Posts Tagged ‘ caro quintero ’

Dedos Muertos?

Jan 26th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime


This State Department cable out of Wikileaks caught my eye. 51 FBI informants and 10 DEA "liaison officers" were murdered in Mexico between 2007-09.

When we talk about American law enforcement in Mexico, we generally view the Americans as not being part of the game; for the most part, this has held true since the wars began.

But I wonder about these 61 informants and liaisons. Were the 51 also Mexican informants and therefore murdered for that connection or were they killed because of their ties to the Americans? Same for the 10 liaisons. Were they killed because they were Mexican intelligence officers or because they were working with the Americans?

15 tons gets you 7, maybe 2

Dec 16th, 2009 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Politics


This story’s a few months old but I like it because it shows nicely to what extent the U.S. simply doesn’t invest in punishing high-end drug traffickers. The United States has entered into a plea agreement with one of Mexico’s most famed drug lords that ensures the man will not spend more than a few years behind bars despite having moved more than an average of 15 tons of marijuana across the border every year of his ... illustrious ... career. Miguel Angel Caro Quintero, who headed the Sonora Cartel in the 1980s, is accused of moving nearly fifteen tons of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S. for years. His brother, Rafael Caro Quintero, is serving a 40-year sentence in Mexico for the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Miguel was captured in Sinaloa in late 2001 and served eight years in that country before he was extradited to Colorado last winter to stand trial on indictments filed by the U.S. The Feds worked a suspect named Harold Allen Hughes, a Cessna pilot and smuggler dating back to 1967, recorded deals of upwards of 80-ton loads of pot moving through Sonora. Hughes, who worked with El Azul Juan Esparragoza as far back as 1973, was also in the growing business, raising some 30 tons of pot every year in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Chihuahua. Court documents show that he went to work with Miguel Caro Quintero after Rafael's arrest, moving loads into Tucson and Phoenix then driving half-ton loads up to Colorado. Cash was coming back at a rate of $300K a week in those heady days of the late eighties and nineties before a source fingered Hughes and Caro Quintero in 2001. The evidence seems a bit shady; according to court documents, the snitch "identified a photograph of Miguel Angel Caro-Quintero as the person that Hughes obtained his marijuana from ..." between 1985 and 1989. For his part, Caro Quintero has always proclaimed his innocence, saying that the Feds were simply retributing the murder of Kiki Camarena and that he's simply a cattlerancher. Nevertheless, last October, he pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking in Colorado and Arizona. Here's where it gets a little sketchy. Sentencing won't be held until February but I'm told that he will serve his five-year Arizona sentence concurrently with that of Colorado where he faces 10-20. However, I'm told that he's really facing the lower end of the larger sentence minus the eight years he's already served in Mexico. Bottom line: maximum seven years for a drug lord career that spanned nearly two decades. Possibly two years if he gets the ten and the court accepts the eight years he's served in Mexico. That's what a great lawyer will do for you. I don't even know what to think about the federal prosecutors ...

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