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Friday, July 29, 2011

Mexican Cartel Cell Busted in Comal County, Texas

Comal meth ring is busted
By Guillermo Contreras

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Comal-meth-ring-is-busted-1624392.php#ixzz1TUkCFvd2
At a news conference here Thursday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the multiagency Comal County Metro Narcotics Task Force announced they broke up a trafficking cell linked to La Familia Michoacana.
The yearlong investigation identified lower, midlevel traffickers and sources of supply in the San Antonio area and surrounding counties directly tied to La Familia, authorities said.... The cell moved 25 pounds of nearly 100-percent pure crystal meth per month that could retail for as much as $200,000 a pound, said Mauricio Fernandez, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Antonio. With a wholesale price of about $20,000 per pound, he estimated the cell made at least $4.5 million a month.... La Familia is one of Mexico's newest and most bizarre drug cartels, according to published reports, a violent but Christian fundamentalist narco gang based in western Michoacan state.
The group is infamous for methamphetamine smuggling, lopping off enemies' heads and limbs, and massacres of police and soldiers. Its founder, Nazario Moreno — aka “El Mas Loco,” or The Craziest One — was killed in a shootout with Mexican security forces in December....
tion were 10 pounds of meth, high-caliber weapons, cars and assets totaling $500,000, which included more than $140,000 in cash and $31,000 in jewelry. Additionally, a popular Guadalupe River campground valued at $1 million was raided June 8, and the government has gone to court in an attempt to confiscate it.
In mid June, a federal grand jury indicted six people on charges of conspiring to traffic meth, among them John Stanley Holly and his common-law wife, Elaine Meckel, who operated the Goodtime Campground on River Road between New Braunfels and Canyon Lake.
“For years, the Goodtime Campground ... has been a (haven) for illegal narcotic traffickers and narcotic users alike,” a DEA agent wrote in a court-filed report.
The report said informants told area investigators that Holly, also known as “Stan the Man,” was trafficking high-purity meth from his home and business at the campground.

The men and women who work as DEA agents and their counter-parts in local government do a dangerous, dirty job, putting their lives at risk every time they go out. Without them, the drug cancer would be even worse than it is, because people who are tempted but don't buy illegal drugs would not have the fear of arrest and disgrace. That said, the agents may be like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. The money made by the cartels is staggering. In 12007, Mexican authorities, working with DEA, seized over $200MM from a mansion in Mexico City. The money was from the sale of meth. The head of the ring, or at least an important member, was Chinese, which raises all sorts of other issues. Snopes.com has pictures of the money, stacked to the ceiling.

Investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker has a fascinating website with stories of planes filled with tons of cocaine landing in the U.S. This isn't speculation - they planes occasionally crash. The most interesting idea he raises is, who are the Americans who are running the U.S. side of the business? Is there an American cartel of drug lords?

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