drugs

Great turnout for DRUG WARS event

OFIR extends a warm, sincere thank you to all those who chose to give up a rainy Saturday afternoon and join us to view the chilling, but true, documentary titled DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead.  Well over one hundred people decided it was time to get educated about drug cartels and the damage they are wreaking on our society and the danger they pose to our children.

The OFIR Board will consider the adamant suggestions of many that attended to schedule another showing soon.  We will keep you posted!
 

Cocaine Incorporated

Cocaine Incorporated;

How the World’s Most Powerful Drug Traffickers Run Their Business

By Patrick Radden Keefe

in The New York Times Magazine,  June 15, 2012

 

[Following is the first part of a lengthy, detailed description of how Mexican drug cartels operate.  To read the entire shocking account, see illustration and map, view the article on the New York Times website.]

One afternoon last August, at a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a former beauty queen named Emma Coronel gave birth to a pair of heiresses. The twins, who were delivered at 3:50 and 3:51, respectively, stand to inherit some share of a fortune that Forbes estimates is worth a billion dollars. Coronel’s husband, who was not present for the birth, is a legendary tycoon who overcame a penurious rural childhood to establish a wildly successful multinational business. If Coronel elected to leave the entry for “Father” on the birth certificates blank, it was not because of any dispute over patrimony. More likely, she was just skittish about the fact that her husband, Joaquín Guzmán, is the C.E.O. of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, a man the Treasury Department recently described as the world’s most powerful drug trafficker. Guzmán’s organization is responsible for as much as half of the illegal narcotics imported into the United States from Mexico each year; he may well be the most-wanted criminal in this post-Bin Laden world. But his bride is a U.S. citizen with no charges against her. So authorities could only watch as she bundled up her daughters and slipped back across the border to introduce them to their dad.

Known as El Chapo for his short, stocky frame, Guzmán is 55, which in narco-years is about 150. He is a quasi-mythical figure in Mexico, the subject of countless ballads, who has outlived enemies and accomplices alike, defying the implicit bargain of a life in the drug trade: that careers are glittering but brief and always terminate in prison or the grave. When Pablo Escobar was Chapo’s age, he had been dead for more than a decade. In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chapo sells more drugs today than Escobar did at the height of his career. To some extent, this success is easily explained: as Hillary Clinton acknowledged several years ago, America’s “insatiable demand for illegal drugs” is what drives the clandestine industry. It’s no accident that the world’s biggest supplier of narcotics and the world’s biggest consumer of narcotics just happen to be neighbors. “Poor Mexico,” its former president Porfirio Díaz is said to have remarked. “So far from God and so close to the United States.”

The Sinaloa cartel can buy a kilo of cocaine in the highlands of Colombia or Peru for around $2,000, then watch it accrue value as it makes its way to market. In Mexico, that kilo fetches more than $10,000. Jump the border to the United States, and it could sell wholesale for $30,000. Break it down into grams to distribute retail, and that same kilo sells for upward of $100,000 — more than its weight in gold. And that’s just cocaine. Alone among the Mexican cartels, Sinaloa is both diversified and vertically integrated, producing and exporting marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine as well.

Estimating the precise scale of Chapo’s empire is tricky, however. Statistics on underground economies are inherently speculative: cartels don’t make annual disclosures, and no auditor examines their books. Instead, we’re left with back-of-the-envelope extrapolations based on conjectural data, much of it supplied by government agencies that may have bureaucratic incentives to overplay the problem.

So in a spirit of empirical humility, we shouldn’t accept as gospel the estimate, from the Justice Department, that Colombian and Mexican cartels reap $18 billion to $39 billion from drug sales in the United States each year. (That range alone should give you pause.) Still, even if you take the lowest available numbers, Sinaloa emerges as a titanic player in the global black market. In the sober reckoning of the RAND Corporation, for instance, the gross revenue that all Mexican cartels derive from exporting drugs to the United States amounts to only $6.6 billion. By most estimates, though, Sinaloa has achieved a market share of at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 60 percent, which means that Chapo Guzmán’s organization would appear to enjoy annual revenues of some $3 billion — comparable in terms of earnings to Netflix or, for that matter, to Facebook.

The drug war in Mexico has claimed more than 50,000 lives since 2006. But what tends to get lost amid coverage of this epic bloodletting is just how effective the drug business has become. A close study of the Sinaloa cartel, based on thousands of pages of trial records and dozens of interviews with convicted drug traffickers and current and former officials in Mexico and the United States, reveals an operation that is global (it is active in more than a dozen countries) yet also very nimble and, above all, staggeringly complex. Sinaloa didn’t merely survive the recession — it has thrived in recent years. And after prevailing in some recent mass-casualty clashes, it now controls more territory along the border than ever.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/magazine/how-a-mexican-drug-cartel-makes-its-billions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

 


 

OFIR President spells out cartel danger

How many Oregonians know that Mexican drug cartels seek to addict U.S. grade-school children to cheap, potent new drugs?

How many know cartels’ technology is 10 years more advanced than the U.S. Border Patrol’s and that cartels even track border patrol movements by satellite?

And how many know that cartels are entrenched in Oregon, distributing heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine through major hubs in Portland, Salem and Eugene?

Late last year, I learned this and more from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Joe Arabit, former FBI agent Richard Valdemar and other experts at the National Sheriffs Border School in El Paso.

Read the entire guest opinion Kendoll: Drug cartels pose a huge threat  here.


 

Meth traffickers aren't able to dodge federal penalties

A pair of large-scale methamphetamine traffickers arrested in Jackson County last year could not escape steep federal prison sentences after attempting to rush plea deals through state court that carry shorter incarceration terms, officials said.

The suspects were arrested while driving on Interstate 5 in March of 2011. The two were arrested by the Oregon State Police in unrelated incidents, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

On March 16, an OSP trooper stopped Jamie Eugene Muniz, 28, from Sacramento, on the freeway near Ashland. A search of his car turned up 10 pounds of meth wrapped in eight packages and hidden in a secret compartment in the center console. The estimated street value of the meth was $600,700.

The meth was destined for sale in the Portland area, officials said.

Four days later, an OSP trooper stopped a car driven by Francisco Hernandez-Figueroa, 29, of San Rafael, Mexico, on the freeway near Medford.

A search of the car found that it had been wired with an electronic activation system leading to two hidden compartments located behind the side panels in the rear passenger compartment. A switch hidden in the steering column opened the secret compartments, revealing 16 packages wrapped in black duct tape.

A total of 15 pounds of high-quality meth, with a street value of $870,000, was packed in the compartments.

Troopers also found $4,500 in $100 bills, believed to be proceeds from drug trafficking. The meth was bound for Seattle, officials said.

Law enforcement found that Hernandez-Figueroa had illegally entered the country with the intent of selling the large haul of meth.

Within a few days of their arrest both men demanded to plead guilty to the drug charges in state court. Their defense attorney advised them to do so to avoid a possible longer federal sentence, officials said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office had not reviewed the cases by the time each entered guilty pleas in state court, officials said.

Both were sentenced to nearly five years in Oregon prison, officials said.

However, this did not stop federal prosecutors from pursuing drug-trafficking crimes against the men. U.S. District Judge Owen Panner then sentenced Hernandez-Figueroa to 10 years in federal prison, while Muniz received five years of federal time.

The sentences will be served concurrently with the state convictions, officials said.

"These were some of the largest seizures of nearly 100 percent pure methamphetamine in Southern Oregon," said Amanda Marshall, U.S. Attorney for Oregon, in a news release. "The Department of Justice authorized our prosecution because the state convictions and sentences did not adequately vindicate the interest the United States has in prosecuting major drug traffickers."

Rick LaMountain, OFIR VP, clearly explains the folly of driver licenses for illegal aliens

Rick LaMountain, once again hits the nail on the head with his decisive, clear and well documented letter explaining why the upcoming Oregon Legislature should not restore driver's licenses to illegal aliens in our state.  Please, pass this article along to your Legislator so that they, too, can understand the folly of the idea.
 

David Cross explains that selective information leads to a misleading report

David Olen Cross tracks and reports criminal alien activity throughout the state and has done so for years.   It's not surprising that he holds accountable those that would pick and choose which information to include in the recent Oregon Commission on Public Safety’s final report to the governor, submitted on December 17, 2012.

How convenient to exclude the most damning information when the Governor's agenda is clear to anyone who cares to look at it.

Read Cross's Guest Opinion, published at registerguard.com
 

Drug bust leads to 11 arrests in Polk County

A seven-month investigation into a methamphetamine drug ring led to 11 arrests and the seizure of more than $130,000 of drugs Wednesday morning in Polk County.

About 4 a.m. Oregon State Police SWAT and a Polk County Special Response team served search warrants at three residences in Independence.

Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe said the morning bust went “like clockwork.”

“The best thing that happened was nobody got hurt — no suspects, no officers,” Wolfe said.

According to Independence police, one of more than a dozen agencies to participate in Wednesday’s search, the investigation began with undercover drug buys from suspects in July 2012.

A development in the investigation occurred Dec. 8, 2012, when law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of a drug transport vehicle in Douglas County enroute to Polk County based on information gained during the investigation.

Officials seized 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of heroin and one pound of unidentified powder from the vehicle, which contained two suspects: Sergio Gustavo Pineda-Villanueva, 23, and Faliciano Ayala-Cardenas, 31.

Both men were arrested and taken to the Douglas County jail, where they have Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds.

Pineda-Villanueva was charged with racketeering, distribution of a controlled substance — methamphetamine and distribution of a controlled substance — heroin. His bail was set at $200,000. Ayala-Cardenas was arrested on the same charges and his bail was set at $100,000.

Officials learned that suspects may have been armed and some had histories of violent behavior, but no one was injured when SWAT and the special response team searched the residences, which were at side-by-side houses at 1145 and 1135 Monmouth Street, and an apartment complex at 1050 E Street.

“The city of Independence has received complaints from the general neighborhood — there is a lot of activity there,” Wolfe said of the residences. “They have spent a lot of time fixing this house up and making it look nice, but the fact that there are lots of vehicles coming and going, those sorts of things are always triggers for us.”

Officers also seized two firearms, computers, 12.9 grams of methamphetamine and three vehicles, including a GMC Yukon, a Jeep Cherokee and a Jaguar. The estimated street value of all the drugs seized during the operation is $120,000 in methamphetamine and $19,000 in heroin.

Four children were taken into protective custody and will be placed in foster care, said Independence police.
 

Senator Jeff Merkley Town Hall meetings in the area - plan to attend!

Alert date: 
January 8, 2013
Alert body: 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 @ 1:30 PM
Marion County Town Hall

Keizer Civic Center
930 Chemawa Road NE
Keizer, OR 97303

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 @ 4:30 PM
Clackamas County Town Hall
Ohana Christian Fellowship of Seventh Day Adventists
1180 Rosemont Road
West Linn, OR 97068

If you are uncertain what to say, read this article before you attend.  Senator Merkley needs to hear from concerned Oregonians about the issue of illegal immigration and his abysmal NumbersUSA grades.

 

Man gets 17 months for apartment, Quality Inn fires

Angel M. Torres-Reyna, 41, was sentenced to 17 months in prison for setting fire to his apartment and, later, a hotel room.

A 41-year-old Vancouver man was sentenced Monday in Clark County Superior Court to 17 months’ prison for setting fire first to his apartment and, three days later, to his room at the Hazel Dell Quality Inn.

Through a Spanish-language interpreter, Angel Torres-Reyna pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault in exchange for reduced charges. He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault. A first-degree arson conviction would have involved a longer prison sentence.

The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office made the plea agreement because prosecutors were uncertain they would prevail had the two arson cases been tried separately, said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein. A plea agreement also saves the expense of a trial, or possibly two, in this case.

“It was a tactical move, and the sentence was not much less than he would have gotten in trial,” Klein said.

Seventeen months in prison is the maximum sentence for second-degree arson; a first-degree arson conviction would have added about nine to 17 months, Klein said.

Torres-Reyna also will be ordered to pay $322,312 in restitution, though many convicts are unable to pay.

When Judge Scott Collier asked Torres-Reyna if he would like to say anything before sentencing, he declined through his interpreter.

“What I’d like to hear from you is the potential harm, not just property damage, you caused,” Collier said. “When you set fire to the hotel, there were people in the hotel, firefighters. It puts them at serious risk.”

“I’m going to accept the plea agreement but a little bit begrudgingly,” the judge said.

Torres-Reyna set fire Sept. 27 to his apartment at Willowbrook Apartments on Northeast 51st Street in the Truman neighborhood. Two days later, he set fire to the hotel room, provided to him by the American Red Cross, at 7001 N.E. Highway 99. He climbed onto the hotel roof and refused to come down when firefighters tried to rescue him.

He kicked a rescue ladder and caused a firefighter to tumble to the ground, prompting the third-degree assault charge. The ladder struck a vehicle and broke out its window. From his perch, Torres-Reyna kept police at bay for four hours.

Several other hotel guests, also displaced by the Willowbrook Apartments fire, were evacuated during the hotel fire and subsequent standoff.

Initially, police expressed concerns that Torres-Reyna might be mentally ill. He received a mental health evaluation and was found competent Nov. 30 to stand trial.

He is under an immigration hold placed by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It’s unclear whether he’ll serve out his sentence before being deported.

News Flash: DRUG WARS producer Rusty Fleming coming to Salem

Alert date: 
January 2, 2013
Alert body: 

OFIR is honored to welcome Rusty Fleming, award winning producer of DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead, a chilling documentary.

Join OFIR, Saturday, January 26th from 1 - 4 pm at the Salem Public Library - Loucks Auditorium. 

Learn what you should know, must know, but DON'T know about drug cartels.  

Embedded in a vicious and violent drug cartel, Rusty filmed this documentary to teach us what we all need to understand about Mexican drug cartels and their malignant movement into our country and right here in our community.  Meet the man that has been in the belly of the beast!

Invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone you know with children to join you for this FREE event.  Donations appreciated.

If you have questions, please call 504.435.0141.  Don't miss this unique opportunity to get educated.

CAIN TV reports:

Award winning producer, director, author and consultant for 25 years, Rusty started his multi-media company to produce industrial films, commercials and news segments.

Rusty is recognized by national media and law enforcement agencies as an expert on the Mexican drug cartels. Rusty has studied the cartels from the inside out, interviewing dozens of active cartel operatives from Mexico and the U.S., ranging from street dealers to the upper management of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in existence today.

Since producing the award winning documentary, Drug Wars: Silver or Lead, Rusty has spent the past seven years traveling throughout Latin America reporting for international television and radio broadcasts. He has made multiple appearances with MSNBC, CNN and FOX. In addition, he has produced multiple episodes of Gangland for The History Channel and still produced other episodic shows for A&E, Discovery Channel and National Geographic networks.

His first book on the subject "Narco-Warfare in the 21st Century" published in early 2009 details the story of how Rusty was able to get inside one cartel revealing the operational tactics they employ to run their criminal syndicates. The book serves as a roadmap as to how the cartels have evolved and the consequences of continuing to minimize and dismiss their true objectives.

Rusty lives in Sierra Blanca, Texas where he and Sheriff Arvin West have built a faith-based drug and alcohol rehab for men and women called Ranch on the Rock. Rusty also works with the Hudspeth County Sheriff's office as Public Information Officer.

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