Bisbee and Naco Raided in Drug Bust

February 2, 2012
By

Bisbee and Naco area residents were arrested on warrants during the last 48 hours, on indictments for trafficking marijuana. Nine homes in Naco, Bisbee and Sierra Vista were raided, and several arrests were made.

KVOA leads with a lurid, hyperbolic headline: Feds take down members of a violent drug cartel. What they mean is that a bunch of juvenile delinquents have been smuggling cannabis in school backpacks. This qualifies as violence, under Arizona media guidelines.

 

According to KVOA:

Armed with a search warrants DEA AND ICE agents targeted a midtown house in Tucson. They arrested Maria Christina Rascon Ramirez. Investigators says she was allegedly responsible for handling the finances of the organization, an organization responsible for bringing in large quantities of marijuana, meth, and cocaine. Morrow says, “They did the mass numbers of people so they would run lots of people with smaller loads knowing we only had so much law enforcement.”

Instead of transporting drugs in large quantities in a single shipment, the Rascon group used other methods. “They would use teenage kids they would body load onto themselves they would strap the drugs onto their body and walk across the port. And they would do 10 to 15 people at a time.”

 The rap sheet, courtesy of the Sierra Vista Herald:

• Laura Elena Rascon Ramirez, 31, Tucson, Ariz., — racketeering, money laundering, wire communications for drug transactions, sale, possession or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Jose Garcia Aguilera, 23, Naco, Ariz.,. — racketeering, two counts of wire communications for drug transactions, transportation for marijuana for sale, possession, sale or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Ruben Sanchez, 20, Naco, Sonora — racketeering, money laundering, wire communication for drug transactions, possession, sale or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Hipolito Avalos Ramirez, 54, Naco, Ariz., — racketeering, money laundering, wire communications for drug transactions, sale, possession or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Alejandro Quiroz, 18, Naco, Ariz., — racketeering, money laundering, wire communications for drug transactions, transportation of marijuana for sale, possession, sale or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Eleuterio Perez Martinez, 24, Palominas, — conspiracy, five counts of transportation of marijuana for sale and four counts of wire communications for drug transactions.

• Rogelio Serrano Morales, 33, Bisbee, — racketeering, wire communications for drug transactions, transportation of marijuana for sale, possession, sale or manufacture of a narcotic drug.

• Justin Blaine, 34, Bisbee, — picked up on an outstanding federal warrant.

More Courtesy of KVOA:

Since then 3 more have been arrested.

 Here are the charges, and this case will be going to grand jury where there will be additional charges.

 · ILLEGALLY CONDUCTING AN ENTERPRISE; in violation of A.R.S. § 13-2312;

 · CONSPIRACY; in violation of A.R.S. § 13-1003;

 · TRANSPORT FOR SALE, IMPORT INTO THIS STATE OR OFFER TO TRANSPORT FOR SALE OR IMPORT INTO THIS STATE, SELL, TRANSFER OR OFFER TO SELL OR TRANSFER MARIJUANA IN AN AMOUNT OVER THE STATUTORY THRESHOLD, in violation of A.R.S. § 13-3405;

 · TRANSPORT FOR SALE, IMPORT INTO THIS STATE OR OFFER TO TRANSPORT FOR SALE OR IMPORT INTO THIS STATE, SELL, TRANSFER OR OFFER TO SELL OR TRANSFER COCAINE IN AN AMOUNT OVER THE STATUTORY THRESHOLD, in violation of A.R.S. § 13-3408;

 · MONEY LAUNDERING, in violation of A.R.S. § 13-2317;

 · USE OF A WIRE COMMUNICATION OR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION IN A DRUG RELATED TRANSACTION, in violation of A.R.S. § 13-3417;

At least 500 pounds of marijuana is required to raise these felonies to a federal indictment. Most of these charges are Arizona indictments, not federal. This means that they are a small time operation, not worthy of federal prosecution. Most of these charges are under Arizona statutes, because of the small time nature of the alleged crimes.

Regarding the KVOA lede: What violence? How many indictments for homicide, assault or other acts of violence? This lurid lede is the last gasp of the authoritarian drug war’s pathetic and tragic denouement.

Calling this small time operation a Conspiracy of  (Violent) High Level Drug Traffickers is fact free and full of bigotry. For some of these people to be members of a fifteen year conspiracy, would have them smuggling drugs when they are under five years of age.  A Conspiracy of Children.

Reuters is now reporting that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne claims that  police had seized more than 30,000 pounds of marijuana and cocaine linked to this trafficking organization, which had been active for more than 15 years. If this is the case, then it would have passed the threshold of federal prosecution, and there would be federal RICO statutes, instead of state charges.

These sensational allegations are not in indictments (yet), but supposedly in a state grand jury.  This story is less than what appears in the initial headlines. There are heard-on-the-wire allegations of violence, and millions of dollars of drug transactions, but no homicide indictments, nor have millions of dollars in assets been seized.

These allegations are rumors, until they are documented in indictments.

To be continued, over and over…

 

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