Feds: NM mayor, police chief helped run guns to Mexico

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    COLUMBUS, N.M. - Drug gangsters in northern Mexico looking for high-powered weapons have benefited from some well-placed American suppliers lately, U.S. prosecutors say.

    While drug violence raged in the Mexican town of Puerto Palomas, the mayor and police chief of next-door Columbus, N.M., formed part of a U.S. smuggling ring selling weapons to gangsters across the border, U.S. prosecutors say.

    Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Police Chief Angelo Vega and nine others amassed weapons beginning in January 2010 for sale across the border, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday. At least a dozen of the 200 guns they purchased turned up later in Mexico.

    The suspects were arrested Thursday in a raid by federal agents and state police. One suspect is at large.

    Court records show that many of the weapons, including 9 mm handguns and AK-47-style pistols that resemble a shortened version of the rifle, were purchased at Chaparral Guns, a federally licensed arms dealer, and sold in bulk purchases of up to 20 at a time. The store's owner, Ian Garland, was taken into custody and charged with smuggling, making false statements and conspiracy.

    Residents of Columbus say news of the sweep hit the town hard, coming two days before an annual heritage celebration in honor of friendship and peace between Puerto Palomas and Columbus, which was famously attacked in 1916 by Mexican rebel leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa.

    "I'm so mad I could spit nails," said Martha Skinner, who runs a bed and breakfast in Columbus, a town of about 1,800. "They took an oath to uphold the law. What if the cartels decided they weren't selling enough guns and got mad and sent someone to shoot up our town?"

    Federal prosecutors have filed 84 counts against the defendants, who allegedly engaged in the kind of "straw" purchases that have drawn increasing scrutiny from U.S. authorities, wherein gun buyers acquire weapons legally, often in large quantities, on behalf of criminals.

    Trafficking of U.S. guns into Mexico, where firearms are strictly controlled, has been a source of increasing tension between the two countries, and Mexican officials have pressed the Obama administration to do more to stem the flow of weapons south.

    Like nearby El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Columbus and Puerto Palomas have experienced Mexico's drug violence in dramatically uneven ways. Columbus residents say their town has remained quiet, unfazed by the murders on the other side or such events as the discovery of 20 bodies in a mass grave in November.

    When three human heads were left in the town square of Puerto Palomas in August, Vega, the police chief, told reporters that the violence was "knocking at our back door."

    "We'll maintain the line," he said at the time.

    ""I'm so mad I could spit nails. They took an oath to uphold the law. What if the cartels decided they weren't selling enough guns and got mad and sent someone to shoot up our town?"

    Feds: NM mayor, police chief helped run guns to Mexico

    Does NOT surprise me.
     
  2. LostAmerican
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    LostAmerican BANNED

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    Are you looking for a job in the fast paced world of LAW ENFORCEMENT?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  3. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Guns confiscated in Juarez...
    :cool:
    Mexican Police Discover Large Weapons Cache
    Sunday, May 1st, 2011 - Mexican police have confiscated a large weapons cache stashed in a hidden room behind the walls of a home gym in a house in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas.
     
  4. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    New trend in Mexico - marchin' against drug cartel violence...
    :clap2:
    Mexicans mass against killers
    May 10, 2011 : AN anti-violence march that began in a central state with a few hundred and gathered thousands over four days reached Mexico's capital, led by a poet whose son was killed by suspected drug traffickers.
     
  5. brokenarrow
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    brokenarrow BANNED

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    Can't trust a Mexican for nothing but cutting lawns.
     
  6. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Columbus, NM strugglin' to recovery from gun running scandal...
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    Border town struggles to recover from gun scandal
    Sat Aug 27,`11 – Federal prosecutors have all but wrapped up their prosecution of a Mexican gun smuggling ring that snared the mayor, police chief and a trustee of this quiet, dusty border town where chile field workers and refugees from different sides of Mexico's violent drug war apparently coexist peacefully and without fear.
    See also:

    Mexican Charged in US Consulate Murders Extradited to US
    August 27, 2011 - The U.S. Justice Department says one of the accused killers in the March 2010 killings of three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has been extradited to the United States.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  7. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    Get rid of ALL latinos in power........no other choice. Oops! Is that a not acceptable PC statement????
     
  8. Unkotare
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    Unkotare Diamond Member

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    That's just a stupid statement.
     

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