A group of armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field as part of a war between Mexico's two most powerful cartels, officials said Wednesday.
They said El Platanar de Los Ontiveros had become part of a dispute between the Sinaloa cartel controlled by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted man (shown here), and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva cartel who have allied themselves with the Zetas, a paramilitary organized-crime group founded by ex-members of the Mexican special forces.
The nine victims were eating Christmas dinner when gunmen entered the town on foot, surrounded them, and opened fire with assault rifles.
They decapitated one victim with a machete and dumped the bodies on field, officials said.
The army had set up a checkpoint nearby to hunt for drugs, but the killers had avoided it by entering the town on foot.
Two Houston airport employees are charged with taking money to try to smuggle heroin and fraudulent documents through security.
The U.S. attorney's office for Houston says Rolin Eli Escober and Elidia Molina used their knowledge of Bush Intercontinental Airport security to smuggle items for cash from an undercover officer posing as a drug trafficker.
Mexican drug cartels are quietly filling the void in the nation's drug market created by the long effort to crack down on American-made methamphetamine, flooding U.S. cities with exceptionally cheap, extraordinarily potent meth from factory-like "superlabs."
Although Mexican meth is not new to the U.S. drug trade, it now accounts for as much as 80 percent of the meth sold here, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. And it is as much as 90 percent pure, a level that offers users a faster, more intense and longer-lasting high.
"These are sophisticated, high-tech operations in Mexico that are operating with extreme precision," said Jim Shroba, a DEA agent in St. Louis. "They're moving it out the door as fast as they can manufacture it."
The cartels are expanding into the U.S. meth market just as they did with heroin: developing an inexpensive, highly addictive form of the drug and sending it through the same pipeline already used to funnel marijuana and cocaine, authorities said.
Earlier this week, we reported that Mexico’s Los Zetas crime gang was replenishing its ranks of henchmen by springing hundreds of its members in mass jailbreaks.
But now we read that these escapes don't always involve crawling through tunnels and scattering once outside the fence.
Instead, scores of dangerous inmates simply walk or drive out the gates in cahoots with wardens and prison guards.
Officials believe that's what happened recently when 129 inmates fled a state prison near Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass.
“It is impossible that they all left through the tunnel at once, as the (prison) authorities argue,” said Homero Ramos, the attorney general for the surrounding state of Coahuila. “They’d probably been leaving for days until this blew up and they couldn’t hide it anymore.”
The recent mass escape, the officials say, is an example of Mexico’s broken penitentiary system, where wardens either bend to organized crime or face death.
Officials said Tuesday they suspect the Zetas drug cartel orchestrated the mass tunnel escape of more than 130 inmates at a northern Mexico border prison, possibly to replenish its ranks after suffering blows from a rival gang.
Jorge Luis Moran, chief of security for the border state of Coahuila, said inmates claimed the plotters were Zetas members and that some prisoners not in the gang were forced to go along.
"Clearly, the Zetas are behind this escape," Moran said.
Police and military operators (shown here) are searching for 132 inmates who escaped through a tunnel from the prison in Piedras Negras, a city across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.
The Zetas cartel has been fighting a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel in that border state.
Moran said the Zetas controlled the drug corridor until 2010, when members of the powerful Sinaloa gang were sent to the state. The Sinaloa cartel is led by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin Guzman.
Moran said the Zetas have also been hit by arrests, fatal shootings and guns seizures.
Jeremy Allen, 34, of Grapevine was among 22 people accused of taking part in a massive trafficking conspiracy in New York involving a drug with the street name of Molly, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports. The paper reports that Molly, sold as a pure form of Ecstacy, is believed to be made in China than distributed throughout the U.S. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Imagine how distracting it must be driving with four kids in the car after 2 a.m. Perhaps that's why their 28-year-old mom just overlooked the 94 bundles of marijuana, weighing almost 146 pounds, stashed in various compartments of her Jeep as she crossed back into the U.S. from Mexico. A drug-sniffing dog named Sandy alerted U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in El Paso to her vehicle. Kids are now in custody of CPS.