Traffic Roots Pixel
 

US busts alleged Sinaloa Cartel smuggling ring in Arizona

Posted on November 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

TucsonState, local and federal law enforcement in Arizona announced Oct. 31 that they have dismantled a smuggling ring allegedly operated by the Sinaloa Cartel, which is believed to have trafficked some $2 billion of drugs from Mexico through the state over the past five years. "We in Arizona continue to stand and fight the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own the place," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement about the investigation, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express. A total of 76 individuals are being held in connection to the ring, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles. Weapons and large bundles of compacted cannabis were seized in the raids.

The ring is said to have smuggled more than 3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin through Arizona, primarily to markets in Chicago. The route was through the most desolate desert areas of southern Arizona, roughly from Yuma to Sells, including the sprawling Tohono O'odham Indian reservation. Spotters with radios or cellphones were used to point out the presence of law enforcement and divert loads, authorities said. Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, working with more than 20 law enforcement entities, collaborated for over a year on Pipeline Express. (InSight Crime, Nov. 1; NYT, LAT, Oct. 31)

Graphic: timrawle

 

Who's new

  • Baba Israel
  • Karr Young
  • John Veit
  • YosephLeib
  • Peter Gorman