Mexico drug violence continues: 49 mutilated bodies dumped on highway in border town

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MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border, officials said.

The bodies of 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan on the non-toll highway to the border city of Reynosa at about 4 a.m. (5 a.m. EDT; 0900 GMT), forcing police and troops to close off the highway. Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said a banner left at the site left a threatening message in the name of the Zetas drug cartel.

- Full story from the Associated Press

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Official: 44 dead in Mexico prison riot

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MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — A fight among inmates led to a prison riot in northern Mexico that killed 44 people Sunday, a security official said.

Nuevo Leon state public security spokesman Jorge Domene Zambrano said the riot broke out at about 2 a.m. in a high-security section of a prison in the city of Apodaca outside the northern industrial city of Monterrey.

Several inmates attacked others, and the fighting then spread and blew up into a riot, Domene said. Forty-four people died before authorities regained control of the prison a couple of hours later, he said.

Families of the prisoners gathered outside the prison pushing at the fences and shouting at police to demand word of the victims. READ MORE.

- From the Associated Press

PHOTO: Police hold back the relatives of inmates outside Apodaca correctional state facility as they try to get past the gates in Apodaca on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, Sunday Feb. 19, 2012. A fight among inmates at the prison led to a riot that killed dozens on Sunday, according to a security official. (AP Photo/Hand Maximo Musielik)

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Former Rosemead man arrested in Mexico

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A former Rosemead man allegedly wanted by authorities in California was arrested in Mexico Monday on suspicion of spousal abuse, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and published reports in Guadalajara.
The man, identified as Henry Daniel West, 51, has outstanding warrants for his arrest in connection with a 2009 case alleging criminal threats and attempted extortion out of the sheriff’s Temple Station, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Martinez said.
According to La Prensa Jalisco, West was arrested by Mexican authorities on suspicion of spousal abuse Monday, before his wife told investigators he was also wanted in California.
La Prensa additionally reported that Mexican authorities contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to confirm that West was wanted in the United States.
Further details of West’s alleged crimes in the Temple City area were not available Tuesday, and was unclear when he may be returned to the U.S. to face charges.

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Mexican drug war rages on: 15 bodies, 14 of them decapitated, found in Acapulco

From the Associated Press:

ACAPULCO, Mexico  – Police found the bodies of 15 slain men, 14 of them headless, on a street outside a shopping center in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco on Saturday.
The victims, all of whom appeared to be in their 20s, were discovered in an area not frequented by tourists.
Handwritten signs left with the bodies were signed by “El Chapo’s People”–a reference to the Sinaloa cartel, headed by drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman–said Fernando Monreal Leyva, director of investigative police for Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.
The narco-messages indicated the Sinaloa cartel killed them for trying to intrude on the gang’s turf and extort residents.
Mexico’s drug cartels have increasingly taken to beheading their victims in a grisly show of force, but Saturday’s discovery was the largest single group of decapitation victims found in recent years.
In 2008, a group of 12 decapitated bodies were piled outside the Yucatan state capital of Merida. The same year, 9 headless men were discovered in the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo.
Acapulco has been the site of fierce battles between drug gangs, and this weekend got off to a bloody start with 27 people killed there from Friday evening to early Saturday, Leyva said.
The dead included two police officers cut down on a main bayside avenue in front of tourists and locals; six people who were shot dead and stuffed in a taxi, their hands and feet bound; and four others elsewhere in the city.
“We are coordinating with federal forces and local police to reinforce security in Acapulco and investigating to try to establish the motive and perpetrators of these incidents,” Monreal said.
At least 30,196 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against cartels in late 2006.
Also Saturday, authorities said a small-town mayor was found dead in northern Mexico.
Saul Vara Rivera, mayor of the municipality of Zaragoza, was reported missing by family members Wednesday, Coahuila state prosecutors said in a statement. His bullet-ridden body was discovered Friday in neighboring Nuevo Leon state.
There were no immediate arrests.
At least a dozen mayors were killed nationwide last year in acts of intimidation attributed to drug gangs.

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Survivor producer suspect in wife’s death

From Fox News


A television producer for the hit CBS show “Suvivor” is the main suspect in his wife’s death after he reported her missing in the Mexican resort city of Cancun.

The body of Monica Beresford-Redman was found Thursday morning in a sewer at the swanky Moon Palace resort where the family was on vacation, according to the official at the office of the attorney general for Quintana Roo state, where Cancun is located.

A witness at the hotel saw the couple arguing Sunday, and Bruce Beresford-Redman has been detained as a suspect, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media about the case.

Beresford-Redman had been missing for two days when her body was found Thursday.  According to reports, she left Monday to go shopping but never returned.

KCAL, a CBS News affiliate, spoke with Bruce Beresford-Redman Wednesday, who told them he could not comment on the matter much because he was hoping to keep the phone lines clear.

“I’m very hopeful someone will find my wife very soon,” he said. “She still hasn’t been located and we’re looking.”

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Suspected members of Mexican drug cartel arrested by ATF

Received an interesting DOJ press release this afternoon that talks about the arrest of four local men involved in running guns and drugs for a Mexican drug cartel, right here in the San Gabriel Valley.
Here’s some of what is says:


An investigation into guns being trafficked from Arizona to California has led to the arrest of four individuals, one of whom sold several machine guns to a undercover operative and claimed to be tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

        The four defendants were arrested early this morning by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department. During the course of the 10-month investigation, authorities purchased or seized 50 firearms, including 17 guns that were discovered during the execution of search warrants this morning.

        During the investigation, an undercover operative made a series of gun purchases from three of the defendants. The purchases included guns similar to AK-47s, Uzis and AR-15s, some of which were fully automatic weapons.

        Those arrested today are:

  • Edgardo Prado Casteneda, aka “Primo,” 26, of Azusa, who claimed to be a Southern California operative of the La Familia drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico;
  • Vicente Garcia Jr., aka “Chevy,” 38, of Azusa;
  • Steven Scott Blanks, 47, of Norco; and
  • Victor Velasquez, aka “Fingers,” 34, of El Monte, who is accused of delivering a quarter-pound of methamphetamine that was purchased by the undercover operative.

The four defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

<snip>

 The arrests were made today as Prado apparently made plans to collect a “debt” and possibly kidnap a man he said owed money to La Familia. Over the past several weeks, Prado allegedly had a series of conversations with the undercover operative about helping collect a large “debt” that a man owed to La Familia. According to the affidavit, Prado told the informant that a boss in the cartel that he called “Cuete” had sent a courier to Mexico to transport narcotics, but the courier was arrested and provided information to Mexican authorities that led to the arrest of another high-ranking cartel member in Mexico City. As a result of this, “Cuete” owed the Cartel $3 million. If the informant participated in the collection of the “debt,” Prado promised him a share of money that would be paid by the cartel.

        A criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles charges Prado with selling firearms without a license and distributing methamphetamine.

        Garcia is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

        Blanks is charged with possession of a machine gun.

        Velasquez is charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

        If convicted of the crimes alleged in the criminal complaint, the defendants would face maximum potential sentences of at least 10 years in prison.

An affidavit filed in federal court and attached here details gun deals, drug deals and talk of contract murder and kidnapping. All apparently connected to “La Familia,” a Mexican drug cartel. Here’s all the details 

cartel gun runner – affidavit.pdf

 

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Mexico’s Gulf Cartel targeted by feds

This from the Los Angeles Times:

Federal authorities announced indictments Monday against the reputed leaders of Mexico’s Gulf cartel and its paramilitary force, the Zetas, accusing them of trafficking tons of cocaine and marijuana from South America through the Texas-Mexico border.

Three of the men are identified as the “triumvirate” that manages the far-flung enterprise, dividing its territories among themselves. Another reputed leader, Miguel Angel Trevio Morales, allegedly controls the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, where the cartel is believed to funnel large amounts of drugs through the busy truck crossing into Laredo, Texas.

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