Mexican drug cartel

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After Moms Raise Funds for Excavation, a Horrific Find in Mexico

Hundreds of skulls found in Veracruz mass grave

(Newser) - A horrific find in Mexico: Authorities say they've found more than 250 skulls in a clandestine burial ground on the outskirts of the city of Veracruz—and they have yet to excavate two-thirds of the area. State attorney general Jorge Winckler Ortiz said the bodies are drug cartel victims... More »

'El Chapo' Is Not Happy About US Jail Conditions

His lawyers say he's denied visits

(Newser) - Lawyers for Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman complained about his strict jail conditions in the US during a court appearance Friday. Guzman's common-law wife, beauty queen Emma Coronel, flew to the US for the hearing in a federal court in Brooklyn, the BBC reports. Defense... More »

Judge Who Oversaw Drug Kingpins' Appeals Shot Dead

Details are scant so far

(Newser) - The Mexican federal judge who handled the appeals of drug kingpins Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Miguel Trevino was shot dead outside his house Monday, Reuters reports. Mexico's president has ordered the country's attorney general to investigate Vicente Bermudez's murder. Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel,... More »

Cartel Henchman Gets 22 Years for Drug-Smuggling Scheme

He plotted to bring cocaine from Mexico by train

(Newser) - A man prosecutors say was a top member of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel was sentenced to 22 years yesterday after what the Chicago Tribune reports has been called the most significant drug prosecution in the city's history. Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez, allegedly the cartel's logistics chief and a lieutenant of... More »

Cartel Boss Busted During Texas Shopping Trip

Gulf cartel once again has room at the top

(Newser) - Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez was ruthless enough to become chief of Mexico's Gulf cartel at the age of 23—but apparently not smart enough to avoid visiting the US, even after a federal jury indicted him on three drug and money-laundering counts. Saenz-Tamez was busted during a shopping trip to... More »

90-Year-Old Drug Mule Handed Prison on Birthday

Leo Sharp is also a World War II veteran

(Newser) - Leo Sharp turned 90 yesterday ... while sitting in federal court in Detroit, where he was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a drug smuggling operation. The Indiana man, a World War II veteran, was convicted of hauling cocaine between Mexico and Detroit for a Mexican... More »

Man Stuns Cops by Confessing Life as Hitman

Jose Manuel Martinez suspected in as many as 40 deaths

(Newser) - When police arrested Jose Manuel Martinez, they suspected him only of the 2013 shooting of a man who made the mistake of insulting his daughter. So they were taken aback and a bit skeptical when the 51-year-old said he'd been a cartel hitman since age 16, and a good... More »

Short on Limes? Blame Drug Cartels

Citrus hijackings drive prices up

(Newser) - No lime in your drink? Mexican drug cartels, along with a spell of bad weather, are to blame, the New York Daily News finds. As part of their lucrative shift away from drug trafficking , the Knights Templar cartel has been hijacking lime trucks in Michoacan state, the world's biggest... More »

Drugs No Longer Mexico Cartel's Top Earner

Knights Templar now a mining, logging, extortion cartel

(Newser) - Mexico's Knights Templar cartel has diversified so much that instead of being a drug cartel, the organization that started out smuggling crystal meth is now more of an extortion, logging, and mining cartel with a profitable sideline in drugs, the AP finds. In the cartel's home state of... More »

With Kingpin Gone, Cartel Turf War Looms

But in Sinaloa, Guzman is remembered for generosity

(Newser) - The world's most powerful drug lord is now being held in an underground cell, but few expect Joaquin Guzman's arrest to stop either the flow of drugs or the flow of blood in Mexico's cartel wars. In Sinaloa, the state that gave its name to Guzman's... More »

Drug Kingpin Had Escape Tunnels Under Bathtubs

Seized phones led to Guzman's downfall

(Newser) - A network of escape tunnels with entrances concealed under bathtubs helped the world's most powerful drug lord evade capture before his arrest over the weekend , investigators say. Early last week, Joaquin Guzman is believed to have escaped just minutes ahead of Mexican authorities, using a network of tunnels under... More »

World's Top Drug Kingpin in Underground Cell

US aiming to extradite Joaquin Guzman

(Newser) - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, is being held in an underground cell near Mexico City following his arrest this weekend —and US federal prosecutors in New York want to extradite him. He's wanted in six districts in this country, NBC News... More »

Mexican Inmate: I Was Duped Into Digging Tunnel to US

Authorities don't believe him, 16 other inmates

(Newser) - Who digs the stunning drug tunnels snaking between the US and Mexico? According to 17 inmates in a Mexican jail, they're dug by unwitting slaves like them. One man tells NPR that a man lured him to a warehouse in Tijuana in 2012 by promising to take him to... More »

Cartel-Style Beheading Stumps Wyoming Cops

Belt buckle on bullet-riddled body is only clue

(Newser) - A gruesome find on a dirt road has police in Wyoming fearing that Mexican drug cartel-style violence has found its way to one of the least populated parts of America. Duck hunters found the decapitated body of an unidentified man in his 30s on a dead-end road in Park County,... More »

Vigilantes Take Mexico Town in Fight With Cartel

Say they're headed for cartel headquarters

(Newser) - More than 100 vigilantes poured into a western Mexico town yesterday, disarming police and battling with alleged cartel members before eventually taking control of the town of Nueva Italia. Upon arrival in Nueva Italia, they were welcomed, the AP reports. But gunfire soon began in the town's center and... More »

Mexico Drug Cartels Move Into ... Mining?

Criminals tighten hold on country's economy

(Newser) - Mexican drug cartels are expanding their Mafia-like hold on the country's economy by diversifying into many other sectors, even including mining, the AP finds. Officials say that in addition to stealing shipments of iron ore and extorting payments from transport and mining companies, the cartels are now illegally extracting... More »

Mexican Killer, 17, Goes Free, Moves to Texas

US citizen Edgar Jimenez Lugo has finished 3-year sentence

(Newser) - After serving three years in a Mexican detention center, a 17-year-old who says he killed four people has been released—and his next stop is San Antonio, Texas. There, the US-born Edgar Jimenez Lugo, also known as "El Ponchis," will be sent to a "support center,"... More »

Notorious Mexican Gangster Killed—by Clown Assassin

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix ran Tijuana cartel

(Newser) - It's an ignoble ending for one of Mexico's most notorious cartel chiefs: Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was shot dead in Cabo San Lucas on Friday, and as a spokesman for state prosecutors tells Reuters , "A person dressed as a clown took his life." The costume actually... More »

Rim Fire May Have Started on Illegal Pot Farm: Official

California's national parks are full of them, say authorities

(Newser) - A fire chief in California's Tuolumne County quietly revealed an interesting tidbit about the origins of the Rim Fire last week, the San Jose Mercury News reports: officials suspect it was started by marijuana growers. "We don't know the exact cause," he told a town meeting,... More »

Mexican Drug Cartel, US Prison Gang Plotted Merger

La Familia, Mexican Mafia deal would have opened 'superhighway' for meth, guns

(Newser) - Authorities say they've thwarted a massive multinational business merger in Southern California—between Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana and US prison gang Mexican Mafia. "This would have opened a superhighway for drugs and guns and given this cartel an exclusive franchise," says US attorney Andre Birotte... More »

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