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Drug Cartels

December 12, 2013 | By Richard Winton
Federal prosecutors unsealed indictments Thursday against two dozen members and associates of a Pasadena-based gang that worked with the Sinaloa cartel to sell methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin from Mexico, officials said. Dubbed Operation Rosebud, the 18-month investigation targeted members of Varrio Pasadena Rifa, a multi-generational gang known to sell drugs in the city with operations in the Antelope Valley and Kern County, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a news conference Thursday.
December 12, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- The number of immigrants asking for asylum after illegally entering the United States nearly tripled this year, sending asylum claims to their highest level in two decades and raising concerns that border crossers and members of drug cartels may be filing fraudulent claims to slow their eventual deportation. The tally of those granted temporary asylum jumped from 13,931 to 36,026 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
December 2, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - It is a distressingly common part of life in modern Mexico: the bullying phone call demanding that the person who answers pay up - or else. Businesses get the extortion calls. Families get them. And now, apparently, so has the country's main Roman Catholic seminary. In a sermon Sunday, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera announced that a vice rector at the Conciliar Seminary of Mexico received a number of threatening phone calls Nov. 20-21. The callers, the cardinal said, demanded 60,000 pesos - about $4,500 - "in exchange for respecting the lives of the superiors of that institution," according to a statement issued Sunday evening by the Archdiocese of Mexico.
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.
November 26, 2013 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - He admitted being a salaried killer for a drug cartel, the kind of assassin who preferred slashing his victims' throats. On Tuesday, after serving three years behind bars, he was released from a Mexican detention center and was on his way to the United States - where he would soon live as a free man. Or, rather, a free boy. The killer, Edgar Jimenez Lugo, known to Mexican crime reporters as "El Ponchis," is 17 years old. He...
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - No one ever said it was easy being a mayor in Mexico, where corruption is as common as cacti, politics is a Machiavellian game of three-dimensional chess and drug cartels are often more powerful than local governments. But in recent days, Mexicans have seen the depth of the challenge facing the men and women charged with running the 2,438 municipios , roughly the equivalent of U.S. counties, that are supposed to be a building block of governance here. The mayor of Santa Ana Maya, a rural municipality in Michoacan state, was killed this month after complaining that cartel members were regularly demanding a chunk of the federal money meant for public works projects in his area, a practice he said was widespread.
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.
November 17, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
APATZINGAN, Mexico - In this city in western Mexico, sympathy runs strong for the Knights Templar, a cult-like drug cartel that has used extortion and intimidation to control much of the local economy and undermine government. A few miles up the road, however, amid the lime groves and avocado fields of Michoacan state, residents have taken up weapons to run the Knights Templar out of their towns. They call themselves "self-defense" squads, their territory "liberated. " For the moment, the two well-armed camps are being kept apart by a stepped-up but tenuous federal military deployment.
October 4, 2013 | By Jason McGahan
After 10 years of death-dealing, scorched-earth cartel warfare and twice the total body count of U.S. forces in Vietnam, it's high time an American audience found out just what is happening down south of the Rio Grande. No single recent work on the subject peers more deeply than Anabel Hernández's "Narcoland," an investigative magnum opus by a Mexican journalist driven by purpose verging on despair. Empirically devastating, Hernández's book delves into the rusty filing cabinets of cold cases, shelved for making the people in power uncomfortable.
September 27, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
An Army officer with more than 20 years in uniform has been indicted in New York, accused of acting as a contract killer and the leader of a band of mercenaries who provided security for international drug cartels, officials said Friday.  Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, whose nickname was Rambo, and four of his marksmen were arrested this week as part of a long-running undercover operation spanning several continents, federal prosecutors said....
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