Dec 092013
 

Teenage drug cartel hit man, who BEHEADED four victims, on his way home to US after serving 3 years in jail

  • Edgar Jimenez Lugo, now 17, beheaded four boys in Mexico in 2010

  • Mexican official said: ‘Being able to say whether he’s been rehabilitated, that would be risky… the crimes he committed were so severe’

  • In 2011, at age 14, Jimenez confessed to killing four young men whose beheaded bodies were found suspended from a bridge

 

Daily Mail / UK
November 26, 2013

 

Edgar Jiminez Lugo: hit man for a Mexican drug cartel has finished his three-year, juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping, drug and weapons possession is now in the USA.

Edgar Jiminez Lugo: hit man for a Mexican drug cartel has finished his three-year, juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping, drug and weapons possession is now in the USA.

 

A 17-year-old U.S. citizen and known hit man for a Mexican drug cartel has finished his three-year, juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping, drug and weapons possession and returned to the United States.

The interior secretary of southern Morelos state, Jorge Messeguer, said Edgar Jimenez Lugo had been released today – though he added it wasn’t clear if the teen had been rehabilitated.

‘Being able to say whether he’s been rehabilitated, that would be risky. I wouldn’t really dare say that, because obviously the crimes he committed were so severe,’ Messeguer said.

 

Freed: Edgar Jimenez Lugo, pictured in 2010 aged 14, has now been freed from a Mexican juvenile offender institution after serving three years for the brutal murders of four boys

Freed: Edgar Jimenez Lugo, pictured in 2010 aged 14, has now been freed from a Mexican juvenile offender institution after serving three years for the brutal murders of four boys

 

Lugo pictured following his arrest with a Mexican soldier. The teenager is now on his way to the U.S. to live with family

Lugo pictured following his arrest with a Mexican soldier. The teenager is now on his way to the U.S. to live with family

 

He said Jimenez flew to San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday where he does not face any charges under U.S. law and is considered a free man. 

The U.S. Embassy said it would not publicly discuss the case due to privacy considerations.

The teenager is believed to have family in Texas and apparently will go to a residential support facility there.

The embassy said in a statement that it was ‘closely coordinating with our Mexican counterparts and appropriate authorities in the United States’ regarding the release.

In 2011, at age 14, Jimenez confessed to killing four young men whose beheaded bodies were found suspended from a bridge.

He was born in San Diego, California, but was raised in Mexico by his grandmother.

Authorities quoted Jimenez as saying he had been forcibly recruited by drug traffickers when he was 11 and confessing to working for the South Pacific drug cartel, led by reputed drug lord Hector Beltran Leyva.

Jimenez was trying to return to the United States when he was caught in 2010.

 

Beheading: A video allegedly shows The Ponchis and his associates preparing to cut the neck of a victim

Beheading: A video allegedly shows The Ponchis and his associates preparing to cut the neck of a victim

 

He and a sister were arrested in Morelos, south of Mexico City, as they tried to board a plane to Tijuana, where they planned to cross the border and reunite with their mother in San Diego.

When he was handed over to federal prosecutors, the boy calmly said in front of cameras that he participated in four killings while drugged and under threat. The bodies were found in the tourist city of Cuernavaca, which is in Morelos.

Jimenez served his three-year sentence, the maximum for juveniles, at a juvenile detention center in Morelos.

The states was formerly controlled by the Beltran Leyva gang, which broke up after alleged leader Arturo Beltran Leyva died in a shootout with Mexican marines in 2009.

Edgar was 14 in August 2010 when he killed the young men — a student, a cook at a university, a gas station attendant and a small-business owner.

Lugo, nicknamed ‘El Ponchis,’ received a three-year term, which was the maximum allowed under law, after he admitted to beheading the four victims in central Mexico.

 

Violent: The military stopped a group of young people in the town of Jiutepec aged between 12 and 23 who were linked to the South Pacific Cartel

Violent: The military stopped a group of young people in the town of Jiutepec aged between 12 and 23 who were linked to the South Pacific Cartel

 

Siblings: Mexican soldiers guard Elizabeth (L) and Oliva Jimenez Lugo (R), aka 'Las Chavelas', sisters of Edgar Jimenez Lugo

Siblings: Mexican soldiers guard Elizabeth (L) and Oliva Jimenez Lugo (R), aka ‘Las Chavelas’, sisters of Edgar Jimenez Lugo

 

At the time of his arrest, he told reporters: ‘I participated in four executions, but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t, they would kill me.’

Lugo became notorious due to his age and online videos that discussed him. There was also a YouTube video of him beating a man with a two-by-four while the man was hanging from the ceiling.

Edgar was convicted in juvenile court in July 2011 of homicide and organized crime charges, and sentenced to three years in custody, the maximum allowed.

Once freed, Edgar will face no clear legal obstacles to crossing into the United States.

‘He can come live here when he turns 18 (in May) without any supervision. The U.S. can’t do anything, and Mexico cannot do anything,’ she said. ‘He wasn’t charged with conspiracy in the U.S.’ said Guadalupe Valencia, a San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Lugo was arrested at a Mexican airport when he and a sister were trying to flee authorities and fly to their mother in San Diego, the outlet reported.

Yolanda Lugo Jimenez was then arrested a few days later on immigration violations and deported in April, the outlet reported noting her whereabouts are now unclear.

Because of his criminal background, his family in Mexico fears his return could also put them at risk.

In recent weeks, his case and pending release has received intense media attention locally.

A book bearing Edgar’s image on the cover was released last month. It included his former street address.

 

Back in 2011: 'El Ponchis' is transported by Mexican police officials with a bag over his head. The 14-year-old boy was on trial for murder, organized crime and drug trafficking

Back in 2011: ‘El Ponchis’ is transported by Mexican police officials with a bag (jacket)  over his head. The 14-year-old boy was on trial for murder, organized crime and drug trafficking

 

Direct Link:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514101/Edgar-Jimenez-Lugo-BEHEADED-4-victims-freed-heading-US.html

 

 

Jul 192013
 

Suspected drug smuggler has been deported back to Mexico ELEVEN times

Daily Mail / UK
July 17, 2013

Repeat offender: Daniel Jupa-Fino has been arrested in America and deported back to Mexico 11 times

Repeat offender: Daniel Jupa-Fino has been arrested in America and deported back to Mexico 11 times

 

An alleged drug smuggler who was recently busted with more than 220 pounds of marijuana in his car will likely be deported back to Mexico – for the twelfth time.

Authorities in southern Arizona nabbed 21-year-old Daniel Jupa-Fino, of Sonora, Mexico, yesterday as he was driving with the enormous amount of marijuana in his vehicle. After he was taken into custody, officials from the United States Border Patrol Office learned that he already has been arrested and deported 11 times in the last three years.

‘Meanwhile, the Obama administration and Gang of 8 is making plans for green cards and a path to citizenship for 11-20 million illegals,’ Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says in a statement. ‘We must enforce the law and secure the border prior to any discussion of immigration reform.’

According to Babeu’s office, Jupa-Fino was stopped by sheriff’s deputies as he was driving with a friend, 19-year-old Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura, also of Mexico, outside of Tucson on Tuesday.

Once stopped, the two men tried to evade deputies on foot – Gonzalez-Tempura injured himself while trying to climb over a barbed-wire fence and was arrested on the scene. Jupa-Fino managed to get away.

Weed: Authorities found more than 220 pounds of marijuana in Jupa-Fino's vehicle

Weed: Authorities found more than 220 pounds of marijuana in Jupa-Fino’s vehicle

 

The score: Authorities say the amount of weed found in Jupa-Fino's vehicle has a street value of more than $165,000

The score: Authorities say the amount of weed found in Jupa-Fino’s vehicle has a street value of more than $165,000

 

Several hours after the initial traffic stop, sheriff’s deputies were called to a nearby truck stop to check out a ‘suspicious person’ who’d told nearby residents that he thought authorities were looking for him because he’d run from police during a traffic stop.

Deputies swarmed the truck stop and immediately identified Jupa-Fino as the driver of the vehicle containing the marijuana, which has a street value of more than $165,000, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Jupa-Fino was then brought to a United States Border Patrol Office, where it was revealed that he’d previously been arrested and deported 11 times.

Both men have been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

Smuggler: 19-year-old Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura also is accused of smuggling marijuana into the United States

Smuggler: 19-year-old Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura also is accused of smuggling marijuana into the United States

Direct Link:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2367413/Suspected-drug-smuggler-deported-Mexico-stunning-11-times.html

 

Jan 092012
 

 

Kevin Mitnick’s secret weapon for avoiding jail

CNET
by Elinor Mills

 

Is Kevin Mitnick saying "don't shoot?" No. He's just showing off a bracelet that doubles as a handcuff lock pick.
Is Kevin Mitnick saying “don’t shoot?” No. He’s just showing off a bracelet that doubles as a handcuff lock pick.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Famed hacker Kevin Mitnick has seen enough of the inside of a jail to know he never wants to go back. Now there’s a backup plan in case he ever finds himself arrested again–a bracelet that has a lock-pick tool for handcuffs.

The bracelet looks like a geeky version of a thick woven hippie bracelet. But hidden inside the clasp is the secret tool that slips inside the lock of handcuffs and opens them. They are $17 on Sally’s Cop Shop.

Of course, Mitnick isn’t wearing the accessory with any expectation that he will ever be arrested–he’s a security consultant, speaker and author (his memoir, “Ghost in the Wires,” came out last year and is a fun read). For him the bracelet is mostly a novelty and a bit of an inside joke, much like the version of his business card that doubles as an aluminum lock-pick kit. Plus he likes the “Harry Houdini” aspect of it, having been fascinated with magic since he was a child.

“I show it to cops. It’s a conversational piece,” he said of the bracelet in a recent interview.

But, the item also could genuinely come in handy one day.

“I travel to South America, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and we have warnings from the State Department about kidnappings going on, especially in Caracas,” he said. “If I’m kidnapped for some reason it would be great to be able to escape if they handcuff you. That’s why I wear it to South America all the time.”

 

The universal handcuff lock-pick key is hidden inside the clasp.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Originally posted at InSecurity Complex

 

 

 

 

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press.

 

Direct Link:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57352343-83/kevin-mitnicks-secret-weapon-for-avoiding-jail/

Dec 062011
 

U.S. Agents Launder Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels
The New York Times
Josue Gonzalez/Reuters
December 3, 2011


A crime scene in Monterrey, Mexico, last week. Drug-related violence has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people since late 2006, Mexican officials say.
By GINGER THOMPSON

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.”

Another former drug agency official offered this explanation for the laundering operations: “Building up the evidence to connect the cash to drugs, and connect the first cash pickup to a cartel’s command and control, is a very time consuming process. These people aren’t running a drugstore in downtown L.A. that we can go and lock the doors and place a seizure sticker on the window. These are sophisticated, international operations that practice very tight security. And as far as the Mexican cartels go, they operate in a corrupt country, from cities that the cops can’t even go into.”

The laundering operations that the United States conducts elsewhere — about 50 so-called Attorney General Exempt Operations are under way around the world — had been forbidden in Mexico after American customs agents conducted a cross-border sting without notifying Mexican authorities in 1998, which was how most American undercover work was conducted there up to that point.

But that changed in recent years after President Felipe Calderón declared war against the country’s drug cartels and enlisted the United States to play a leading role in fighting them because of concerns that his security forces had little experience and long histories of corruption.


The Reach of Mexico’s Drug Cartels

Today, in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions, the United States is running numerous undercover laundering investigations against Mexico’s most powerful cartels. One D.E.A. official said it was not unusual for American agents to pick up two or three loads of Mexican drug money each week. A second official said that as Mexican cartels extended their operations from Latin America to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the reach of the operations had grown as well. When asked how much money had been laundered as a part of the operations, the official would only say, “A lot.”

“If you’re going to get into the business of laundering money,” the official added, “then you have to be able to launder money.”

Former counternarcotics officials, who also would speak only on the condition of anonymity about clandestine operations, offered a clearer glimpse of their scale and how they worked. In some cases, the officials said, Mexican agents, posing as smugglers and accompanied by American authorities, pick up traffickers’ cash in Mexico. American agents transport the cash on government flights to the United States, where it is deposited into traffickers’ accounts, and then wired to companies that provide goods and services to the cartel.

In other cases, D.E.A. agents, posing as launderers, pick up drug proceeds in the United States, deposit them in banks in this country and then wire them to the traffickers in Mexico.

The former officials said that the drug agency tried to seize as much money as it laundered — partly in the fees the operatives charged traffickers for their services and another part in carefully choreographed arrests at pickup points identified by their undercover operatives.

And the former officials said that federal law enforcement agencies had to seek Justice Department approval to launder amounts greater than $10 million in any single operation. But they said that the cap was treated more as a guideline than a rule, and that it had been waived on many occasions to attract the interest of high-value targets.

“They tell you they’re bringing you $250,000, and they bring you a million,” one former agent said of the traffickers. “What’s the agent supposed to do then, tell them no, he can’t do it? They’ll kill him.”

It is not clear whether such operations are worth the risks. So far there are few signs that following the money has disrupted the cartels’ operations, and little evidence that Mexican drug traffickers are feeling any serious financial pain. Last year, the D.E.A. seized about $1 billion in cash and drug assets, while Mexico seized an estimated $26 million in money laundering investigations, a tiny fraction of the estimated $18 billion to $39 billion in drug money that flows between the countries each year.

Mexico has tightened restrictions on large cash purchases and on bank deposits in dollars in the past five years. But a proposed overhaul of the Mexican attorney general’s office has stalled, its architects said, as have proposed laws that would crack down on money laundered through big corporations and retail chains.

“Mexico still thinks the best way to seize dirty money is to arrest a trafficker, then turn him upside down to see how much change falls out of his pockets,” said Sergio Ferragut, a professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and the author of a book on money laundering, which he said was “still a sensitive subject for Mexican authorities.”

Mr. Calderón boasts that his government’s efforts — deploying the military across the country — have fractured many of the country’s powerful cartels and led to the arrests of about two dozen high-level and midlevel traffickers.

But there has been no significant dip in the volume of drugs moving across the country. Reports of human rights violations by police officers and soldiers have soared. And drug-related violence has left more than 40,000 people dead since Mr. Calderón took office in December 2006.

The death toll is greater than in any period since Mexico’s revolution a century ago, and the policy of close cooperation with Washington may not survive.

“We need to concentrate all our efforts on combating violence and crime that affects people, instead of concentrating on the drug issue,” said a former foreign minister, Jorge G. Castañeda, at a conference hosted last month by the Cato Institute in Washington. “It makes absolutely no sense for us to put up 50,000 body bags to stop drugs from entering the United States.”

Direct Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/world/americas/us-drug-agents-launder-profits-of-mexican-cartels.html

Dec 032011
 

Police Officers Find That Dissent on Drug Laws May Come With a Price
The New York Times
Tyler Hicks
December 2, 2011


United States Customs and Border Protection agents waiting to inspect cars at Nogales, Ariz., an area where marijuana smuggling has been active.
By MARC LACEY

PHOENIX — Border Patrol agents pursue smugglers one moment and sit around in boredom the next. It was during one of the lulls that Bryan Gonzalez, a young agent, made some comments to a colleague that cost him his career.

John Moore/Getty Images
Looking for signs of smugglers near Nogales, Ariz., alongside the fence that now marks part of the nation’s border with Mexico.
Stationed in Deming, N.M., Mr. Gonzalez was in his green-and-white Border Patrol vehicle just a few feet from the international boundary when he pulled up next to a fellow agent to chat about the frustrations of the job. If marijuana were legalized, Mr. Gonzalez acknowledges saying, the drug-related violence across the border in Mexico would cease. He then brought up an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that favors ending the war on drugs.

Those remarks, along with others expressing sympathy for illegal immigrants from Mexico, were passed along to the Border Patrol headquarters in Washington. After an investigation, a termination letter arrived that said Mr. Gonzalez held “personal views that were contrary to core characteristics of Border Patrol Agents, which are patriotism, dedication and esprit de corps.”

After his dismissal, Mr. Gonzalez joined a group even more exclusive than the Border Patrol: law enforcement officials who have lost their jobs for questioning the war on drugs and are fighting back in the courts.

In Arizona, Joe Miller, a probation officer in Mohave County, near the California border, filed suit last month in Federal District Court after he was dismissed for adding his name to a letter by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which is based in Medford, Mass., and known as LEAP, expressing support for the decriminalization of marijuana.

“More and more members of the law enforcement community are speaking out against failed drug policies, and they don’t give up their right to share their insight and engage in this important debate simply because they receive government paychecks,” said Daniel Pochoda, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which is handling the Miller case.

Mr. Miller was one of 32 members of LEAP who signed the letter, which expressed support for a California ballot measure that failed last year that would have permitted recreational marijuana use. Most of the signers were retired members of law enforcement agencies, who can speak their minds without fear of action by their bosses. But Mr. Miller and a handful of others who were still on the job — including the district attorney for Humboldt County in California and the Oakland city attorney — signed, too.

LEAP has seen its membership increase significantly from the time it was founded in 2002 by five disillusioned officers. It now has an e-mail list of 48,000, and its members include 145 judges, prosecutors, police officers, prison guards and other law enforcement officials, most of them retired, who speak on the group’s behalf.

“No one wants to be fired and have to fight for their job in court,” said Neill Franklin, a retired police officer who is LEAP’s executive director. “So most officers are reluctant to sign on board. But we do have some brave souls.”

Mr. Miller was accused of not making clear that he was speaking for himself and not the probation department while advocating the decriminalization of cannabis. His lawsuit, though, points out that the letter he signed said at the bottom, “All agency affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.”

He was also accused of dishonesty for denying that he had given approval for his name to appear on the LEAP letter. In the lawsuit, Mr. Miller said that his wife had given approval without his knowledge, using his e-mail address, but that he had later supported her.

Kip Anderson, the court administrator for the Superior Court in Mohave County, said there was no desire to limit Mr. Miller’s political views.

“This isn’t about legalization,” Mr. Anderson said. “We’re not taking a stand on that. We just didn’t want people to think he was speaking on behalf of the probation department.”

Mr. Miller, who is also a retired police officer and Marine, lost an appeal of his dismissal before a hearing officer. But when his application for unemployment benefits was turned down, he appealed that and won. An administrative law judge found that Mr. Miller had not been dishonest with his bosses and that the disclaimer on the letter was sufficient.

In the case of Mr. Gonzalez, the fired Border Patrol agent, he had not joined LEAP but had expressed sympathy with the group’s cause. “It didn’t make sense to me why marijuana is illegal,” he said. “To see that thousands of people are dying, some of whom I know, makes you want to look for a change.”

Since his firing, Mr. Gonzalez, who filed suit in federal court in Texas in January, has worked as a construction worker, a bouncer and a yard worker. He has also gone back to school, where he is considering a law degree.


Joe Miller lost his job as a probation officer in Arizona.
“I don’t want to work at a place that says I can’t think,” said Mr. Gonzalez, who grew up in El Paso, just across the border from Ciudad Juárez, which has experienced some of the worst bloodshed in Mexico.

The Justice Department, which is defending the Border Patrol, has sought to have the case thrown out. Mr. Gonzalez lost a discrimination complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sided with his supervisors’ view that they had lost trust that he would uphold the law.

Those challenging their dismissals are buoyed by the case of Jonathan Wender, who was fired as a police sergeant in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., in 2005, partly as a result of his support for the decriminalization of marijuana. Mr. Wender won a settlement of $815,000 as well as his old job back. But he retired from the department and took up teaching at the University of Washington, where one of his courses is “Drugs and Society.”

Among those not yet ready to publicly urge the legalization of drugs is a veteran Texas police officer who quietly supports LEAP and spoke on the condition that he not be identified. “We all know the drug war is a bad joke,” he said in a telephone interview. “But we also know that you’ll never get promoted if you’re seen as soft on drugs.”

Mr. Franklin, the LEAP official, said it was natural that those on the front lines of enforcing drug laws would have strong views on them, either way. It was the death of a colleague at the hands of a drug dealer in 2000 that prompted Mr. Franklin, a veteran officer, to begin questioning the nation’s drug policies. Some of his colleagues, though, hit the streets even more aggressively, he said.

Mr. Franklin said he got calls all the time from colleagues skeptical about the drug laws as they are written but unwilling to speak out — yet.

“I was speaking to a guy with the Maryland State Police this past Saturday, and he’s about to retire in January and he’s still reluctant to join us until he leaves,” Mr. Franklin said. “He wants to have a good last couple of months, without any hassle.”
Direct Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/us/officers-punished-for-supporting-eased-drug-laws.html?pagewanted=1