living in perpetual fear.’ The municipal police refused to comment when asked by MailOnline.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/seven-month-old-baby-boy-killed-on-his.html

Reporter: Juan Alberto Cedillo

The second section of the Seventh Military Zone warned Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz that thanks to the complicity of penitentiary authorities, Los Zetas obtained in the prison of Topo Chico some 15 million pesos per month for cobro de quotas ( extortion ), sale of drugs and other business, funds that permit the financing of the devastating narco war currently in the state of Nuevo Leon .

The warning occurred to half of the administration of Medina de la Cruz, but it was not unique: investigators from the Autonomous University of  Nuevo Leon published the book ” Prison and Family”, challenges for social cohesion and development of the 21st century, in which they document the tragedy that families live with  in the criminal prisons of the state. Also, Human Rights Organizations warned about the time bomb that threatens the prisons together with organized criminals that have been detained for common crimes. Military intelligence emphasize that no less than 5 million pesos of the total that was obtained by Los Zetas in Topo Chico was destined for bribes of prison officers, Chief of commissary, and the directors of the prison. In military circles it is rumoured that the bribes also arrived to the commanders of the Secretary of Public Security.

Topo Chico prison operated in a similar manner to the rest of the prisons controlled by organized criminals in the region, among them Altamira, where 80% of the extortion phone calls originated in the North East. In the Gomez Palacio prison, Durango, members of organized crime imprisoned, left the prison at night in official vehicles with weapons to carry out a series of killings that occurred in the bars of Torreon, Coahuila.

The most scandalous and dramatic case occurred in Cereso #2 of Piedras Negras, where Los Zetas assassinated, between 2009 and 2011 more than 150 men and women whose bodies were burnt. Included in this prison. was the Zeta Capo Omar Trevino Morales, El Z-42, who hid in the prison when the marines were carrying out an operation to capture him. In September of 2012, 132 prisoners decided to leave through the front door of the prison. In Nuevo Leon, on the 31st of December 2011, Los Zetas showed the control they maintained over the Topo Chico prison. That day they mounted an operation to remove from the prison, Gabriela Muniz Tamez, “La Pelirroja”, and hung her from a pedestrian bridge on Colonia Mitras Norte in Monterrey, since she was the girlfriend of a capo of the Cartel del Golfo. The image of the woman hanging bare-chested was shown around the world. (Otis: see link to BB reporter Smurf ‘s article about this).

pelirrojapelirroja_2

Despite the warning received by the Army, Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz did not move to retake control from the criminals, even when the murders of custodians and chief guards occurred on a daily basis.

Extortion for not being tortured

In the Topo Chico prison, before the recent massacre, there were 3.900 inmates in a prison designed to house a maximum capacity of 2500. The civil association of citizens in support of human rights has documented that prisons like Topo Chico have their own Zeta auto government.

This system is possible thanks to the complicity of the authorities of the penitentiaries, but also because the the ratio of guards to prisoners is 84%, that is to say that there is only one guard for no less than 100 prisoners.

Consuelo Morales, director of Cadhac, mentioned that the auto government of Los Zetas in the prison of Topo Chico control the sale of drugs, food, space to sleep, water and all type of articles. “Every new intern gets extorted in order not to be beaten or killed that on average goes from 1500 pesos per week up to 50,000 monthly”, assured Morales. He confirmed that the families of the prisoners pay these extortion’s weekly or monthly with installments of between 500 to 2000 pesos. He emphasized that Cadhac has evidence that close to 60 percent of the prisoners pay these extortion’s.

Corruption provoked massacre

If the government of Medina didn’t intervene in Topo Chico, the Federal Government also did nothing  to remove the dangerous organized criminal prisoners, who were controlling that and other prisons.

After the defeat of the PRI in Nuevo Leon, the independent governor Jaime Rodriquez Calderon solicited to Renato Sales Heredia, national commissioner of security, to transfer the prisoners of Federal jurisdiction to Federal prisons.

Renato Sales and El Bronco agreed to the gradual transfers of prisoners, but the convention stayed only on paper and wasn’t activated until the killing of the 49 inmates from Topo Chico. one of the prisoners that was going to be transferred was Jorge Ivan Hernandez Cantu “El Credo”, the zeta capo that controlled Topo Chico, but police sources warned him and he promoted an amparo not to be removed from this prison.

Meanwhile Juan Pedro Saldivar, El Z-27, arrived at Topo Chico thanks to an amparo that promoted in the Maximum Security prison in Matamoros, which an corrupt judge who argued that the prisoner didn’t have to be in this type of prison. Apart from the point that they are members of Los Zetas, the capos disputed the control of Topo Chico. The two moved in the interior surrounded with 20 prisoners who had the function of bodyguards and looked after them day and night, in their luxurious cells where they enjoyed the pleasures offered by five star hotels.

Daily, women arrived at their cells that appeared in some nigh time programmes of local tv, but if the wives, daughters or sons attracted them, they sent for them. Due to this situation, the young women who came to Topo Chico did so without cosmetics, with dirty clothes and as bedraggled as possible rivals to assassinate them while “El Credo” was enjoying a conjugal visit. The numerous group of followers of “El Z-27” moved freely through the whole prison and took the C2 and C3 outpatient inmates and took them to the courtyard, and proceeded to beat them to death.

Meanwhile the rival group commenced their defence. Even though the details are not known, some of the families of prisoners recounted that after a few minutes the riot started and prisoners set fire to the kitchen, the food cellar and other points of the prison. At least five inmates were beaten and dumped on mattresses and set on fire. The riot carried on for about 40 minutes and at 11:52 a mutiny inside Topo Chico was reported to the Ministry of Public Security.

When General Atunez, the Secretary for Security, arrived to take control of the situation, he found scenes of dozens of dead in different places, many in the courtyard as well as another 50 inmates injured.

Around 40 of those were transferred to the visiting rooms for lawyers where they were attended by paramedics; close to ten of those with grave wounds left in ambulances to hospitals. With the intent to evade his responsibilities, El Bronco assured that the situation was inherited from Rodrigo Medina a time bomb which exploded on him 120 days into his administration.

Original article in Spanish at Proceso

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/los-zetas-earn-15-million-pesos-per.html

A 13 year old child was killed Sunday  in a series of shootouts between gunmen and security forces that caused panic in the border city of Matamoros and resulted in the death of 7 presumed criminals as well as the little girl.  Authorities say she was at a crowded shopping mall with her parents when she was hit by a bullet fired by one of the suspects.  13yomatomoros

“Unfortunately an underage girl, oblivious to the facts, was wounded by a bullet projectile fired by one of the criminals,” the official coordination group said in a statement Tamaulipas , which integrates the security forces deployed in the region Northeast from Mexico.

She died while receiving medical attention.

Clashes erupted in different parts of Matamoros, one of the most dangerous cities in Tamaulipas and stronghold of the Gulf Cartel.

Clashes erupted in different parts of Matamoros, one of the most dangerous cities in Tamaulipas and stronghold of the Gulf Cartel. – See more at: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.informador.com.mx/mexico/2016/641988/6/muere-una-nina-durante-un-enfrentamiento-en-matamoros.htm&usg=ALkJrhhHGSaQ_djmxxtTm4iIAPbW40hVOw#sthash.IJGp4maO.dpuf

The violence started Sunday afternoon when state police spotted a white SUV with Texas plates speeding and attempted a traffic stop.  The occupants of the SUV opened fire on the authorities and the police returned the fire.  Three suspects were killed.  No police were injured. Officials from the coordination group said police seized three rifles, 23 magazines, 120 rounds of ammunition, body armor and packages with marijuana from the SUV.

That unleashed a series of chases and shootouts elsewhere in the city, as suspected criminals blocked roads with buses and other large vehicles to try to impede the movement of police and soldiers. In the second incident, other state agents were “attacked by  armed men who were traveling in two SUVs.  To repel the attack the police shot dead 3 suspects.   More weapons were seized. A group of suspects fled from there to the mall. Military defense secretary sent support to the police in that operation and at the mall another firefight broke out with the Mexican soldiers and the suspects  and the girl and another gunman was shot dead..

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/eight-people-including-13-yo-girl.html

Tijuana drug violence shoots up

Posted: 26th February 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Cartel Tijuana Nueva Generation emerges as a new player. Menacing, crudely written signs hung from highway bridges or left with mutilated corpses have delivered the message: Mexico’s fastest-growing drug trafficking group, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, is now in Tijuana — and fighting to expand its influence. The group’s growing presence coincides with a surge in homicides in Tijuana that started last spring, authorities said, and have continued in these first weeks of the new year, with many of the perpetrators and victims described as low-ranking members of the city’s neighborhood drug trade. Drug-related killings accounted for more than 80 percent of Tijuana’s 670 homicides in 2015, the highest number in five years, according to the Baja California Attorney General’s Office. A total of 71 homicides last month marked the most violent January in the city since 2010.

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In Tijuana’s Colonia Libertad Parte Alta, a man waiting inside his vehicle for one of his children outside a gym and was ambushed by at least two people who shot him and fled the scene.

With the participation of Nueva Generación, the battle for control of Tijuana’s neighborhood drug trade and lucrative smuggling routes to the United States has entered a new phase, one that has left the Sinaloa cartel increasingly on the defensive and led to the defections of some of its members, according to law-enforcement officials. Nueva Generación “is the new player in town that is trying to gain control of the Tijuana plaza,” said Gary Hill, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Diego office. While the extent of Nueva Generación’s physical presence and influence is the subject of some debate, there is consensus about this: The group is now involved in both the street-level sales, narcomenudeo, and cross-border smuggling activities, called trasiego. Daniel de la Rosa, Baja California’s public safety secretary, said Nueva Generacion has focused on forging alliances with members of the Tijuana underworld in a challenge to the Sinaloa cartel, which has been widely acknowledged in recent years as the city’s dominant drug trafficking group. Their rivalry preceded the recent recapture of the Sinaloa organization’s longtime leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. “As far as a visible head of Grupo Jalisco Nueva Generación, we don’t have one,” de la Rosa said last week. “You don’t see the presence of their operators, their hit men, criminal logistics. The only thing that we’ve detected is smuggling, and the protection of their loads heading to the United States, and the importing of cash and weapons from the United States.”

Changing dynamics

For years, Tijuana was known as the domain of the Arellano Félix Organization, and that family’s control extended over both the smuggling of drugs to the United States and the local drug trade, authorities said. That supremacy unraveled amid the detentions and deaths of its leaders and challenges from rivals in the drug trade. The final blow came in 2008, when an Arellano former lieutenant, Teodoro García Simental, mounted a bloody challenge to his former bosses, with backing from the Sinaloa cartel. Now, it seems the tables have been turned. To gain control in Tijuana, Nueva Generación has been recruiting former members of the Arellano Félix Organization and persuading Sinaloa operatives to switch sides, according to one U.S. law-enforcement official. “They’re not just lightly treading through here. They’re setting up shop and digging in their heels,” he said. Authorities said the pressures have prompted the Sinaloa cartel’s alleged leaders in Baja California — brothers Alfonso Arzate and René Arzate — to flee the state. But even in absentia, the brothers, who are under indictment in San Diego on drug trafficking charges, “still have their influence,” said Hill from the DEA’s San Diego office. A key figure said to have switched his allegiance from the Sinaloa cartel to Nueva Generacion is Arturo Gómez Herrera, better known by his nickname, “El Gross.” According to Tijuana police, “El Gross” now leads a criminal cell that has been fighting for control of the drug trade in Tijuana’s impoverished Sanchez Taboada neighborhood. Last week, police announced the arrest of a 19-year-old they said was a hit man working for “El Gross” and connected him to the killings of at least five neighborhood drug dealers.

Rise to power

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Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, often called CJNG, is a relatively new player in Mexico that emerged from a power struggle among drug traffickers in the country’s central region. The group rose to power around 2009 with the decline of the Valencia-Milenio cartel, according to the U.S. State Department.

The current leader is said to be 49-year-old Nemesio Oseguera Ramos, “El Mencho,” a native of Michoacan “who has been significantly involved in drug trafficking activities since the 1990s,” according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Oseguera served nearly three years in a U.S. prison following a 1994 federal conviction of heroin distribution in California’s Northern District. In 2014, he was indicted in U.S. federal court in Washington, D.C. And last April, the U.S. Treasury Department named Oseguera a “kingpin,” a designation that involves freezing any of his or his group’s U.S.-based or U.S.-controlled assets and prohibiting transactions with them.

The U.S. State Department is offering up to $5 million for information leading to his capture and conviction. “Through extreme violence, corruption and extortion, CJNG has increased its presence in Mexico, engaging in turf battles throughout the country and steadily expanding its territory and control,” reads the agency’s description of the organization.

On both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, law-enforcement authorities and drug experts are watching the group closely. “What happens with Nueva Generación over the next year is going to reshape the landscape of drug trafficking in Mexico,” said David Shirk, a professor at the University of San Diego who studies the drug trade and Mexico’s justice system.

Alejandro Hope, a Mexican analyst and the security and justice editor of the website El Daily Post, expects Nueva Generación and other cartels to continue fragmenting.

“The large-scale, vertical, highly visible, highly identifiable cartels that were so prominent between the 1980s and the 2000s are increasingly a thing of the past,” Hope said. “Thinking about cartels is a misnomer about what is going on in Mexico. The fragmentation that has dominated the Mexican underworld is here to stay. Ten years from now, neither Sinaloa nor Nueva Generación will exist.”

Drop in common crimes

The rising count of homicides in Tijuana has been in counterpoint to the fall in common crimes there, as well as a sharp drop in kidnappings last year, according to law-enforcement statistics.

Police forces in Baja California have worked to reduce corruption and step up training and certification programs — and that shows in the results, said Gustavo Fernández del León, president of the Tijuana business group Coparmex. “We see a renewed police, we see coordination in fighting common crimes,” he said.

But even though most of the killings appear to target members of the drug trade, “we cannot accept it,” Fernández said. “We need to demand that federal authorities intervene with greater efficiency so that this does not continue.”

State officials said in many of the homicides, the victim and assailant were acquaintances. “They’re street traffickers who know each other. They go to their houses and kill them there, or abduct them and then dump their bodies,” said de la Rosa, the Baja California public safety secretary. “In some cases, they might have a confrontation in a bar.”

José María Gonzalez, Baja California’s deputy attorney general for organized crime, sees a direct connection between the presence of Nueva Generación and the increased violence. “It went up because a third group is in the process of becoming established that previously had not been playing a role in the local drug market,” he said.

In some cases, the killers have left signs on victims’ bodies, proclaiming their allegiance to Nueva Generación and its local offshoot, which calls itself Nueva Generación Tijuana. But in many instances, those who investigate these crimes are hard-pressed to identify which groups are involved.

“We’re dealing with the lowest level; all they know is that there’s a dispute for the local trade,” González said. “When we show them the groups that they may belong to, they don’t even know. They just say, ‘This guy came up to me, he asked if I wanted to sell these packets, that I could earn 20 to 30 to 50 pesos for each one.’”

For Tijuana human-rights activist Victor Clark, authorities are too quick to dismiss the crimes as disputes between low-level members of the drug trade.

“The idea is that these are minor players and it’s not important. But they fail to explain that they form the base of the structure of drug trafficking organizations,” Clark said. “This is organized crime, and nothing else.”

Source San Diego Union Tribune

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/tijuana-drug-violence-shoots-up.html

In the world of organized crime in Mexico where it is seemingly impossible to know, as Abbot and Costellp framed the question in their famous sketch “who is on first base” (for you youngsters out there look it up) things just got a little crazier.

The PGR, (Attorney General’s office) Specializing in the Investigation of Organized Crime has designated seven groups operating in Mexico as the newest cartels.

Designating emerging groups as cartels can be misleading, or at least confusing.  The term imvokes a image of a monolithic vertically integrated that controls the production, procurement, processing, packaging, transporting, and delivering the finished product (drugs) to wholesalers or retailers.  These new groups that have been designated as cartels do not fit that mold, but perhaps reflect reflect the changing face of drug trafficking in Mexico and the evolution of organized crime over the last few years.

The “King Pin Strategy” initiated by President Calderon on 2006 and continued through the first half of Pena Nieto’s administration (even though he said when elected that he would pursue a strategy of eliminating local crime rather than just taking out the leaders of the large cartels) has been relatively successful in killing or capturing nearly all of the “top ranking jefes.”

This frontal assault on Mexico’s once-powerful cartels has contributed to their fragmentation, with mid- and low-ranking members breaking off to form their own criminal enterprises.  These new “cartels” are the result, though few have gained the power or success of their predecessor cartels.

As Insight Crime noted these new groups have diversified their revenue streams, moving away from large-scale international drug trafficking into locally-focused criminal activities — such as extortion, kidnapping, resource theft, or charging “piso” for the use of their territory. They also tend to specialize in one particular aspect of the drug trade (such as selling precursor chemicals or smuggling drugs through airports), forming part of a horizontal network of diverse, geographically disperse criminal groupings that coordinate (or not) their illicit activities.

The new groups identified by the PGR as reported in Cronicle Today are; Cartel del Estate , Precursor Chemical Cartel, Mazatlecos, Chapo Isidro, Office, Airport and New People South … in most cases they were born as cells or armed wings of criminal organizations  already known , but its criminal developments led to the SEIDO to designate or reclassify them as cartels in the current map of the narcos. .

Contacts abroad -especially, South America and the United States for drug trafficking, presence in several states, regional leadership, firepower and recruitment are factors by which they left behind the label “cell”.  .

THE NEW CARTELS

The Cartel del Estate.  It’s main area of influence is  the center of the country and specifically the State of Mexico, hence its name. But its birth  will be defined as a split from La Familia Michoacana, but its portfolio of  violence, kidnapping,  charges for piso,  and distribution of narcotic granted it an independent feature.

The Precursor Chemical Cartel  Little is known of this organization and who leads it  but its reach is national and international, it has specialized in the trade of at least three dozen chemicals needed for the processing of poppy, coca and heroin. Some of these liquids are hexane, methanol, ethyl burilo, ethyl and isopropyl, kerosene, hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, butyl alcohol, chloroform and diacetone ..

cartel-de-los-precursores-quimicos-the-precursor-chemical-cartel

As its name implies, it deals largely with the sourcing and distribution of the precursor chemicals needed for large-scale drug production,   It is believed they have hidden laboratories in the jungle and remote mountain areas for the use of customers to to process the chemicals into finished product.  This modality suggest a Columbian influence.

The Mazatlecos Cartel.  

It emerged in the Sinaloa coast under the shelter of a unique partnership: Beltran Leyva and Zetas. Its objective? Dispute the Sinaloa Cartel dominance in states like Sinaloa, Sonora, Durango and Nayarit. It came to be located in the chain of command to descendants of the Beltran: children, nephews and brothers and friends and other men loyal to the group.

Alfredo Beltran Leyva Mocha (arrested in 2008), is one of its most idealized figures … It has come to be considered one of the most ruthless organizations for their torture and killing methods, such as using scissors or ice picks, his fascination with calcination at enemies and using mass graves.

In addition to the narcotics business, has specialized in extortion and kidnappings and in almost all cases, the victims are killed. One of its most structured aspects is the use of recruiters for the killings, especially young people and adolescents, many of whom belong to street gangs. They offer fixed salary and incentives for goals achieved prior confinement in training camps where the same are taught the use of weapons that use sophisticated technology for monitoring and warning.

The Cartel del Chapo Isadora. 

Its name comes from Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, alias El Chapo Isidro, who became one of the leading managers in the trafficking of marijuana, manufacture of synthetic and communication systems of the Pacific drug cartel, now transformed into the enemy. The US government has identified the cartel responsible for distributing large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine into the United States.

The US Bureau of Foreign Assets (OFAC) has identified that their illegal activities allegedly used construction companies engaged in land transportation, gas stations and vehicles.

Cartel de la Oficina  

The Office Cartel is comprised of defected members from the armed portions of the Beltran Leyva Organization, Zetas, and Sinaloa Cartel.  It is believed to operate in  the states of Baja California Sur, Mexico, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Zacatecas and Coahuila.  The leader is believed to be the brother of the former leader, Daniel Fernandez de La Vega, known as El Pelacas, Calaveras or 7, arrested in 2014 in a luxury subdivision Puebla.

fernandez_de_La_Vega

As noted in Cronicle Today, SEIDO described him as;

“an extremely violent and bloody kind, strikes fear in chilling murders that generate fear and anxiety among the population. He is fond of absolute obedience ”

The group is known for its extremely violent tactics, the PGR notes, including kidnapping and murders that are intended to scare the local population into compliance.

 This group has been associated with the kidnapping of former presidential candidate PAN’s Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, in May 2010.

Diego_Fernandez

Cartel de Gente Nuevo del Sur

Its tentacles reach Tabasco, Yucatan and Campeche, whose rule had been fought so far by different factions. Ciudad del Carmen is identified as one of its major operational centers,since  2014, when the first signs of criminal action. It differs because it has opted besides the range of narcotics, kidnappings, extortions  and floor- charges by the proliferation of illegal connections and subsequent trafficking of hydrocarbons.

oiltheft

For this portfolio, it has divided its structure composed of leaders, managers, assassins, hawks and so-called negotiators who do the extortion of  owners, managers and even security guards of companies engaged in business such as transport of goods, people and tourism, fishing and shipping industry.  One of their negotiating tactics is murder.

Cartel del Aeropuerto ,

The PGR admits that it has little information about the Airport Cartel, but the group is thought to be spread across Mexico and is the most technically proficient at smuggling drugs through aerial operations. Insight Crime notes that the cartel likely uses commercial airports and private airstrips to smuggle drugs throughout the country and to an international audience.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2016/02/mexico-has-recognized-these-7-emerging.html

A Squires man was being held in the Ozark County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond after he reportedly chained his 25-year-old girlfriend inside a root cellar, threatened to kill her, choked and beat her in front of their 4-year-old twins, struck her with a pistol and then chased and threw her to the ground when she tried to run away. A bond hearing was scheduled for today, Feb. 24, before Associate Judge Cynthia MacPherson.56ce0690e05b3_image

Estevon Dockins, 28, has been charged with kidnapping, domestic assault, armed criminal action, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the probable cause statement, authorities were alerted to the situation at approximately 10:58 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, by the girlfriend, whose name is not being printed to help shield her identify. The woman reportedly told authorities in the 911 call that Dockins threatened to kill her and their twins. She said he had just left the residence in a red Ford pickup with lime-green fenders, and he had a handgun and their 4-year-old twins inside the truck.

Authorities scoured the area for a vehicle matching the description the woman had given officers, and Thornfield School was placed on lockdown.

“If there is any chance of danger near the school at all, we err on the side of caution and call for the school to be locked down,” Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed told the Times Monday. “No one was in danger, but we always take every precaution we can when children are involved and a potentially dangerous situation has arisen.”

After a prolonged search throughout the north side of the county, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers Daniel Johnson and Jason Philpott located the truck at County Roads 844 and 855 and initiated a traffic stop at 12:18 p.m. Dockins stepped out of the truck with his hands raised, and the officers placed him under arrest without incident. He was transported to the Ozark County Jail. The children were not in the car. Reed said Dockins had taken them to the grandmother’s home after the domestic incident at the home. After the arrest was made, the lockdown at Thornfield School was called off.

Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed and Chief Deputy Winston Collins arrived on scene and searched the roadway for the firearm that Dockins was said to have had. The officers didn’t find a firearm, court documents say, but a plastic bag filled with a green, leafy substance consistent with the appearance of marijuana and a secondary bag with a white, crystalline substance were found on the south side of the highway near the Ford truck. The white substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine, the statement says.

Meanwhile, Ozark County Deputy Vesa Phelan went to the home where Dockins and the girlfriend lived on JJ Highway and spoke with the woman, who said Dockins had been up for three days straight and was very angry with her. She said during the course of an argument, Dockins dragged her into a nearby root cellar and chained her legs down so she couldn’t get away and started choking her. According to the statement, the woman said after she was finally released from the chains, she was struck with a pistol. She said she tried to run away, but Dockins chased her, caught up with her and threw her to the ground. She said he told her to go back to the house, which she did. She said as soon as she got inside, she called 911.

Officers searched the home with the aid of a K9 police dog from Douglas County after the woman agreed and signed a permission form to allow the search. Officers reportedly found “several articles of drug and drug paraphernalia,” including a smoking device, a mirror and a scale that included residue that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, a 5-gallon bucket with coiled copper, which officers believe is a anhydrous ammonia generator, a device commonly known to be used to produce methamphetamine, and a quart-sized bag filled with a green, leafy substance consistent with marijuana. Officers say they also found a ledger that appeared to have individuals’ names and cash amounts next to them. Officers believe the ledger to be a written record of drug purchases, the statement says.

Officers found a chain in the root cellar consistent with the girlfriend’s description of the device used to hold her against her will.

Dockins was arraigned Tuesday and is scheduled to return for a criminal setting on March 15.

 

 

 

 

http://www.ozarkcountytimes.com/news/article_7090adca-db2d-11e5-a8e1-e7952e78f7e4.html

 

Police arrested a mother after her baby boy tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine.

On Dec. 24th, 2015, Amanda Carpenter gave birth to a baby boy at Decatur-Morgan Hospital ui,lfylkfyrParkway Campus. Police say at the time of the infant’s birth he tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine.

During an investigation it was reportedly determined that Carpenter had taken methamphetamine and marijuana during her pregnancy. Authorities say Carpenter was fully aware that she was pregnant at the time.

On Feb. 22nd, 2016, authorities obtained a warrant for Carpenter’s arrest. She turned herself into the Decatur Police Department the next day.

Carpenter was then arrested and charged with chemical endangerment of a child. She was book into the Decatur City Jail and later transferred to the Morgan County Jail in lieu of a $2,500.00 bond.

 

 

 

 

http://www.waaytv.com/appnews/mother-arrested-after-baby-tests-positive-for-methamphetamine/article_79329596-db1a-11e5-9d27-174bd8089725.html

 

A woman has been charged in a methamphetamine investigation earlier this month in the 100 block of Cynthia Drive.

Police went to the 100 block of Cynthia Drive on Feb. 17 on a report of a dispute and ended up investigating a substance found outside a residence, according to a news release. The 56cf1f7ec2122_imagesubstance, they later reported was consistent with items usually found in places where methamphetamines are made.

The incident, police said, was related to two others in Newport News.

Investigators charged Mary J. Toole, 30 with one count of manufacturing methamphetamines, the release says. Her last known address was in the 100 block of Cynthia Drive. Toole is being held in the city jail.

 

 

 

 

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/woman-charged-in-hampton-methamphetamine-investigation/article_fb972ada-0221-5db7-9870-f19b0eb0e2a7.html

 

LUDLOW (WGME) — For the second time in less than eight months, an Aroostook County couple has been arrested on methamphetamine charges.

The arrests came after MDEA agents found the makings of a meth lab inside a remote cabin in Ludlow, just outside Houlton, Tuesday afternoon while conducting a bail check as a result of last year’s charges.16c93e98-ee5f-49c7-aa6e-f994bd4b316b-large16x9_methlabbust

The man and woman, along with the woman’s mother, now face a new set of meth related charges.

Aroostook County deputies and drug agents rearrested 31-year-old James Anthony, 26-year-old Kayla Nason, along with Nason’s mother, 48-year-old Tara Walton. The trio was arrested at the cabin and charged with trafficking in meth and were taken to the Aroostook County Jail. Anthony and Walton were also charged with violating their bail conditions.

Last June, Anthony and Nason were arrested after deputies found the two were cooking meth inside their car on Ludlow Road in Ludlow. Nason at the time was treated and released for chemical burns as a result to her exposure to the methamphetamine.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s meth lab response team is at the cabin Wednesday to gather evidence and dispose of the dangerous and explosive chemicals.

This is the 12th meth related incident in Maine this year.

 

 

 

 

http://wgme.com/news/local/aroostook-county-couple-arrested-for-second-time-on-meth-charges

 

A Denver Township woman faces a hearing in Isabella County Trial Court next month after being charged with operating a meth lab and other crimes.

Misty Lynn Santa-Maria is scheduled to be in Judge Eric Janes’ Mt. Pleasant courtroom for a preliminary hearing March 10 at 9 a.m.Misty Lynn Santa-Maria

Santa-Maria, 31, is accused of operating a meth lab in her home in the 8000 block of East Baseline Road, according to court records.

Isabella County Prosecutor Risa Hunt-Scully charged Santa-Maria with operating a laboratory involving meth, a 20-year felony; operating a meth lab in the presence of a minor, a 20-year felony; possession of meth/ecstasy, a 10-year felony; possession of analogues, a two-year felony; purchase of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to make meth, a five-year felony; and maintaining a drug house, a two-year high court misdemeanor.

Santa-Maria has been in the Isabella County Jail since her arrest last week.

Officers from the multi-jurisdictional Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team served a search warrant at the home on East Baseline Road Friday, and found “numerous illegal items,” according to court records.

They also found locked inside the home with Santa-Maria an infant who will be one next month and a 10-year-old boy, who is now involved in child protective services action in court, according to court records.

A field test of what was believed to be methamphetamine residue found on Santa-Maria’s Soaring Eagle Casino card tested positive, according to court records.

Residue that police found on aluminum foil in a trash bag in the kitchen also tested positive for meth, according to court records.

While searching the home, police found three pills identified by poison control as Percocet, a schedule II narcotic, on a nightstand in a bedroom at the home, according to court records.

Police also found items associated with the “one pot” method of cooking meth, inside and outside the home, including seven dried “one pots,” two gas generators, two containers of sulfuric acid, three containers of lighter fluid, three boxes of cold packs, six empty boxes of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, lithium strips removed from lithium batteries and empty blister packs, according to court records.

Police questioned Santa-Maria at the scene and she allegedly admitted she was aware that her boyfriend was using/cooking meth at the home but did not know he was cooking “one pots” inside the home.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.themorningsun.com/article/MS/20160224/NEWS/160229831

 

FLORENCE — Authorities said information on the possibility of a methamphetamine lab at a Killen residence resulted in the arrest of one person on drug charges.

Officials with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said Michelle E. Pettus, 38, 14038 56cdf66f9a7fa_imageLauderdale 33, Killen, is charged with first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, chemical endangerment of a child and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrest was made by the sheriff’s department and the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force.

Reports indicate deputies acting on the information they had received went to the residence Tuesday night and located a “shake and bake one-pot” meth lab inside a car outside the residence. Drug agents said the lab had just finished cooking and the meth had been removed.

Inside the house, they found Pettus with meth in her possession as well as all of the ingredients needed to manufacture meth.

Authorities said her two children, both 13 or younger, were inside the residence where the drugs and paraphernalia were located.

Pettus was taken into custody following the search.

She is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bond totaling $32,500.

 

 

 

http://www.timesdaily.com/news/crime/killen-woman-arrested-after-suspected-meth-lab-found/article_52cbcbbb-2f2e-5080-bdaa-6fd1afbc8815.html

 

 

An arrest warrant was issued by Polk County Circuit Court last week for Emilee Kristen Meyer, 21, of Kansas City on a class C felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.

According to the court file, Meyer is accused of possession of methamphetamine found during a search of her belongings while being processed at the Polk County Jail on Oct. 30 during an investigation of a purse snatching at Casey’s General Store in Bolivar in which she was allegedly involved. Prior charged have been filed against her for receiving stolen property.

The warrant carries a $7,500 bond, and a court date will be set when the defendant is in custody.

 

 

 

 

http://bolivarmonews.com/public_record/woman-wanted-for-possession-of-methamphetamine/article_c960599e-db16-11e5-84ec-1f691418a23d.html

 

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested and charged five people Wednesday for their involvement in a meth lab found in the City.

Officers said on Wednesday, February 24 multiple units, including the CMPD SWAT Team, conducted a search warrant at a home in the 10000 block of Mount Holly Road.IMG_0210_1456366078119_892118_ver1_0

Upon arrival, police located and detained a group of people inside the residence and also located evidence of a meth lab.

Based on the evidence and information gathered on scene, detectives said they arrested and charged the following suspects:

  • Robert Grice, 52, is charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Manufacture Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with the intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling to Keep or Sell Controlled Substances and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Christopher Conner, 44, is charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Manufacture Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursor Chemicals with the intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling to Keep or Sell Controlled Substances, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Kara Carpenter, 32, is charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Richard Russell, 46, is charged with Possession of Marijuana.
  • Bobby Bumgardner, 60, was served with outstanding orders for arrest (no charges related to this incident).

Police said all five suspects have since been transported to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. They said the investigation is ongoing and there may be additional charges.

If anyone has additional information concerning this case, they’re asked to please contact Crime Stoppers at 704-336-1600. You may also visit the Crime Stopper’s website. For additional information about this case, reference report number 2016-0224-1210-03.

 

 

 

 

http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/96910509-story

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A theft investigation led police to a working meth lab inside an Orange Park motel that is no stranger to crime.

Orange Park police said they came in contact with Joseph McKee, 35, early Thursday morning and say he was in possession of methamphetamine.nddhndf

Officers learned McKee was staying at the Rodeway Inn on Park Avenue with another man, 33-year-old John E. Hurst. Investigators then found Hurst in Room 182, along with an active meth lab.

Orange Park police then contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force as well as Orange Park Fire Rescue, which was called to help clean up the toxic chemicals.

Charges are pending against McKee and Hurst.

Rodeway Inn has seen its share of crime in the recent years.

According to the business’s attorney, the motel has been served with legal paperwork concerning the town or Orange Park’s attempt to force them to close.

In December 2015, the town’s Nuisance and Abatement Board voted to close the motel because of ongoing crime issues. The board determined the motel had not done enough to fix the crime problem after both sides previously agreed on a plan to improve the motel. The motel attorney also said the owner is paying $47,000 a month for improvements like the private security the town requested last fall.

The attorney for Rodeway Inn says they plan to file a counter suit and sue the town of Orange Park. The motel maintains the town’s Nuisance and Abatement Board has overstepped their legal authority and has harmed their business.

The motel is still open, despite Orange Park’s effort to shut it down.

 

 

 

 

http://www.news4jax.com/top-stories/meth-lab-bust-at-troubled-orange-park-hotel

 

Port Huron Police Public Safety Director Michael Reaves said the manufacturing of methamphetamine caused a house fire Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters from Port Huron and Marysville responded to the home at the corner of 11th and Cedar streets about 3:45 p.m.635919284831648422-PTH0225-HOUSE-FIRE01

Reaves said a 27-year-old man who was in the house remains hospitalized. He said it is believed the man was cooking meth, which caused the fire.

No one else in the home was injured.

Reaves said the scene has been cleaned of hazardous materials.

Meth requires immediate action because of the hazardous chemicals used to create it. The production of the drug can result in explosions, fires and toxic fumes. Handling and storing the drug during an investigation requires specialized equipment and training.

Port Huron’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team reported investigating three meth labs, and seized $7,280 of crystal meth and $19,300 of meth in 2015.

The St. Clair County Sheriff Drug Task Force, which also works in the city of Port Huron, seized or purchased 527 grams of meth this past year, compared to 60 grams in 2014. Cocaine seizures also increased, from 275 grams in 2014, to 504 grams in 2015.

 

Effects of Methamphetamine Usage

  • Methamphetamine is a highly addictive central nervous system stimulant.
  • In small doses, meth creates euphoria, paranoia, hyperthermia, decreased appetite and increased physical activity.
  • In larger doses, meth can lead to an increased heart rate, hypertension, convulsions, chest pain, stroke, renal failure, tremors and irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the brain.
  • Long-term usage could lead to paranoia, insomnia, hallucinations, severe dental problems, delusions of parasites or insects on the skin, violent tendencies.

 

 

 

 

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/2016/02/24/rescue-crews-respond-house-fire/80868554/

 

UTICA, N.Y. – In New York, Oneida County had the highest number of incidents of methamphetamine related arrests in 2015.

According to NY State Police, last year Central New York had 349 meth busts. That’s almost one bust every day, and it’s increased 60 percent from the year before.

NYS Trooper Chad Chevrier, from CCSERT (Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team) said, “Meth is one of the most addictive drugs out there. It’s extremely powerful, and users only have to take a small amount to have a very long high.”

Chevrier says it’s because of what law enforcement refers to as the shake and bake or one-pot method. This method is making the drug even more accessible, and it’s making a huge impact on those who take the drug.

It’s a method where addicts mix dangerous, flammable chemicals inside soda bottles, causing a reaction needed to turn toxic ingredients into meth.

“The reason it’s so prevalent right now is you could have final product within an hour. It’s easy to conceal, it’s mobile, and it’s quick. You could put it in a backpack, walk down to the park and finish your cook. Or you could do a cook down in the park. You could go from store to hardware store, pick up your chemicals, or you could be driving down the road burping your bottle, doing a cook right to finished product in your car.”

But it’s also dangerous. “It creates a chemical, fire and environmental hazard, which is not only scary, it’s costly to clean up,” said Chevrier.

However danger is not something users are thinking about when they need the drug.

Former meth user and cook, Erin Gillespie said, “It was extremely easy. I watched how to make it three times. And then the fourth time I jumped in, learned how to make it. It came too naturally to me. I thought, I have nothing, I have nobody so let me make some money, and get high. And so, that’s what I did.”

After being arrested multiple times for cooking and using meth in Rome, Gillespie is in Willard Drug Treatment Facility, a state run Department of Corrections program.

“That drug was the worst drug I’ve ever done, but it gave me honestly the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt in my life,” said Gillespie. “The drugs became everything to me. After so much time using them, I had to wake up to them, and I had to go to sleep to them. And throughout the whole day that’s all I did, focus on drugs, doing them, getting money to get more of them, and doing the same thing over and over and over.”

Gillespie is no different from many young women in this area. She grew up in a conservative home in Clayville, going to church, and riding horses on her parents’ farm. “I was in 4H, I was an honor roll student. I went to college for equine science and management, but I never finished,” said Gillespie shaking her head.

“I started smoking pot in high school. In my school, that’s what everybody did. We smoked weed and drank. And then once I got to college I started using cocaine and ecstasy. It wasn’t a far jump to meth,” said Gillespie.

Erin’s mother, Beverly Gillespie, shakes visibly when she talks about what her daughter once was.

“This drug took a little girl who was happy go lucky and rode horses and sang at the top of her lungs, and it made her into a ghost. She’s a shadow of who she used to be. She was not Erin anymore, and I couldn’t reach her anymore… I knew she was losing the battle,” said Beverly.

“Meth users could typically be up for days. It’s not uncommon for a week or two weeks with zero sleep. Until they flat out crash, and often they sleep for days,” said Chevrier.

After years of using and cooking, Gillespie was estranged from family members, including her seven-year-old son Evan, who now lives with Beverly. She says getting back to him keeps her on the straight and narrow.

“It breaks my heart every time I talk to my mother. I hear her voice, and she’s talking about meth to me. That breaks my heart. It’s like who was I, you know? What was I doing?” said Gillespie.

She is sober now for the first time in nearly 15 years, thanks to the alternative Willard Rehab provided. Instead of prison, she was given the option to finish the program, dry out, and begin again.

The program is run like a military institution. You have to ask permission to use the bathroom, to speak, to move, something Gillespie appreciates.

“I haven’t had this kind of discipline and I haven’t been this sober in such a long time. I haven’t been able to see things clearly in a really long time,” said Gillespei. “So, I believe, for me there is hope.”

But for law enforcement recovery from meth is the exception, and Trooper Chevrier is taking this recovery with a degree of skepticism.

I have never met anybody in our area that has recovered from meth addiction,” said Chevrier.

A powerful statement from someone who’s been on the inside, and has known many addicts.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wktv.com/news/REPORT_An_inside_look_at_meth_its_repercussions_and_local_impact.html