Author Topic: Weapons trafficking: Feds bust Iraqi-Mexican drug operation in Calif  (Read 2365 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jujyjuji

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1204
IRAQ/US/MEXICO - Feds bust Iraqi-Mexican drug operation in Calif

Released on 2013-02-13 00:00 GMT
Email-ID    1879946
Date    unspecified
From    [email protected]
To    [email protected]


Feds bust Iraqi-Mexican drug operation in Calif

SAN DIEGO a** Federal officials said Thursday they've taken down a drug
and weapons trafficking ring involving members of San Diego's Iraqi
community and a major Mexican drug cartel that was caught selling large
amounts of drugs, guns and grenades.

Police in El Cajon said more than 60 suspects linked to the Chaldean
Organized Crime Syndicate were arrested.

Smugglers were shipping drugs from El Cajon to Iraqis in Detroit, where
the Chaldean syndicate is based, authorities said.

El Cajon and federal police say they have seized 18 pounds of
methamphetamine, narcotics, cocaine and other drugs; more than 3,500
pounds of marijuana; $630,000 in cash; four IEDs; and more than 30 guns,
including assault rifles.

In April, a Drug Enforcement Agency undercover agent was shown a hand
grenade by an immigrant and was told additional grenades were available
from a Mexican military source.

The cartel, Sinaloa, is Mexico's most powerful drug cartel, led by Joaquin
"El Chapo" Guzman, who has become one of the world's richest and
most-wanted men since he escaped from a Mexican prison 10 years ago.

The investigation focused on an Iraqi social club in El Cajon that
authorities said is a hub of criminal activity conducted by Iraqi
organized crime. Crimes including attempted murder, sales of meth and
marijuana, gambling and illegal firearms sales have been reported at the

El Cajon police have for years received complaints from neighbors and the
wives of men who attended the club. The managers of the club are aware of
the criminal activity and demand a cut of the money, according to
authorities. Armed guards are allegedly provided during high-states card

The club's troubles go back more than a decade. In 1998, police seized
illegal slot machines. In 2007, it was identified as a gathering spot for
Iraqi narcotics distributors. In 2009, authorities started investigating
the illegal sale of firearms and possession of hand grenades.

Four indictments were unsealed Thursday charging nine people with federal
narcotics and weapons trafficking charges and the unlawful possession of
various firearms and explosives. One of the suspects, Nofel Noel Suleyman,
was also charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, which
carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Under Guzman, Sinaloa grew bloodier and more powerful, controlling cocaine
trafficking on the Mexican border with California, while expanding
eastward to the corridor between Sonora and Arizona and waging a fierce
battle for Chihuahua state bordering Texas. That war made the border city
of Ciudad Juarez one of the world's most dangerous cities.

In October 2010, Mexico made its largest marijuana bust a** 134 tons a**
in Tijuana and said markings on the packages linked the haul to El Chapo,
showing that he was also running drugs smoothly through a city once
controlled by his archrivals, the Arrellano Felix gang