18 Mexicans convicted in Nicaragua to serve out money laundering sentences at home

November 18, 2013

handcuffsThe Washington Post, 11/17/2013

Nicaragua says 18 Mexicans caught posing as journalists to smuggle $9.2 million in cash will be sent back to their home country to serve out their 18-year prison sentences for money laundering convictions.

The Mexicans were arrested last year after Nicaraguan officers found bundles of cash hidden in their phony TV news vehicles.

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U.S. Border Patrol Agents Who Made Alleged Drug Smugglers Eat Pot Will Be Sentenced

November 13, 2013

The Huffington Post, 11/12/2013

Border patrol agent by Flickr user °FlorianTwo U.S. Border Patrol agents  who forced four suspected drug smugglers to chew marijuana and  flee shoeless into the Arizona desert on a chilly November night  are due to be sentenced on Tuesday for violating the men’s civil  rights.

A jury convicted Dario Castillo, 25, and Ramon Zuniga, 31,  in April of depriving the Mexican men, all of whom were in the  U.S. illegally, of civil rights in the incident in the  borderland deserts of southern Arizona.


Lateral deportation: Migrants crossing the Mexican border fear a trip sideways

February 12, 2013

Border fenceThe Washington Post, 2/12/2013

While reporting on a story last week among the down-and-out (and recently deported) at a migrant shelter in Tecate, Mexico, I met a few men who had a whole new reason to dread re-arrest by U.S. Border Patrol. They were trying to sneak back into California. But if caught, they were likely to be transported hundreds of miles east by U.S. immigration authorities, where they would be released onto the streets of some of Mexico’s scariest border towns.

The procedure is known as Lateral Repatriation, or Lateral Deportation. It began a decade ago as a pilot program aimed at reducing migrant deaths in the blazing deserts of Arizona. The thinking was this: Instead of sending illegal migrants back to the Mexican side near their point of arrest, U.S. agents could break the catch-and-release pattern — and ties to local smuggling guides — by shipping deportees from the harsh deserts to more settled areas opposite south Texas.

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Suspected drug smugglers try to leap border fence with Jeep, ramp

November 2, 2012

LA Times, 10/31/12

The rules of the smuggling game across the U.S.-Mexicoborder have been written unofficially for years: If a bad guy moving drugs or people encounters a border fence, you tunnel under it. But a group of enterprising – or desperate – smugglers got caught trying an alternative method. They built a flimsy makeshift ramp and tried to drive over a U.S. Border Patrol fence near the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California.

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Mexico Confirms Arrest of Suspected Grenade Smuggler

September 6, 2011

The Wall Street Journal, 9/6/11

Mexican authorities on Tuesday confirmed the capture of Jean Baptiste Kingery, an American citizen accused of smuggling grenades across the border to help arm drug cartels.

U.S. officials said earlier that Mr. Kingery had been arrested in late August at his home in Mazatlan, in the Pacific-coast state of Sinaloa, but Mexican police only confirmed the arrest Tuesday.

Mr. Kingery, from Arizona, allegedly purchased components to make hand grenades and other weapons in the U.S. and smuggled them across the border for use by the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s major drug-smuggling outfits, Mexican officials said in a news release.

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25 indicted in drug ring that stretched from Mexico to South Jersey

December 22, 2010

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/22/2010

Twenty-five people were indicted Tuesday on charges stemming from their alleged roles in a crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, and weapons pipeline to several South Jersey counties, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

The pipeline ran from the Mexican state of Jalisco to the border town of McAllen, Texas, into Ohio and then to Camden and Atlantic Counties, the Prosecutor’s Office said. The network shipped marijuana in packages through private couriers or the U.S. Postal Service to recipients in Camden, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Hammonton, Waterford, and Winslow, officials said.

The defendants are accused of bringing four to six pounds of crystal meth and more than 20 pounds of marijuana into New Jersey each week, the Prosecutor’s Office said. Three men – Hector Martinez, 28, of Camden; Joaquin Rangel-Cardenas, 24, of Sicklerville; and Alex Gonzalez, 29 – were indicted as the leaders of the trafficking network, authorities said.

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Inside a drug smuggling tunnel on the US-Mexico border

December 8, 2010

BBC News, 12/8/2010

The US authorities have discovered 20 tonnes of marijuana, worth tens of millions of dollars, in one of the most advanced illegal tunnels ever found.

The passage is half a mile long and runs from inside a house in Mexico straight under the border with the United States and into a warehouse in San Diego.

The tunnel had its own lighting, ventilation and a system of tracks and trolleys for transporting drugs.

The BBC’s Rajesh Mirchandani has been shown around.

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