Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Arizona Law Drives Mexican Cartel To Oklahoma

Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law apparently has driven at least one Mexican drug cartel leader to the Oklahoma City area and he was nabbed this morning during a raid.

Narcotics agents arrested the Sinaloa Cartel member and said the 35-year-old Mexican national represents the strongest evidence to date that the Sinaloa Cartel is trying to establish a foothold in Oklahoma City, which has traditionally been the territory of the equally notorious Juarez Cartel, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Executive Director Darrell Weaver said.

"This is a disturbing case," said Weaver, whose agents helped serve 18 arrest warrants and 13 search warrants in an operation that stretched from Tulsa to Elk City. Warrants also were served in Mustang and Norman. At least nine people ranging from users to suppliers were arrested this morning, authorities said.

Undercover agents became aware of their main suspect three months ago, after Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070 — the new immigration law that allows police to search anyone for valid documentation of citizenship.

"Our target received a dispatch from Mexico, and was told to leave Phoenix because of the new immigration law," said an undercover case agent whose name is being withheld to protect his identity. "He was told to set up shop in Oklahoma City. Fortunately, in a very short time, we learned of his presence and were able to infiltrate his operation."

Agents discovered a lucrative operation, and according to the undercover agent, an "established market" from a previous drug ring. Undercover surveillance revealed that an average of 10 pounds of methamphetamine was being shipped into Oklahoma City a week, Weaver said. Ten pounds of methamphetamine can net anywhere from $180,000 to $210,000 on the streets, depending on its purity.

The suspect tried to maintain a low profile by living in a gated apartment complex. But Weaver said his agents were able to track "hundreds of thousands of dollars in wire transfers" to Mexico, where the money was being used to buy land.

OBN alleges the money was being laundered through an Oklahoma City car lot.

Read more about this developing story at http://www.newsok.com/narcotics-agents-arrest-suspected-cartel-member-in-oklahoma-city/article/3472186?custom_click=lead_story_title#ixzz0sGNY1SkU.

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