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Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.
Gangs

Iraqis, Grenades, and Mexican Cartels

A drug-trafficking bust in California uncovered more evidence of criminal cooperation between American street gangs, Mexican cartels, and Middle Eastern terrorists.

September 01, 2011  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

Photo: pattiane.
Photo: pattiane.

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) warned us about possible ties between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels along the U.S.-Mexico border in June of 2010. She called for Janet Napolitano and Homeland Security to investigate these reports. She was ridiculed.

Even though she is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and cited creditable sources, the mainstream media treated her like another Chicken Little. Only a few reporters, including Yitzhak Benhorin of Israel News, reported her statements with any seriousness. Benhorin filed an excellent article on June 26, 2010.

I wonder if those naysayers have read the recent reports about the Sinaloa Cartel's involvement with an Iraqi drug and weapons trafficking ring operating along the California border with Mexico. Maybe those critics should apologize to the congresswoman.

In an Aug. 18 report by Julie Watson of the Daily Caller, federal drug enforcement agents in San Diego, Calif., announced the seizure of 18 pounds of  methamphetamine, cocaine and other narcotics including 3,500 pounds of marijuana; $630,000 in cash; 30 guns including assault rifles; and four improvised explosive devices (IEDs). About 60 suspects from Iraq, some here legally and others here illegally, were arrested in this operation by DEA and police in El Cajon, a city just east of San Diego.

In a federal indictment charging the suspects, it was alleged that the center of their criminal operation was an Iraqi social club in El Cajon, and authorities say the suspects distributed drugs supplied by Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel to the Detroit area.

Law enforcement was made aware of the group's existence after tips from neighbors, and even a few club member's spouses, who had complained for years of the establishment's criminal activities that included attempted murder, illegal gambling, and the sale of illegal drugs and weapons.

The Chaldean social club featured high-stakes gambling with armed guards to protect the games. The club's troubles with local police date back to 1998 when authorities seized illegal slot machines from the building. Four years ago, police identified the club as a hot spot for Iraqi drug deals and two years later began the investigations for weapons and explosives trafficking. 

Many of the suspects are Iraqi Chaldean Christians, who fled Iraq due to persecution from Muslim extremists in their own country. Police said several of the people arrested were linked to the Chaldean Organized Crime Syndicate (COCS), an Iraqi gang based in Detroit.

Detroit is home to the largest Chaldean population in the U.S., and San Diego's Chaldean population is second. Christians make up one third of the 53,700 Iraqis known to have resettled in the U.S. since 2007, according to the state department.

For over 20 years, Mexican human smugglers have helped many of the Chaldeans illegally enter the U.S. Somewhere along the way, the Iraqis formed ties with the Mexico's most violent cartel. Many of the Chaldeans crossed into the U.S. in the Tijuana-San Diego border area.

During the nine-month DEA investigation, undercover operatives were shown a live hand grenade by one of the Iraqis, who identified the Mexican military as the source of the grenades. Officials believe the explosives were intended to be sold locally, and there were are no indications that the group supplied weapons to the Sinaloa cartel — led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman — for his war against drug-cartel rivals and Mexican drug fighters. That means the grenades and IEDs were meant for criminal gangs on the U.S. side of the border to be used against U.S. citizens and law enforcement.

According to the Daily Caller article, a total of four federal indictments were unsealed, charging nine people with narcotics and weapons trafficking charges and the unlawful possession of various firearms and explosives. One of the suspects named was Nofel Noel Suleyman, who was also charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. About half of the 60 who were arrested are charged federally and half face state charges.

Border patrol and ICE agents together with local police and sheriff's deputies operating along the border increasingly report confrontations with Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) involved in criminal or suspicious activity in their jurisdictions. We have several incidents now where explosives or grenades have been used against U.S. law enforcement. Only the most naive and uninformed individual could deny the growing danger.

In March of this year, Napolitano stressed that protection of the border "is better now than it ever has been" and violence has not spilled into the U.S. So who is the fool? Is it North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano?

Related:

Napolitano Claims U.S.-Mexico Border Is Secure

Gangs Abandon Honor for an Unholy Alliance

Tags: Mexican Drug Cartels, U.S.-Mexico Border, Sinaloa Cartel, Janet Napolitano


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

John P. Hebb @ 9/5/2011 8:09 AM

Yet another example of incompetence in the Obama Administration. We have Napolitano, who doesn't know the meaning of the words secure and border, and we have Holder, who lets guns go across the border for Mexican gangs to use. However, this article states that the gangs are smuggling grenades IN TO the U.S.

It is time to rid Washington of these fools while we still have a country left.

Morning Eagle @ 9/5/2011 10:46 AM

".... the Sinaloa cartel — led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman ...." So we know the leader of this vicious cartel and undoubtedly know who many of his immediate associates are. Why are they still breathing? We have the capability but not the political will. The perfidy of obama, holder, and even the moronic napolitano is not due to ignorance of the true situation. Their actions and inactions are purposeful and part of the whole nefarious agenda to create a state of anarchy so they can ride in wearing their white hats (backed by overwhelming federal government forces) and "save" us from our folly by imposition of marital law negating all constitutional civil rights, including elections and the 2nd Amendment.

As for Representative Myrick, I hope she isn't wasting her time holding her breath waiting for any apologies from her critics. People that stupid are not interested in truth.

This is a good article and provides a view of a small part of the much larger situation that is being allowed to build up across the country by our fearless ‘leaders’ back in their well guarded capitol offices. If the doggie-doo does hit the fan, they may be unpleasantly surprised at the magnitude of what they have given birth to.

Tom @ 9/5/2011 1:26 PM

As long as we have a porous border things will get worse especially with
Obama and company in charge. I have never seen such an incompetent
bunch in my entire life. More and more heavy weapons will appear on our side of the border as the Mexican gangs spread their influence. We have treated this threat as a law enforcement problem instead of a terrorist and national security problem which begs for a different response. We have gone beyond the absurd in protecting rights of people involved in the drug and human trafficking trade.

DaveSAM25G @ 9/6/2011 9:53 PM

A hard but another needed message the "denial aspect will be our downfall again but when will we listen & Learn"? We all MUST make decisions in our lives and these decisions have major impacts. If not, their comes the dragon breathing fire...and you will be burnt...And it's not just south of us that we need to be concerned about coming in! A small drip over time can flood a very large area...Think about what one match does with a small flame!

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