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Thread: Zetas may be smuggling weapons

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    Zetas may be smuggling weapons

    Zetas may be smuggling weapons - El Paso Times
    Zetas may be smuggling weapons


    By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
    Posted: 07/13/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT
    The brutally violent Zetas drug organization may be smuggling military-grade weapons through El Paso and Columbus, N.M., to feed its ongoing battles against other cartels and to possibly disrupt the 2012 elections in Mexico.
    Phil Jordan, a former director of the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center and a former CIA operative, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons through the El Paso area.
    A federal law enforcement agency in El Paso said it has no information about the allegations that the Zetas are smuggling weapons through El Paso.
    "They are purchasing weapons in the Dallas area and are flying them to El Paso, and then they are taking them across the border into Juárez," said Jordan, a law enforcement consultantand former DEA official who still has contacts in the law enforcement community.
    Jordan said the Zetas were flying weapons caches out of the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, and after they arrive in the El Paso vicinity, the Zetas smuggled them into Juárez.
    "What's ironic is that the DEA also uses the Alliance Airport for some of its operations," Jordan said. "The Zetas were working out of a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in the Dallas area to smuggle the weapons to the border."
    The DEA has its Aviation Operations Center at Alliance.
    Robert "Tosh" Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot, supported Jordan's allegations and said the Zetas allegedly also purchased property in the Columbus-Palomas border region to stash weapons andother contraband.
    He said purchasing property and setting up a weapons-smuggling network suggests that the Zetas were establishing a staging area for their operations.
    DEA Special Agent Diana Apodaca, spokeswoman for El Paso's DEA office, said the agency did not have any information about the Zetas allegedly operating in this border region.
    No one from the Border Patrol or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives returned calls Tuesday for comment.
    Earlier this month, Plumlee had a debriefing with the Border Patrol in Las Cruces about the intelligence he gathered when he accompanied the U.S. military's Task Force 7 along the border. The military, which assists civilian law enforcement in counter-drug operations, was looking into allegations of gun smuggling along the border.
    "The military task force became concerned that its information about arms smuggling was being compromised," Plumlee said. "From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas."
    Under the Direct Commercial Sales program, the U.S. State Department regulates and licenses businesses to sell weapons and defense services and training for export. Last year, according to U.S. statistics, the program was used to provide Mexico $416.5 million worth of weapons and equipment, including military-grade weaponry.
    The program is different from the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, which operates on a government-to-government basis.
    Plumlee said military-grade weapons were found in a Juárez warehouse two years ago, and some of them were moved later to a ranch elsewhere in Juárez. Arms stash houses have also been reported in places across the border from Columbus and Antelope Wells, N.M.
    "They've found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era," Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.
    "The information about the arms trafficking was provided to our U.S. authorities long before the 'Columbus 11' investigation began," said Plumlee, referring to recent indictments accusing several Columbus city officials of arms trafficking in conjunction with alleged accomplices in El Paso and Chaparral, N.M.
    Jesús Rejón Aguilar, the number three man in the Zeta's hierarchy, disclosed last week that the Zetas bought weapons in the United States and transported them across the Rio Grande. Mexican federal authorities captured Rejón on July 3 in the state of Mexico, and presented him to the news media the next day. His recorded video statement was uploaded on YouTube.
    Jordan agreed with Plumlee's allegations that the Zetas are operating in the Columbus-Palomas border.
    Plumlee, who has testified before U.S. congressional committees about arms and drug trafficking, said the roads in Southern New Mexico provide smugglers easy access to Mexico's highway networks.
    Recently, Juárez police removed a couple of "narco mantas" (drug cartel banners) allegedly signed by the Zetas that were left in two parts of the city. The message claimed that the Zetas had nothing to do with a July 8 massacre at a nightclub in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.
    Similar banners containing the same message appeared in cities in eight other Mexican states. The messages blamed the Gulf drug cartel for the attack in Monterrey that killed or injured 34 people.
    Zetas have been reported in Juárez and other Chihuahua cities, but so far they have kept a low profile.
    According to an FBI Investigation Intelligence Bulletin, "Los Zetas activities in the United States to date have largely been limited to the U.S./Mexico border area," but have expanded their reach into the Southeast and Midwestern United States.
    Authorities in Arizona previously reported that Zetas dressed up as SWAT officers were implicated in the 2008 murder of a man in Phoenix.
    The FBI said the Zetas emerged from an elite Mexican army unit known as Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales, or GAFE, that was created to fight drug-traffickers. Some GAFE members received special U.S. military training.
    In 2002, "an unknown number deserted and joined the Gulf cartel, serving as the hired guns for cartel leadership," the FBI bulletin said. "Since that time Los Zetas has grown into a sizeable, semi-independent organization."
    The FBI said the organization has been tied to public corruption, immigrant smuggling, kidnapping, assault, murder, extortion and money laundering.
    "The group is well-armed, highly trained, and reputed for their brutal tactics as cartel enforcers," the FBI memo said.
    Plumlee said most of the military-grade weapons that made their way into Mexico are not showing up at crime scenes where drug violence is rampant.
    "Most of the military-type weapons have been found in stash houses, being stored up," Plumlee said. "This is getting into theory now, but I think the Zetas are saving them for the (2012) election season. They probably want to be included in a part of the government."


  2. #2
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    how is that news?
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

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    This is news because 'Military Grade' weapons are not supposed to be exported to criminals. Why do you think that it is not news?

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Can YOU give us the definition of military grade weapon?

    Btw,ever heard of Operation Gunrunner?
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Yes, I have been following it. Military Grade would include AK-47'S and AR-15'S. It would help if you read the article before responding to the post. Do "anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades....grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor" qualify as "military grade" weapons in your book?

    Plumlee said military-grade weapons were found in a Juárez warehouse two years ago, and some of them were moved later to a ranch elsewhere in Juárez. Arms stash houses have also been reported in places across the border from Columbus and Antelope Wells, N.M.
    "They've found anti-aircraft weapons and hand grenades from the Vietnam War era," Plumlee said. Other weapons found include grenade launchers, assault rifles, handguns and military gear including night-vision goggles and body armor.
    Narco Gang's Arsenal Linked to Iran Contra Arms
    Last edited by David Crocket; 19 Jul 11, at 05:19.

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    Semi-automatic assault weapons can be had openly, but explosives and such are black market items. By definition, they are out of control of a government.

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    I do not understand your point could you elaborate?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    Semi-automatic assault weapons can be had openly, but explosives and such are black market items. By definition, they are out of control of a government.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Really,what can be more obvious.The cartels being criminals,do not operate on legal channels.

    Body armor,NVG's and explosives aren't weapons and aren't solely military equipment.About grenades from 40 years ago,may Satan take the gangster that tries to use one.
    My question to you had the purpose to assess your expertise,which I found underwhelming.A military weapon in intermediate caliber is one that has the selective fire capability.In layman's terms,its can fire burst or full auto.Otherwise it's a mere semiauto,less dangerous than a hunting rifle.FYI ,A in AK stands for Avtomat.
    The cartels have the ability to import real military weapons from South America,Korea or China.They can bribe the Mexican soldiers etc... The current scandal about American weapons is at most for internal consumption,with little relevance in the field.
    Let me guess,you sympathize with the left.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    You respect my "expertise" more than I respect your reading comprehension which I find "frightening". I think you missed the part about anti-aircraft guns and grenades. "Explosives are not weapons"? Really? What High School did you flunk out of?

    The current scandal is bigger than you think and the ZETA's are claiming that they are getting these weapons from U.S. Government Officials. That means they could have been operating "on legal channels". Let's investigate and find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Really,what can be more obvious.The cartels being criminals,do not operate on legal channels.

    Body armor,NVG's and explosives aren't weapons and aren't solely military equipment.About grenades from 40 years ago,may Satan take the gangster that tries to use one.
    My question to you had the purpose to assess your expertise,which I found underwhelming.A military weapon in intermediate caliber is one that has the selective fire capability.In layman's terms,its can fire burst or full auto.Otherwise it's a mere semiauto,less dangerous than a hunting rifle.FYI ,A in AK stands for Avtomat.
    The cartels have the ability to import real military weapons from South America,Korea or China.They can bribe the Mexican soldiers etc... The current scandal about American weapons is at most for internal consumption,with little relevance in the field.
    Let me guess,you sympathize with the left.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    You wouldn't know my high school,so no point answering your rhetorical question.My reading comprehension is anyway better than your grasping on straws,but with that I propose we quit shouting insults at each other.
    Nope,explosives aren't weapons.Here's a quiz:what possible applications they may have? Ever heard of the original purpose of mr.Nobel's invention?The guy with the prize,not some other Swede.
    Pal,you do realize that in your wonderful country even AA guns can be obtained legally?With very little effort you can actually make one in a garrage.It's only a very big machine gun.US made AA guns can be stolen from the Mexican military or imported through the same channels as other weapon systems.It's not that Latin America is flush with weapons.That doesn't proves anything about government involvement.It may be,Op Gunrunner proved that it's possible.Among the few things I agree with you so far is that it needs investigating(by the same bureaucrats that allegedly created the problem;but that's another issue).
    The AA gun so far ain't the weapon of choice for cartels.No idea how many they are,but they can't be more than a dozen in criminal hands in all of Mexico.A wild guess.

    Zetas claims are the funniest part so far.I heard they made a pres conference,where their spokesman(the guys are quite macho,they don't let women talk) mentioned that.They thanked Mr. Obama,considered by many to be the gun salesman of the decade for his unwavering support.
    Last edited by Mihais; 19 Jul 11, at 20:55.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    This is turning into a semantic argument. If we cannot agree on definitions then we will just be going in circles. Last time I checked at my local gun story AA Guns were not in stock. I did not find any C4 explosives or grenades. In regards to you point on Alfred Nobel, I doubt that he shared your point of view that explosives are not weapons. He believed that explosives would make war so terrible, it would put an end to war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    You wouldn't know my high school,so no point answering your rhetorical question.My reading comprehension is anyway better than your grasping on straws,but with that I propose we quit shouting insults at each other.
    Nope,explosives aren't weapons.Here's a quiz:what possible applications they may have? Ever heard of the original purpose of mr.Nobel's invention?The guy with the prize,not some other Swede.
    Pal,you do realize that in your wonderful country even AA guns can be obtained legally?With very little effort you can actually make one in a garrage.It's only a very big machine gun.US made AA guns can be stolen from the Mexican military or imported through the same channels as other weapon systems.It's not that Latin America is flush with weapons.That doesn't proves anything about government involvement.It may be,Op Gunrunner proved that it's possible.Among the few things I agree with you so far is that it needs investigating(by the same bureaucrats that allegedly created the problem;but that's another issue).
    The AA gun so far ain't the weapon of choice for cartels.No idea how many they are,but they can't be more than a dozen in criminal hands in all of Mexico.A wild guess.

    Zetas claims are the funniest part so far.I heard they made a pres conference,where their spokesman(the guys are quite macho,they don't let women talk) mentioned that.They thanked Mr. Obama,considered by many to be the gun salesman of the decade for his unwavering support.

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    Former GAFEs operating through "legal" channels to secure military-grade weapons through DCF is entirely plausible given the staggering level of corruption permeating the military, the police and the government at many levels. The cartels have people who know how to move things legally and they have access to the people who can authorize those movements. The weapons suppliers believe they are selling to legitimate government purchasing agents. (And in fact sometimes they are.) The legal i's are dotted, the T's crossed, their asses are covered.

    It's important to note however that even if Zetas are securing arms shipments from "the Dallas area and flying them to El Paso" the cartels have access to military-grade weapons from a variety of sources to Mexico's south. Money talks. If you have enough of it, anything is possible.

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    David,

    What is the point of this thread? What is the goal of the point you are trying to make?

    Corrupt govt?

    Lax laws?

    Lousy LE?

    Are you surprised by your posted article?

    Do you think this this hasn't been happening in some form or another for the past 100 years some where?

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    The point is to discuss the article.

    Do you know what informal fallacies are?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    David,

    What is the point of this thread? What is the goal of the point you are trying to make?

    Corrupt govt?

    Lax laws?

    Lousy LE?

    Are you surprised by your posted article?

    Do you think this this hasn't been happening in some form or another for the past 100 years some where?
    Last edited by David Crocket; 01 Aug 11, at 01:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Crocket View Post
    The point is to discuss the article.

    Do you know what informal fallacies are?
    Yes I do. If that is what you want to discuss, please point them out and lets discuss. Just posting an article and expecting conversation isn't congruent to the process. Give us a point or POV to start the discussion.

    This is clearly outlined in the WABguide.

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