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

Angelhair

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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.
 

LostAmerican

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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.

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

College-Girl-Becomes-Police-Chief-in-mexico.jpg
 
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waltky

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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.
Police say the uncovered arsenal, in what is likely a drug safehouse, included machine guns, grenades, clips for high powered guns, gas masks, bulletproof vests and military uniforms. The Associated Press reports anti-aircraft guns and three money-counting machines were also found. Police searched the house after receiving an anonymous tip.

Mexican officials say no one was arrested during the operation. Authorities say a picture of actor Al Pacino in his role as the notorious Cuban drug dealer Tony Montana in the movie Scar Face was on the wall of the hidden room. Drug-related killings have claimed at least 35,000 lives since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon took office and launched an offensive against drug gangs.

Source
 

waltky

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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.
About 20,000 people poured into the main Zocalo square in Mexico City yesterday, wearing white T-shirts saying "No more blood" in symbolic shorthand, and carrying photos of poet Javier Sicilia's slain son. A few hundred people set off from Cuernavaca in the central state of Morelos on Thursday, local time, marching silently along the 80km route. City officials said the march had swelled to at least 20,000 after the bulk of protesters joined in Mexico City.

In a speech that drew deafening cheers, Sicilia demanded the resignation of Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, lashing out at the government for failing to curb Mexico's relentless drug violence despite the deployment of thousands of soldiers and federal police to cartel strongholds across the country. "If we have walked and arrived here in silence, it's because our pain is so great and so profound, and the horror that causes it so immense, that there are no words to describe it," Sicilia said.

"We still believe that it is possible for the country to be reborn and rise from ruin and show the agents of death that the sons and daughters of this country are standing up." Gruesome violence has surged in the region southwest of Mexico City since drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva died in a December 2009 shootout with marines in Cuernavaca, leading to the splintering of his cartel.

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brokenarrow

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COLUMBUS, N.M. -
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.

.

Can't trust a Mexican for nothing but cutting lawns.
 

waltky

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Columbus, NM strugglin' to recovery from gun running scandal...
:eusa_eh:
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.
But the new mayor says resolution of the case is little consolation for Columbus. The town was defrocked, losing its reputation and sense of trust, and was brought to the brink of financial ruin by its former leaders now being tried in the conspiracy. And that "is just the tip of the iceberg," said Nicole Lawson, a former city employee and losing mayoral candidate who was appointed to take the reins after Mayor Eddie Espinoza, former village trustee Blas Gutierrez and police chief Angelo Vega were accused of helping smuggle more than 200 guns into Mexico.

The now jailed officials also left the town's record-keeping in shambles. The police department has been shuttered to save money, and Lawson said has no idea how many guns, protective vests and computers are missing. Water and sewer service continues only because a laid off city worker volunteered her time to keep grant funding on track. Recreation activities were shut down for most of the summer. Most of the city's remaining 15 workers have had their hours cut and benefits eliminated. And Lawson herself — who is also one of three city EMTs on call seven days a week — says she is putting in about 100 hours a week in hopes of saving the city from bankruptcy.

"It's horrific. These people not only had their trust violated by the people that were supposed to be serving and protecting them, but they have lost their income entirely or their ability to seek medical treatment. "They have fallen through the cracks," she said, and yet some are still working. The town's previous claim to fame was a 1916 raid by Pancho Villa. Neither hard financial times nor charges of official misconduct are new for Columbus, population about 1,800, which is made up of mostly small, one-story houses laid out on a grid in the flatlands of the Chihuahua desert with views of mountain ranges on all four sides.

Former mayor and Martha's Inn owner Martha Skinner says she had just finished cleaning things up from her predecessor — who was caught embezzling — when Espinoza defeated her in 2006. "I just don't want to know anymore. I can't stand it," Skinner said. But this case was particularly shocking because the charges went well beyond the traditional forms of municipal chicanery like embezzlement to running guns across the border into violence-plagued Mexico. "I was surprised, by the reasons" they were arrested, said Martha Rodriguez, who owns Hacienda de Villa, the other inn in town. "I think it was a blow — the abuse of power. I am Mexican, and when you see a Mexican revert to the same thing that is going on there, it's shocking. You want it to be getting better."

MORE

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.
U.S. authorities say Miguel Angel Nevarez appeared before a U.S. judge Friday in El Paso, in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas - just across the border from Juarez.

Nevarez, a member of the Barrio Azteca gang, is accused of taking part in the killings of a consular officer, Leslie Enriquez Catton, and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a consulate worker.

Nevarez also faces drug and money laundering charges, as well as conspiracy to commit racketeering and federal firearm charges. In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on the country's drug gangs. Since then, more than 41,000 people have died in violence linked to the drug cartels.

Source
 
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OP
A

Angelhair

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Columbus, NM strugglin' to recovery from gun running scandal...
:eusa_eh:
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.
But the new mayor says resolution of the case is little consolation for Columbus. The town was defrocked, losing its reputation and sense of trust, and was brought to the brink of financial ruin by its former leaders now being tried in the conspiracy. And that "is just the tip of the iceberg," said Nicole Lawson, a former city employee and losing mayoral candidate who was appointed to take the reins after Mayor Eddie Espinoza, former village trustee Blas Gutierrez and police chief Angelo Vega were accused of helping smuggle more than 200 guns into Mexico.

The now jailed officials also left the town's record-keeping in shambles. The police department has been shuttered to save money, and Lawson said has no idea how many guns, protective vests and computers are missing. Water and sewer service continues only because a laid off city worker volunteered her time to keep grant funding on track. Recreation activities were shut down for most of the summer. Most of the city's remaining 15 workers have had their hours cut and benefits eliminated. And Lawson herself — who is also one of three city EMTs on call seven days a week — says she is putting in about 100 hours a week in hopes of saving the city from bankruptcy.

"It's horrific. These people not only had their trust violated by the people that were supposed to be serving and protecting them, but they have lost their income entirely or their ability to seek medical treatment. "They have fallen through the cracks," she said, and yet some are still working. The town's previous claim to fame was a 1916 raid by Pancho Villa. Neither hard financial times nor charges of official misconduct are new for Columbus, population about 1,800, which is made up of mostly small, one-story houses laid out on a grid in the flatlands of the Chihuahua desert with views of mountain ranges on all four sides.

Former mayor and Martha's Inn owner Martha Skinner says she had just finished cleaning things up from her predecessor — who was caught embezzling — when Espinoza defeated her in 2006. "I just don't want to know anymore. I can't stand it," Skinner said. But this case was particularly shocking because the charges went well beyond the traditional forms of municipal chicanery like embezzlement to running guns across the border into violence-plagued Mexico. "I was surprised, by the reasons" they were arrested, said Martha Rodriguez, who owns Hacienda de Villa, the other inn in town. "I think it was a blow — the abuse of power. I am Mexican, and when you see a Mexican revert to the same thing that is going on there, it's shocking. You want it to be getting better."

MORE

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.
U.S. authorities say Miguel Angel Nevarez appeared before a U.S. judge Friday in El Paso, in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas - just across the border from Juarez.

Nevarez, a member of the Barrio Azteca gang, is accused of taking part in the killings of a consular officer, Leslie Enriquez Catton, and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, and Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a consulate worker.

Nevarez also faces drug and money laundering charges, as well as conspiracy to commit racketeering and federal firearm charges. In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on the country's drug gangs. Since then, more than 41,000 people have died in violence linked to the drug cartels.

Source

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

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