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US DOJ goes after drug lords operating in Tijuana; Major Traffickers Task Force is created.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 19:40
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Borderland Beat.
United States federal authorities are offering rewards in exchange of information that leads to the capture of the main traffickers operating in Southern California and the north area of Baja California, among these are: Joaquin Guzman Loera aka “El Chapo”; Fernando Sanchez Arellano aka “El Ingeniero”; Alfonzo Arzate Garcia aka “El Aquiles”; Rene Arzate Garcia aka “La Rana”; Ismael Zambada Garcia aka “El Mayo” and Jose Antonio Soto Gastelum aka “El Tigre”.
The amount of the rewards will vary depending on the relevance of the information. The information can be provided by either a phone number or an e-mail address which will be operated a special task force consisting of agents of both the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
These new rewards were created after federal agents came to the conclusion that Tijuana and San Diego were still under the threats of violent organized crime organizations and after they  got evidence pointing to the resurgence of the Tijuana cartel now led by Fernando Sanchez Arellano and associated with Jose Manuel Lopez Nuñez aka “El Balas”, Lopez Nuñez was arrested by former Tijuana Police Chief Julian Leyzaola in 2008 but was set free in 2011 in Mexico City.
Authorities also alerted the birth of new criminal organizations like the ones led by Jose Antonio Soto Gastelum aka “El Tigre”; Alfonzo Arzate Garcia aka “El Aquiles”; Rene Arteaga Garcia aka “La Rana” and Miguel Angel Treviño aka “Z-40”.(Note: This is the first time I hear of anything related to Los Zetas in this area)
According to US federal authorities, for more than 20 years, the Arellano Felix Cartel has built and keeps an empire of illegal drugs using kidnappings, torture, murder and corruption as their tools.
The effects of this organization have been seen across the US, but mainly in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.
In 1995, the DEA, FBI and the United States Attorney General, along with other local, state and federal agencies united with the goal of dismantling the leadership of the Arellano Felix Cartel, this led to the arrest of Benjamin Arellano Felix in Puebla Mexico and his extradition to the United States in 2012.
In 2006 Francisco Javier Arellano Felix was arrested in open sea, and in 2008 Eduardo Arellano Felix was captured in his home located in Tijuana, Mexico. Both of these men have been extradited to the US.
Gustavo Rivera Martinez aka “El P1” was arrested in Baja California Sur while on vacation; his extradition is pending approval from the Mexican Government.
“Now, the residents of San Diego and Tijuana continue to be threatened by violent criminal organizations like the Tijuana Cartel led by Fernando Sanchez Arellano and his Associate Jose Manuel Lopez Nuñez aka “El Balas” states the bulletin issued last Friday.
The criminal organizations have created alliances which in turn have made them more dangerous, unpredictable and holders of massive mobilization power.
In order to fight these threats, the Major Traffickers Task Force was created; this group is based in San Diego and is under the DEA and FBI charge.
The new toll-free number is 855-780-1908, the new e-mail address is DTOTIPS@USDOJ.GOV. Rewards will be given for information that leads to arrest and seizures.  
Backgound information
Joaquin Guzman Loera aka “El Chapo”: Most likely the most known trafficker in the world, “El Chapo” was born in La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa. He began his criminal career in the “Guadalajara cartel” led by Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, after Felix Gallardo´s capture, “El Chapo” allied himself with Amado Carrillo of the Juarez Cartel. In the 90´s Joaquin Guzman launched a war for Tijuana against the Arellano Felix brothers. In 1993 Guzman was captured in Guatemala after he fled Mexico fearing a possible capture or assassination by the Tijuana Cartel.
In 2001, after he practically owned the Puente Grande Federal Prison, Guzman Loera escaped and returned to the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel alongside Ismael Zambada Garcia aka “El Mayo”.
Ismael Zambada Garcia aka “El Mayo”: Ismael Zambada was born in El Alamo, Sinaloa. Zambada Garcia has been in the drug business since 1964. Just like “El Chapo”, Zambada was at some time part of the Guadalajara and Juarez cartels before creating what now is known as the Sinaloa cartel. “El Mayo” and his lieutenants have been in Tijuana in some way or another since the 80´s. When the war against the Tijuana Cartel began, he fled the city, however his employees have been there for a long time.
As far as is known, “El Mayo” has never been in prison.
Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano aka “El Ingeniero”:Little is known about Sanchez Arellano other than he is the nephew of the Arellano Felix brothers. Some accounts claim he is the son of Enedina Arellano Felix, other claim his mother is Alicia Arellano Felix, what is known is he took leadership of the Tijuana Cartel after the capture of his uncle Francisco Javier Arellano Felix in 2006.
Sanchez Arellano has been able to keep a low profile after the war against his former ally Teodoro Garcia Simental aka “El Teo” (captured in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur in 2010). Authorities believe “El Ingeniero” was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa, but neither his birthdate nor birthplace has been confirmed.

Alfonzo Arzate Garcia aka “El Aquiles”: Arzate Garcia is believed to be a former CAF member who went independent after the Ingeniero-Teo split. Just like Sanchez Arellano, little is known about “El Aquiles” other than what is claimed in corridos, some say he was part of the cell led by Jorge Briseño Lopez aka “El Cholo”. Arzate Garcia is believed to be a regional leader for the Sinaloa cartel, other sources claim he is just a re-seller for them. It´s known that his criminal cells are fighting against other Sinaloa cartel cells for the control of the retails sales in Tijuana
Rene Arteaga Garcia aka “La Rana”: Alongside his brother Alfonzo, Rene Arteaga is believed to be a regional leader for the Sinaloa cartel. There´s not much information about him other than he commands various groups of hit men who fight the drug retail in Tijuana with the other Sinaloa cartel cells. He´s also believed to be a former Tijuana Cartel member.
Jose Antonio Soto Gastelum aka “El Tigre”: Soto Gastelum is part of the Sinaloa cartel, his name began to be heard in Tijuana after Teodoro Garcia Simental split from the Tijuana Cartel, he is believed to be the one who introduced “El Teo” with the Sinaloa cartel leadership who in turn provided Garcia Simental with funds, weapons and drugs in his war against “El Ingeniero”. After the capture of “El Teo”, his brother “El Chiquilin” and “El Muletas”, Soto Gastelum became the leader of the Garcia´s cell known as “Los Teos”.


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