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Drug Cartel

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2011 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Never lose track of the load. It was drilled into everybody who worked for Carlos “Charlie” Cuevas. His drivers, lookouts, stash house operators, dispatchers -- they all knew. When a shipment was on the move, a pair of eyes had to move with it. Cuevas had just sent a crew of seven men to the border crossing at Calexico, Calif. The load they were tracking was cocaine, concealed in a custom-made compartment inside a blue 2003 Honda Accord. The car was still on the Mexican side in a 10-lane crush of vehicles inching toward the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station.
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WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal authorities have detained the interior minister of Michoacan state after determining that he has "possible contacts with criminal organizations," according to a statement released by prosecutors Saturday night. The aggressive action against Interior Minister Jesus Reyna, is a sign that the federal government, which has struggled for months to control the drug-plagued state, is considering the possibility that the influence of narcotics trafficking has spread nearly to the pinnacle of state government.
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WORLD
August 17, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's oldest drug-running groups, has been captured, Mexican officials said Saturday. Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño was apprehended by the Mexican army Saturday morning, according to a government statement. The arrest took place in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border, Mexican media said. Ramirez, 51, known as “El Pelon,” or “The Bald One,” was indicted on drug distribution charges in a U.S. federal court in 2008.
WORLD
March 12, 2014
MEXICO CITY - One of the best-known leaders of Mexico's vigilante “self-defense” movement has been arrested on suspicion of participating in a double homicide, raising new doubts about the federal government's strategy of partnering with armed campesino groups in the fight against a powerful drug cartel in Michoacan state. Hipolito Mora Chavez, a lime grower who gained fame for leading one of the first local uprisings of autodefensa groups early last year in the small city of La Ruana, was arrested Tuesday evening by state officials.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The unlikeliest of marriages  - the most violent Mexican drug cartel and the world of U.S. quarter horse racing - ended with the arrest Tuesday of one of the top men in the Los Zetas drug trafficking ring after U.S. officials began suspecting an uncanny run of good fortune at the track and the laundering of millions of dollars in drug proceeds. Arrested were Jose Trevino Morales, his wife, and five associates. They were taken into U.S. custody after scores of FBI agents in all-terrain vehicles and helicopters raided horse stables and ranches near Ruidoso, N.M., and Lexington, Okla.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 28, 2013 | By Victoria Kim
Authorities are seeking the public's help to locate a parolee with mental health problems suspected of kidnapping his two children Wednesday night. Charles Baines, 36, has a shaved head and the words “Drug Cartel” tattooed on his left cheek, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Baines allegedly took his two sons, who are 9 and 10 years old, from the Harbor City home of his mother, who has custody of the children, according to authorities. Baines is driving a red Kia Spectra with the license plate 6FMN288, which was stolen from his mother, who was asleep when he left with the children, according to the Sheriff's Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2011 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
John Charles Ward would take flight in the half-light before dawn, when he could race down the runway without headlights and ascend into the cloaking embrace of an overcast sky. This feature requires that JavaScript be enabled and the Flash plug-in be installed. John Charles Ward would take flight in the half-light before dawn, when he could race down the runway without headlights and ascend into the cloaking embrace of an overcast sky. Soaring above the crowded California freeways in the single-engine aircraft, he'd relax, pour himself a whiskey and Seven and plan his hopscotch route to Pennsylvania.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2009 | Richard Marosi
A top lieutenant in the Arellano Felix drug cartel in Tijuana pleaded guilty Thursday to drug conspiracy charges, the latest member of the once-powerful organized crime group to now face a long U.S. prison sentence. Jesus "Chuy" Labra Aviles, a wealthy, 62-year-old businessman who helped the Arellano Felix brothers smuggle hundreds of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States in the 1980s and '90s, was scheduled to go to trial in November, but changed his plea at a brief hearing in San Diego.
WORLD
May 20, 2009 | Tracy Wilkinson
Leaving a baptism party in Acapulco, the reputed lieutenant of a major drug cartel flew to Mexico's wealthiest city, Monterrey. He landed shortly after midnight and stepped casually from his private plane. But before his alleged luggage of guns, marijuana and cash could be unloaded, any plans Rodolfo Lopez Ibarra might have had to take over local smuggling operations were squashed.
WORLD
January 30, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's attorney general said Thursday that he has proof that some of the arms being used by the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacan state were supplied by a drug cartel, the Jalisco New Generation, according to news reports. The self-defense groups sprang up last February to take on a drug cartel called the Knights Templar. Many members are rural landowners and farmworkers fed up with the harassment and extortion by the Knights Templars. But there has been wide speculation that the groups had some connection to, or support from, the New Generation, a rival of the Knights Templar.
WORLD
March 10, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - If nothing else, the slaying of cartel boss Nazario Moreno Gonzalez by Mexican soldiers may have burst the bubble of mysticism that had made him one of the stranger figures to emerge in the country's drug war. Moreno, whose nicknames included "El Mas Loco" ("The Craziest"), was a founder of Michoacan state's La Familia drug cartel and its offshoot, the Knights Templar - groups that have moved massive amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs north to the United States.
WORLD
February 27, 2014 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Hundreds of Mexicans marched in support of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the criminal mastermind captured last weekend after eluding authorities for 13 years, witnesses said. Chanting slogans in English such as “I love Chapo,” the demonstrators demanded his freedom during marches Wednesday evening in three cities in Sinaloa, the state that was the birthplace of Guzman's vast multibillion-dollar drug empire. Guzman was Mexico's most-wanted fugitive and one of the largest drug traffickers in the world.
WORLD
February 24, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Tracy Wilkinson
BADIRAGUATO, Mexico - Now that the Mexican government has nabbed the country's most-wanted drug lord, Fernando Antonio Robles is worried about the future. Robles is a 16-year-old bricklayer's apprentice in the wild drug-producing municipality where Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman grew up. In this hardscrabble patch of mountainous Sinaloa state, more than 74% of the people live in poverty. And yet the tiny county seat is full of fine new, freshly painted houses. Robles knows that many of them were built by El Chapo's men. "A lot of people are going to be unemployed," Robles said while loitering with a friend on the handsome town square, "because a lot of people worked for him. " The arrest of Guzman on Saturday in the resort city of Mazatlan, a few hours' drive and a world away from Badiraguato, was greeted with delight by the Mexican government.
WORLD
February 16, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
CHILPANCINGO, Mexico - On a cool evening in February, Pioquinto Damian, the head of the Chamber of Commerce here in Guerrero's capital city, was locked away in his downtown apartment, afraid to step outside. He was convinced that the mayor had tried to kill him in an ambush just a few days before. In response, the governor had assigned him 18 heavily armed police officers as bodyguards. A few miles outside town, hundreds of members of autodefensas - vigilante "self-defense" militias composed largely of fed-up farmworkers - were patrolling the streets of semirural suburbs with ancient rifles and shotguns, hoping to rid them of the drug cartel thugs who had terrorized them for years.
WORLD
February 6, 2014 | By Cecilia Sanchez and Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Four human heads were reportedly discovered Thursday in Michoacan state, one of several recent incidents that suggest the Knights Templar drug cartel may be lashing out as the federal government and vigilante groups attempt to retake territory under cartel control. The heads were found in the indigenous community of Zacan, about 200 miles west of Mexico City, according to numerous news reports. The newspaper El Universal reported that a "message with threats from organized crime" was found along with the body parts.
WORLD
February 4, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that his government would invest the equivalent of about $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programs for the beleaguered Mexican state of Michoacan, where armed vigilante groups have been clashing with a drug gang. The program, which Peña Nieto announced in Morelia, the state capital, represents a significantly larger investment in Michoacan than the one unveiled last month by his social development secretary, Rosario Robles, who promised to spend about $225 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Marosi
SAN DIEGO -- The son of one of Mexico's most wanted drug kingpins has been arrested while trying to cross into the U.S. with his wife in Nogales, Ariz., federal authorities said Friday. Serafin Zambada, who was arrested on Wednesday, is expected to be transferred to San Diego where he is wanted on drug trafficking charges, according to Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego. Authorities said Zambada is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a top leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel , which is believed to smuggle more drugs into the U.S. than any other Mexican organized crime group.
NATIONAL
June 4, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement officials theorize that five people found dead in a burned-out vehicle in southern Arizona were hostages killed by a Mexican drug cartel and that their deaths last weekend could mark another example of violence spreading from Mexico across the Southwest border into the United States. “That is what it sounds like to us,” said a Border Patrol official who has been briefed on the bodies found Saturday morning in a white Ford Expedition in a remote desert area off Interstate 8 between Phoenix and Tucson.
WORLD
January 30, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's attorney general said Thursday that he has proof that some of the arms being used by the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacan state were supplied by a drug cartel, the Jalisco New Generation, according to news reports. The self-defense groups sprang up last February to take on a drug cartel called the Knights Templar. Many members are rural landowners and farmworkers fed up with the harassment and extortion by the Knights Templars. But there has been wide speculation that the groups had some connection to, or support from, the New Generation, a rival of the Knights Templar.
WORLD
January 27, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leaders of the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacan state have signed an agreement with the Mexican government that transforms them into an officially sanctioned security force, officials announced Monday. The self-defense groups sprang up last year to confront the Knights Templar drug cartel and moved aggressively this month into territory where the cartel held sway. In an effort to prevent a widespread conflagration, the Mexican government sent thousands of troops and federal police into the contested region, promising to finally go after cartel leaders and demanding that the self-defense forces disarm.
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