Archive | October 2011

Operation Pipeline Express in Arizona nets millions of dollars, drugs & firearms

Arizona local, state and federal authorities publicized results of a nearly 18-month multi-agency drug cartel investigation. The joint-task force “Operation Pipeline Express” successfully brought down a billion-dollar narcotic ring in the Arizona desert.
The agencies represented included Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told media outlets that the Sinaloa drug cartel suffered a huge disruption from Arizona law enforcement.
“Today we have dealt a significant blow to a Mexican criminal enterprise that has been responsible for poisoning our communities with the distribution of millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana, cocaine and heroin,” said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. “I find it completely unacceptable that Arizona neighborhoods are treated as a trading floor for narcotics. This case is the result of an outstanding partnership between federal and county law enforcement authorities and the Arizona Attorney General’s office, which will handle the prosecution. These partnerships are essential to making sure these criminals experience the full force of the justice system.”
Authorities pointed out that the massive drug cartel ring built cells throughout western Arizona, and they used backpackers as well as vehicles to various “stash houses” which ultimately sent the illicit drugs to major U.S. cities.
This latest sweep was the third large-scale enforcement raids carried out under “Operation Pipeline Express.” So far, officials say 76 various cartel employees have been arrested. Last week’s warranted searches also netted two tons of marijuana, 19 firearms and $200,000.
“Through our joint efforts, we’ve sent a resounding message to the Mexican cartels that Arizona is off limits to their operatives,” said Matthew Allen, special agent in charge for HSI in Arizona. “As this case makes clear, law enforcement in Arizona is united in its resolve to protect our communities and our country from the scourge of large-scale narcotics trafficking. We stand ready to use every tool and resource at our disposal to attack and dismantle these organizations.”
While “Operation Pipeline Express” seized more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine, 10,000 pounds of heroin and $2 billion in illicit proceeds, Arizona authorities garnered much-needed intelligence on the way the Sinaloa cartel operates.
“We in Arizona continue to stand and fight the Mexican drug cartels, who think they own the place,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. “This is America and we shall bring a crushing hand of enforcement against those who threaten our families and our national security. While this is a historic drug bust, sadly this represents only a fraction of what my deputies face every day.”
Arizona law enforcement agencies said it appeared that the Sinaloa drug cartel garnered a huge-profit margin in western Arizona due to the lack of drug cartel competition.
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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
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Armas Cruzadas- DHS Sec. Napolitano’s own Mexican gun-trafficking operation

While Operation Fast and Furious remains a thorn in U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s side, it looks like Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano may soon begin sharing the pain.

Sec. Napolitano recently informed the House Judiciary Committee she had no knowledge of Fast and Furious, but omitted to mention her own department was running Operation Armas Cruzadas.

Operation Armas Cruzadas highlights another crucial factor – that the Mexican government had more of a role in the cartel arms trafficking business than just playing the victim.

This new information dovetails with complaints by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents in the Phoenix office that complained Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from Team VII regularly called “dibs” on gun trafficking cases in order to “get credit” for splashy narco-related investigations. One agent explained that the atmosphere seemed more focused on press conferences and ego rather than commonsense.

The DHS memorandum reveals that ICE ran Operation Armas Cruzadas with the full knowledge of Arturo Chávez Chávez,Mexican Attorney General in an effort to ostensibly prosecute cartels in Mexico using U.S. intelligence and agents. This is a departure from Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious where the Mexican government claimed it knew nothing about the gun-walking program.

The Mexican Attorney General agreed it was beneficial for both “…governments to work in a coordinated fashion to prevent, discourage and process arms traffickers,” the documents disclosed.

These documents demonstrate ICE remains more involved in the gun trafficking business than anybody knew or Sec. Napolitano was willing to admit to Congress.

However, Operation Armas Cruzadas doesn’t seem to include any input by ATF agents and this arms trafficking investigation has escaped scrutiny by the media. Perhaps, a bloated-bureaucratic DHS crossed its fingers hoping Operation Armas Cruzadas would not be discovered by the media?

Also, intelligence gathering in a post 9/11 world has accomplished a couple of things; first, it makes it easier for agencies to conduct investigations with little oversight under the guise of national security. And second, the infamous new age of electronic intelligence gathering provides law enforcement agencies with plausible deniability.

This is the first report concerning Operation Armas Cruzadas and a series of stories will provide more information on this gun-trafficking program in the coming days.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Drug seizures in San Diego continue with Border Patrol

Interior Border Patrol checkpoints continue to slow drug smugglers progress and capture illicit drugs before they hit the streets. Yesterday, a Mexican national male, was apprehended when he tried to smuggle nine bundles of cocaine into the U.S.

“A Border Patrol K-9 team alerted to a blue 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee and agents subsequently discovered 21.2 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the vehicle’s spare tire with an estimated street value of $211,200,” according to Scott Simon, Border Patrol Agent from San Diego.

The alleged-drug smuggler and the cocaine were taken into custody and handed off to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to face charges.

Border Patrol Agents from interior checkpoints busted several U.S. citizens for trafficking marijuana this week. The agents found approximately 150 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $200,000. All the alleged-drug smugglers were arrested and booked into county jail. Border Patrol Agents detained the marijuana and vehicles.

Since October 1, 2010, the San Diego Sector Border Patrol has seized approximately 2,331 pounds of cocaine, 578 pounds of methamphetamine and 68,722 pounds of marijuana.

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© Copyright 2011Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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California pension crisis tops the country’s debt at a whopping $612 billion

A new PEW study puts California at the top of the pension debt crisis with at least $612 billion in obligations followed by New Jersey at $183 Billion and Illinois with a $150 billion.

The shocking new PEW study projected the country is on the hook for approximately $2 trillion dollars for all states, says Capoliticalnews.

“Using the higher pension gap number, State Budget Solutions said California is in the biggest financial hole — with total debt of more than $612 billion. New York follows with $305 billion of debt, and then Texas, with total debt of $283 billion. Vermont has the lowest amount of total debt at just over $6 billion,” a story from Bloomberg reported.

California’s State Controller John Chiang explains California’s state pension crisis is causing big headaches for state politicians. According to the state’s latest money projections, “the State ended last fiscal year with a cash deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year cash deficit stands at $17.6 billion. Those deficits are being covered with $12.2 billion of internal borrowing (temporary loans from special funds) and $5.4 billion of external borrowing).”

When it comes to unemployment, 11.9 percent, California will borrow the most in the country to cover its unemployment benefit checks- $8.6 billion.

Keeping these financial concerns in mind California’s Governor, Jerry Brown will address state legislators on the pension tsunami flooding the state.

“Given the paramount importance of pensions to both taxpayers and public employees, it is absolutely critical that we carefully examine our current assumptions and practices,” Brown stated in a letter to Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), and Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena). “We have to do our best to make sure that we have a system that is fair and truly sustainable over the long time horizon that our pension and health systems require.”

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

RAND Corp. recalls study that crime increased after pot shops closed in LA

A controversial study published by the RAND Corp. that claimed crime increased in Los Angeles after medical marijuana dispensaries were closed was officially retracted. The RAND study was published in September and linked increases in various crimes.

The controversial report prompted public safety advocates to question the study. A Santa Monica think-tank reviewed all the data used by RAND and found substantial discrepancies.

The review found the report did not include crime statistics reported by the Los Angeles Police Department. In light of this new information, RAND pulled the plug on the study. RAND also said they have plans to conduct a new analysis, but explained it will take many months to complete.

It appears the RAND authors did not know the third-party organization,, they used failed to include LAPD data, according to RAND Vice President of Infrastructure, Safety and Environment Debra Knopman.

“The whole idea of the study was to try to get insight as to whether or not there was an effect on crime, whatever direction, as a consequence of the city’s closure order of some dispensaries. Having an incomplete data set renders that kind of analysis invalid,” Knopman explained.

Knopman called the retraction a “rare failure” from RAND Corp.

“We take our commitment to quality and objectivity seriously, so we have retracted the study in order to correct it,” Knopman said.

In the future, RAND said it would be using crime data taken from police departments, instead of or other third party statisticians. Knopman finished by reiterating to readers; “I don’t want to suggest in any way that they misrepresented the data or that they have any responsibility.”

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz gets two years in prison for handcuffing illegal

Border Patrol Agent Diaz gets two years in prison for handcuffing illegal alien

Border Patrol Agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz received a two-year prison sentence for mishandling his handcuffs on a known-illegal alien drug smuggler. He was charged by the Obama Administration Justice Department using the vague “civil rights” strategy and was convicted last week of lifting the arms of a prisoner while handcuffed.

According to the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council, the government’s case is based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts. This includes the charge that Agent Diaz was physically abusive to the then minor “MBE” as noted by court documents and transcripts that Diaz allegedly put his knee on his back and pulled back on his handcuffs.

“However, given the time of day during the incident, October 16, 2008 at about 2 a.m. and lack of lighting it would be impossible to have actually seen much if anything. The agent who stood next to Mr. Diaz, Marco Ramos testified that he did not see anything that was claimed to have taken place,” Andy Ramirez, president of LEOAC explained. “Other witnesses made claims that were contradictory amongst each other, and some later admitted in court to having perjured themselves, including Gabriel Lerma. Such admissions were ignored by the court and government who continued the prosecution having filed charges against Mr. Diaz for lying to investigators.”

Despite the explanations, the Mexican Consulate pushed for charges against the Border Patrol agent. They contend the Mexican drug smuggler, a minor when he was arrested, was hit several times. The Mexican government also states the beatings continued because the drug smuggler could not give agents the name of his boss. The young drug smuggler also claimed the Border Patrol agent threatened him with continued violence until he provided agents with the name of his boss.
All these claims were disputed by Agent Diaz.

“The doper claimed he suffered no injuries during his testimony during the trial. He was sore from his shoulders. However, that was due to the weight of the drug load, approximately 75 pounds that he carried across the border. There were two dopers apprehended during the incident and 150 pounds total drugs seized. The court sealed the pictures of the doper, which would corroborate the defense that there were neither injuries received or bruising to his lower arms where the handcuffs were placed nor any bruising resulting from the alleged knee on his back. The only marks on his body came from the straps of the pack he carried containing the drugs,” Ramirez said.

Family member’s reaction to the harsh verdict turned to fear for “Chito’s” life as law enforcement officers are often prime targets for prison violence.

“I am coping with the fact that he could potentially be home in six months for good behavior,” said Diana Guadarrama Diaz, wife of Agent Diaz. “I am still angry and scared. Anything can happen inside prison walls.”

The perplexing conviction of a Border Patrol agent for handcuff abuse is certain to have a chilling effect for those agents in the field who encounter drug smugglers every day.

DOJ remains under fire for the weapons it let “walk” under Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF’s) Fast and Furious program. That failed program lead to the unsolved murders of Border Patrol Agents Brian Terry and Robert Rosas (two individuals have been incarcerated for the murder, but others remain at large) and the murder of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata. These murders remain clear memories for agents arresting the barrage of drug smugglers that continue to cross the U.S./Mexico border.

“I think this case will not only affect Border Patrol agents, but all law enforcement officers whose job requires that they use handcuffs,” Mrs. Diaz explained. “It is rulings like these that give the drug cartels the power to run amok. How can a law enforcement officer do their job when they handcuff the individual for their own safety…?

She explains the looming threat of potentially violating suspect drug smugglers’ civil rights because handcuffing can cause pain is unfounded. “What’s next? Will law enforcement be banned from talking to people? It’s no wonder cartels don’t respect U.S. law enforcement. During sentencing, the judge said just because you have a badge and gun doesn’t give you the right to violate a drug smugglers rights.”

As for “Chito,” he only needs to look back to the Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean case. The two Border Patrol Agents were arrested after chasing a fleeing illegal drug smuggler who was eventually shot in the butt. The Attorney General on the case, Johnny Sutton, went over and beyond his prosecution guidelines and the two agents were sentenced to prison. The public outcry was swift and loud. Talk radio refused to let the injustice stand, and after numerous Congressmen and Senator complaints, the two Border Patrol Agents had their prison sentences commuted by outgoing President George Bush.

“This case, unlike that one, is completely clean – defense wise. Judge directed him to apologize to the victim (not present), the nation, fellow BP Agents, his family… He refused and maintained silence,” Ramirez said. “The judge ignored numerous admissions by their own witnesses of perjury. Word is the government did not want this case sitting out there being campaigned on during the 2012 election cycle, so that Holder/DOJ leaned on the judge.”

Like the Ramos and Compean case, talk radio has picked-up the torch and family members are hopeful “Chito’s” name will be cleared. “We believe we can clear Agent Diaz’ name given the facts in this case and contradictory statements by the ‘star witnesses,’” Ramirez said.

“While the sentence was light compared to what it could have been, Agent Diaz is a hero and this case should have never gone forward even at an administrative level against Chito, which was recommended by the Office of Professional Responsibility to CBP Internal Affairs. Chito was cleared previously by the Office of Inspector General and OPR regarding prosecution. So how this became a criminal case demands intense scrutiny and oversight. It should have been prosecuted against the dopers, and since then, those star witnesses who perjured themselves. Where is the justice in this case? Once again, our government is far more concerned with the so-called rights of criminal illegal-alien dopers than our agents who continue to be prosecuted for doing their job. Congress needs to investigate this case and the pattern of misconduct and abuse that has resulted in an innocent agent going to prison yet again,” concluded Ramirez.

The kicker is the appeal will be heard before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, LA, the same court as the Ramos/Compean cases. So far there is no date for the hearing and experts say it will most likely take three years to reach a judge.

In the meantime, the Diaz family will try to live as normal a life as possible, grocery shopping, getting the children to and from school, homework and praying their father will come home safely.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Mexican long-haul trucks take to U.S. highways today, angers Teamsters

Despite a protest rally from Teamsters, a speech from Jim Hoffa Jr. and bi-partisan Congressional members, Mexican long-haul trucks will take to U.S. highways today.

Safety standards and the threat of losing more than 100,000 truck driver jobs was not enough to sway the Obama Administration’s decision to allow Mexican trucks, approved through a North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) pilot program, to gain access to U.S. and deliver their goods.

Using a Russian roulette analogy for Mexican truck safety standards, Hoffa said it would take a serious car accident to get Mexican trucks off the highways.

“This pilot program will be a fiasco, just like the last one was,” Hoffa told roughly 100 Teamsters at a San Diego border rally. “You know it’s trouble when the very first carrier that DOT approves is axed because of safety concerns. Department of Transportation (DOT) has never been able to verify the safety of Mexican trucks. That’s why the Teamsters for 17 years kept the border closed to a permanent program that would let any Mexican truck travel anywhere in the U.S.”

San Diego Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. and Democrat Bob Filner voiced their bi-partisan support of the Teamsters and vowed to continue the fight in the halls of Congress. “It’s about American jobs,” Hunter told the rowdy crowd. He also said the Mexican drug cartels would find a way to take advantage of the new trucking arrangement with America.

Rep. Filner agreed and added that “lives will be lost. I just hope it isn’t a school bus full of children.”

Another fear American truck drivers voiced concerned about was the loss of union wages. While many union truck drivers earn $250 for a trip from the border to Los Angeles, Mexican drivers could charge as little as $50 for the same trip.

Traditionally, the Teamsters have provided good-paying blue collar jobs for drivers throughout the country something they contend will be put in jeopardy if this pilot program is expanded. “The whole idea is to tear down the Teamsters,” said Richard Middleton, Vice President for the Teamsters International Western Region.

The new program will also affect local independent truck driving operators. Jose Escott, of Yucipa, California explained that he immigrated, legally, in 1987. “I gave up my Mexican passport and worked very hard to earn my business. I oppose this NAFTA program. It will kill the American spirit that I love and it will export trucking jobs to Mexico.”

Hoffa wrapped up the questions by pointing to the unsafe driving conditions south of the border. “This is not a level playing field. There were 10,000 hijackings in Mexico last year. What American truckers are going to put their lives on the line to deliver flat-screen TVs in Mexico?”

“We’ve had enough of this madness,” he finished.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Joining Forces initiative to put military families to work

First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden hit the campaign trail to support veterans and their military families. The American Logistics Association (ALA) is working with the First Lady to hire and train more than 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis stop is part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act bus tour that emphasizes the importance of hiring America’s veterans.

“The ALA’s commitment today is the largest coordinated effort by the private sector we’ve seen in years, maybe ever. And they’re making these hires not just because it’s the right thing to do or the patriotic thing to do. They’re doing it because it’s good for their bottom line. They know that these veterans and military spouses represent the best, and they want them on their team,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “And that’s what Joining Forces is about, tapping into all that goodwill that’s out there, all across America, in every sector of society, and channeling it into meaningful action that’s a win-win for everyone.”

The President also suggested that Americans needed to take care of military members who fought against terrorists to ensure freedom.

“We ask our men and women in uniform to leave their careers, leave their families, and risk their lives to fight for our country,” President Obama explained. “The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home. That’s why I’ve made increasing job opportunities for veterans a critical priority for my Administration and why the American Jobs Act I proposed includes tax credits to make it easier for businesses to hire America’s veterans.”

The jobs for “veterans and their families” supporters include notable and easily recognizable U.S. companies committed to hiring those who served their country; Tysons Foods, Coca Cola, Unilever and ConAgra along with a multitude of specialty suppliers to the on-base military consumer channel.

To accomplish its goal, the new association will begin several on-going employment programs including the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) and the Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

Serving military families has been the focus of First Lady Michelle Obama’s attention during her time in the White House. Along with Jill Biden, the “Joining Forces program aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society to ensure veterans and military families have the support they have earned.”

The ALA’s pledge is to hire at least 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Joining Forces initiative to put military families to work – San Diego County Political Buzz |

Mocking airport TSA personnel could be a crime

Congress is famous for writing and passing bills without reading them. The Committee on Homeland Security, under Republican Chairman Peter King, have inserted language that would make it a crime to make fun of Transportation Security Administration (TSA)… or their off-the-record name “Thousands Standing Around.”

Reference to the latter could land anyone in TSA jail if H.R. 3011, The Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act of 2011 becomes law. Section 295, located on page 61 of H.R. 3011 contains fascinating language beginning on line six;

“Whoever, except with the written permission of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Security (or the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service for issues involving the Federal Air Marshal Service), knowingly uses the words ‘Transportation Security Administration’, ‘United States Transportation Security Administration’, ‘Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘United States Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘Federal Air Marshals’, the initials ‘T.S.A.’, ‘F.A.M.S.,’‘F.A.M.,’ or any colorable imitation of such words or initials, or the likeness of a Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service badge, logo, or insignia on any item of apparel, in connection with any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or with any play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, in a matter that is reasonably calculated to convey the impression that the wearer of the item of apparel is acting pursuant to the legal authority of the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service, or to convey the impression that such advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or such play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service.”

Hollywood may need to lawyer up the next time they plan to film an Airplane movie.

Special thanks to Inforwars for leaking the questionable passage in TSA’s Authorization bill.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Mocking airport TSA personnel could be a crime – San Diego County Political Buzz |

La Raza to storm Congress Super-Committee to keep their Medicaid benefits

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) will step up its fight against entitlement reform in order to let the Congressional “Super-Committee,” who must cut $1.2 trillion of America’s bloated $14 trillion debt, or slash Medicaid spending.

“[We need to] keep sending the message that the trade-off for reducing the deficit cannot be the livelihood of our [Latino] families,” a press release read. “[We are] tired of hearing about threats to health care for our families. The fact is that national leaders are on the cusp of making decisions about our national budget and we can’t ignore the debate.”

La Raza is teaming up with Families USA and the National Urban League to lobby the Super Committee using the social services of Twitter.

Twitterstorm is set up for anyone with a computer or smart phone. It allows activists to contact their members of Congress and voice their opinion about any possible cuts to Medicaid.

La Raza says there are two easy ways to do this;

1. To contact the Super Committee follow this link for an easy way to use Twitter to ask the Super Committee to keep Medicaid safe.

2. Join the Twitter Chat on Medicaid on October 19, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. EDT by following the hashtags #OurLifeline and #NCLRChats.

NCLR points to a report that clearly reveals the integral role Medicaid plays in seriously ill Latino individuals by providing treatment.

“The evidence is clear; Millions have been priced out of private insurance or denied completely because they are ill, but can have peace of mind on the Medicaid program,” according to Jennifer Ng’andu, Deputy Director, Health Policy Project at La Raza.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on La Raza to storm Congress Super-Committee to keep their Medicaid benefits – San Diego County Political Buzz |

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