The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) designated Guatemalan national Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, as a narco trafficker with dangerous ties to Colombian and Mexican Los Zetas drug cartels.
The action taken by the U.S. government falls under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) that prohibits U.S. citizens from managing any financial or commercial transactions with Mr. Overdick Mejia and moved to freeze any assets within U.S. jurisdiction.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Guatemalan national a kingpin after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed Overdick Mejia’s indictment for narcotics trafficking, money laundering as well as firearms activities.
The Guatemalan authorities arrested Overdick Mejia on April 3. Authorities charged the leader of Guatemalan’s principal drug trafficking organization with multiple drug-related crimes.
A statement from the DEA alleges Overdick Mejia was “a veteran spice buyer, that he used his local contacts and his business acumen to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to Mexico and on into the United States.” Informants and officials contend Overdick Mejia was responsible for introducing Los Zetas into Guatemala sometime in 2008. Authorities also revealed the kingpin wanted to eliminate a fellow drug trafficker who became Guatemala’s most influential ally. The drug kingpin is also suspected of laundering millions of U.S. dollars in illicit narcotics sales generated by both of his cartel affiliations.
U.S. federal agencies have stepped up their drug cartel enforcement and added new tools that will enable federal agents to indict kingpins and confiscate their assets. This drug trafficker exhibited a knack for moving drugs between countries easily and laundering funds effectively.
“By designating Overdick Mejia, OFAC is demonstrating its support for the Guatemalan government in its struggle against the threats and violence posed by these international drug gangs,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking activities and close ties to the Los Zetas makes him a dangerous and critical figure in the Central American narcotics trade.”
The high-value drug cartel designation/sanction was attributed to the cooperation between the DEA and OFAC agencies. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also played a role in the successful apprehension of Overdick Mejia.
“Today’s action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide,” the DEA explained. “The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.”
Under Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act, financial penalties can be $1.075 million per violation. The criminal penalties for corporate cartel officers include a 30-year prison sentence and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations knowingly working with drug cartels can reach $10 million and other individuals involved with narco traffickers face up to 10 years in prison.
Click here for a chart of the Mejia network:
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The Associated Press is reporting that Mexican Military soldiers arrested seven Los Zetas cartel gunmen who shot and killed 72 Central and South American migrants who were headed to the United States.
The Mexican government announced that four of the suspects were apprehended after a Sept. 3rd shootout with Mexican military and three more were captured a few days later. The Marines were alerted by a survivor who somehow escaped the mass slaughter, authorities found the bodies of 72 migrants on Aug. 24 at a ranch in the northern state of Tamaulipas, spokesman Alejandro Poire said earlier at a news conference.
It is alleged that all seven arrested belong to the ultra-violent Los Zetas organization, but Poire gave no further details on their identities.
It has been reported that the 72 migrants were killed because they refused to work for the Zetas or haul illegal drugs across the border to U.S. consumers.
If this account is true, it will be the worst drug cartel massacre in Mexico so far, adding another glib record to the country’s battle with drug warlords.
Recently, the two police officers charged with leading the investigation on the murders went missing; they have now been recovered- dead.
The Tamaulipas state Attorney General’s Office said on Tuesday that identification was found on the police officers bodies and it matched those of the missing officials; state detective Roberto Suarez Vazquez and Juan Carlos Suarez Sanchez, who lead the Public Safety dept. of San Fernando were the latest victims of the bloodthirsty cartels.
The drug-related bloodshed in Mexico increasingly has the hallmarks of an insurgency, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said in a BBC report. “It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, when the narco-traffickers controlled certain parts of the country,” she said.
As the killings continue south of the border Americans and Mexicans will be forced to deal with ugly truth that the cartels are still in control and they use fear as a major tool in their violent arsenal.
After nearly three weeks of denials, the Laredo Police Department has confirmed there was a Zeta cartel incident and that the police blotter is authentic. Naturally this begs the question as to why law enforcement continued to deny the event.
There are still many questions left to be answered and more details will be forthcoming from this reporter. (Not Blogger).
The problem with this new story out of Laredo is it still doesn’t match confidential law enforcement sources in the area who witnessed the incident first hand near Minerales Annex Rd. They say there was a surveillance at the ranch and it lasted more than one day.
There is much more to the story and that the Laredo Mayor and local law enforcement still haven’t released to the public. Hopefully investigative journalists in the area will keep digging for the full truth about the Zeta incident and why it was covered up and is still being covered up, according to sources in Laredo.
For now here are excerpts from Laredo news station KRGV ABC who confirmed additional details;
“NORTH OF LAREDO – FM 1472 in Webb County, known as Mines Road, is at the center of an Internet firestorm. Bloggers are posting articles claiming members of the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas seized at least one ranch in an area northwest of Laredo last month.
“It was just one of many unconfirmed rumors and threats that we get here on a daily basis,” said Laredo Police Department spokesman Joe Baeza. “A rumor that spun out of control.”
Baeza said it began with a law enforcement bulletin dated July 24 that was leaked to a blogger. It reads as follows:
“On Friday 7-23-10 Laredo Webb informed that their county SWAT Team is conducting an operation in the Mines Rd. area. According to LT. Garcia with LSO (Laredo Sheriff Office) received a call from a ranch owner stating that the Zetas had taken over his ranch. As per the 17 (reporting person) he informed them that they stated La Compania (Zetas) was taking the ranch and no one was permitted on the ranch without permission. SO (Sheriff Office) will have an unmarked green Ford Taurus with two officers stationed at Los Compadres and a white Chevy Tahoe with two officers stationed at Mineral Rd. The LSO (Laredo Sheriff Office) will maintain surveillance in the area and advise if action is taken. Susp (suspect) Veh (vehicle) are described as a gray or silver Audi, a BLK (black) Escalade or Navigator and a van truck with a logo of a car wash spot free on the side. Border Patrol also has their response team on scene. Also known info of BMW’s and Corvettes entering and leaving the area. Auth LT Lichtenberger if assistance is requested LPD (Laredo Police Department) will secure the outer perimeter. (07/24/10 07:42:10 NR1873)”
Stay tune for further updates along the southern border.
* drug cartels
In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas.
Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding and they would continue to coordinate with U.S. Border Patrol today. “We consider this an act of war,” said one police officer on the ground near the scene. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Word broke late last night that Laredo police have requested help from the federal government regarding the incursion by the Los Zetas. It appears that the ranch owners have escaped without incident but their ranches remain in the hands of the blood thirsty cartels.
Laredo Border Patrol is conducting aerial surveillance over the ranches to determine the best way to regain control of the U.S. ranches, according to the Laredo Police department.
The approximate location of the U.S. ranches are10 miles northwest of I-35 off Mines Road and Minerales Annex Road. Just off 1472 (Mines road) near Santa Isabel Creek south of the city of Laredo, Texas.
The Los Zetas drug cartel is an offshoot of the elite Mexican military trained in special ops. The mercenary organization is said to include members of corrupt Mexican Federales, politicians as well as drug traffickers. The group was once part of the Gulf cartel, but has since splintered and now directly competes with the Gulf cartel for premium drug smuggling routes in the Texas region.
The new leader of Los Zetas is Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano and is considered the most violent paramilitary group in Mexico by the DEA.
Recently the drug organization has kidnapped tourists, infiltrated local municipalities and continues to smuggle narcotics into a very hungry U.S. market.
The violence south of the border continues to spin out of control and has left Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on virtual lockdown with businesses refusing to open the doors. Last week a particularly violent attack by the Los Zetas included the use of grenades and resulted in a dozen deaths and 21 injuries.
The hostile takeover of the ranches has met with silence with local and national media; however sources say they could be waiting to report the stories once the ranches are back in U.S. control. This journalist questions if this was a Middle Eastern terrorist attack if the media would sit on their hands.
Stay tuned for updates reports throughout the weekend.
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