D.E.A. Launders Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels
Published: December 3, 2011
WASHINGTON — Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.
The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.
They said agents had deposited the drug proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents.
The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests.
Agency officials declined to publicly discuss details of their work, citing concerns about compromising their investigations. But Michael S. Vigil, a former senior agency official who is currently working for a private contracting company called Mission Essential Personnel, said, “We tried to make sure there was always close supervision of these operations so that we were accomplishing our objectives, and agents weren’t laundering money for the sake of laundering money.”
Another former agency official, who asked not to be identified speaking publicly about delicate operations, said, “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”
Those are precisely the kinds of concerns members of Congress have raised about a gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed people suspected of being low-level smugglers to buy and transport guns across the border in the hope that they would lead to higher-level operatives working for Mexican cartels. After the agency lost track of hundreds of weapons, some later turned up in Mexico; two were found on the United States side of the border where an American Border Patrol agent had been shot to death.
Former D.E.A. officials rejected comparisons between letting guns and money walk away. Money, they said, poses far less of a threat to public safety. And unlike guns, it can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations.
“These are not the people whose faces are known on the street,” said Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent and the author of a book about his years as an undercover agent inside the Medellín cartel in Colombia. “They are super-insulated. And the only way to get to them is to follow their money.”Read More...
Sounds like a good way to start Paying off the National Debt... What, you don't think that the Gov keeps any of that Cash!??? Think again! Check out the links below...
Seized Drug Assets Pad Police Budgets
June 16, 2008
June 16, 2008
Every year, about $12 billion in drug profits returns to Mexico from the world's largest narcotics market — the United States. As a tactic in the war on drugs, law enforcement pursues that drug money and is then allowed to keep a portion as an incentive to fight crime.
As a result, the amount of drug dollars flowing into local police budgets is staggering. Justice Department figures show that in the past four years alone, the amount of assets seized by local law enforcement agencies across the nation enrolled in the federal program—the vast majority of it cash—has tripled, from $567 million to $1.6 billion. And that doesn't include tens of millions more the agencies got from state asset forfeiture programs.
In Texas, with its smuggling corridors to Mexico, public safety agencies seized more than $125 million last year.
ulf Cartel “Plaza Boss” Indicted for Drug, Money Laundering and Document Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2011|
BROWNSVILLE, TX—A federal grand jury sitting in Brownsville, Texas has indicted Rafael Cardenas Vela for participating in drug and money laundering conspiracies and for procuring fraudulent Visa documents, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and Thomas E. Hinojosa, acting special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Cardenas Vela, 38, is the nephew of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, convicted of federal drug charges by the Southern District of Texas in 2010, and Ezequiel “Tony Tormenta” Cardenas Guillen.
Information contained in the indictment, returned less than an hour ago, alleges that Cardenas Vela—aka Junior, Commandante 900 and Rolex—occupied a position as a principal leader of a criminal enterprise. The criminal enterprise, known as the Gulf Cartel, was headquartered in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and allegedly imports, warehouses, transports and distributes ton quantities of cocaine and marijuana from the Mexico into the United States.
“ICE-HSI agents have made it a top priority to bring stability and security to this border region” said Robinette. “Holding those responsible and accountable for these crimes is the first step.”
Cardenas-Vela, a native of Mexico, was arrested on Oct. 20, 2011, in Port Isabel, Texas. He made his initial appearance the following day, at which time he was ordered held without bond pending further criminal proceedings.
“The arrest of Rafael Cardenas Vela highlights the tremendous work our agents do throughout the Houston Division,” said Hinojosa. “DEA agents, along with our law enforcement counterparts, are committed to protecting the citizens along the southwest border by ridding their neighborhoods of drugs and drug traffickers alike.”
- US Gov and Drug Money
- U.S. Drug Agents Launder Profits of Mexican Cartels - NYTimes.com
- The Reach of Mexico's Drug Cartels - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com
- gov drug money in texas - Google Search
- Texas Case May Spur Drug Money Rule Change : NPR
- FBI — Gulf Cartel “Plaza Boss” Indicted for Drug, Money Laundering and Document Fraud
- Asset forfeiture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Reporting Texas | Tag Archive | drug money
- gov drug money texas - Google Search
- Drug Money Laundering - National Drug Threat Assessment 2006
- Office of the Governor Rick Perry - [Press Release] Gov. Rick Perry Establishes Anti-Crime Commission
- Fight Brewing Over Seized Drug Money in Texas — Texas-Mexico Border | The Texas Tribune
- DonsDeals: Seized Drug Assets Pad Police Budgets : NPR
Police Officers Find That Dissent on Drug Laws May Come With a Price (December 3, 2011)
D.E.A. Squads Extend Reach of Drug War (November 7, 2011)
Times Topic: Mexican Drug Trafficking