U.S. Agents Aided Mexican Drug Trafficker to Infiltrate His Criminal Ring

The infiltration was part of an effort to dismantle the criminal organizations wreaking havoc south of the border, according to newly obtained Mexican government documents.

Comments: 114

  1. These lapses in judgement by our government agencies wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that the net result so often turns out to be the opposite of the intended goal.

    The more we try to contain worldwide drug trafficking, the bigger the problem becomes. How much of this is our own fault? As with Prohibition in the 1920's, the question must be asked: Are we making things better, or worse? At the very least, we should move to legalize marijuana; doing so will take a huge chunk of money out of the hands of drug traffickers (and add much to the tax coffers!) and may reduce the demand for other drugs as well.

    The drug-control experiment has failed miserably. It is time for a more practical approach.

  2. The War on Drugs is a Fraud. You'd have to be high not to realize that.

  3. Agreed 7/11 and Circle K can do a much better job at enforcement than the DEA, and we could then focus on issues that we can solve.
    Plus who really wants to see a one time or weekend user go to prison and come out as a full time criminal.

  4. jeremy - one time users don't go to jail.

  5. This money should be used to fund drug clinics in the U.S. before it disappears into lawyers's coffers or vanishes from "evidence lockups".

  6. This is a great "start up" business for the DEA.

    Sell a little harmless coke --- use the funds to pay for all the neat helicopters and toys for raiding dangerous Marijuana grow ops in California.

  7. "Harmless" coke?

  8. We have met the enemy and they are us!

  9. No. The leadership (the 1%) is the enemy, and we (the 99%) are us. We are only complicit insofar as we have failed to protest the elite's nefarious policies effectively enough.

  10. Like liquor prohibition, drub prohibition has lead to this lawlessness. It's time we recognized the obvious: If we legalize drugs and tax them accordingly we would probably end most of their allure.

    And most of these wrongheaded attempts to eliminate drugs would be relegated to the realm of keystone cops-like silliness except for the fact that there are probably as many ruined lives because of the allure of the elicit as from the drugs themselves.

  11. DEA helps Mexican Coke dealer; next day harasses medical marijuana patients.

    What's wrong with this picture?

  12. This was agreed to be in the best interest of the United states by THREE administrations. How can the Times and its readers think they know better than Presidents Clinton, Bush, Jr., and Obama, who have all the facts at their disposal and are in unanimous agreement that this was the correct approach?

    These Presidents have access to Top Secret facts not available to the rest of us (not to mention that they also have access to the baksheesh that they got from the cartels).

  13. Or... we have suffered under three sub-par Presidents, who have made incorrect calls on how to handle this - as in so many other matters.

    Kowtowing to authority because "they know better" is not the American way.

  14. Spot on.
    That's why we've witnessed such a vast improvement since our "war on drugs" commenced in the Nixon times then vastly stepped up under The Gipper..
    Though, I do miss the Panama Red from the old days.

  15. My best guess would be that most presidents have so much on their respective plates that they are happy to defer to long-standing policies of existing bureaucracies...So Dem or Rep, you get deference.

  16. So is this how we do it now? The US government sends guns to Mexico and brings in drugs from Mexico? How is this supposed to help?

  17. Specially when they lose track of the guns (assault rifles !) in Mexico and they turn up later in horrific murders, including those of 3 Americans.

  18. The fact of the CIA's complicity in drug smuggling is very well documented. The gruesome headlines about the Mexican cartels' brutal methods will someday weigh heavily upon Americans' national conscience. Hopefully we can do what should've been done a long time ago: protest the CIA's scandalous reliance on drug smuggle to fund their even more scandalous operations (the Iran-Contra Affair being just one example.) I implore you all to read up on this.

  19. We all learned in kindergarten that two wrongs do not make a right.
    Aimlow Joe was here

  20. If US citizens didn't want cocaine, it wouldn't be here.

    If the US government was not subverting the legal process, drugs would be legal by now.

    If there were not money in continued prohibition for the US Government, it's little DOJ hack agency, the DEA wouldn't be in business.

    As it stands, there is lots of cocaine here, drugs are not legal and the DEA is better funded than ever with no end in sight.

    Business for prisons and the DEA is good meanwhile, alcoholics and prescription drug addicts walk free while pot smokers and those who wish to use substances for pleasure are stacking in prisons and feeding the prison complex.

  21. Yeah, yeah, legalize drugs; tax 'em. No doubt.

    That said: it's about time the DEA & others in law enforcement started following the money, instead of just seizing the drugs. The folks who avail themselves to these high level money laundering gigs know what they are doing. They know they are working for murderers. They are the kind of people who will do anything for easy money.

    If you want drugs legalized, that's fine. Money launderers work for child prostitution rings, car and cargo thieves, embezzlers and dictators.

    They are senior executives of the largest banks. They are politically connected.

    Also, money laundering distorts the real economy and give economists a profoundly false picture of what is happening. How many hair salons and athletic shoe stores are really needed in a given inner-city neighborhood?

    It's long overdue for the feds to concentrate on the money, and much more dangerous for them. These Times pieces are likely part of the predictable push-back, because the DEA and others might end up catching the "wrong" kinds of people.

  22. Ed your being terribly short sighted, so what if they catch all the drug king pins, there will ALWAYS be someone to take their place no matter what. The allure of all that money will always have someone taking up their cause and as long as people want drugs there will be a market for it. End the war on drugs legalize all of them and tax em'.

  23. Congratulations to the DEA!!! The public should be grateful and deeply appreciative of how seriously these agents take their work. They are willing to risk their lives to walk into the lion's den to infiltrate these organizations. Whether the critics know it or not, these daring agents are a drug lord's worst nightmare.

  24. I completely agree! When I read the article, there seemed to be a air of disdain for the DEA agents having to be involved in the initial laundering operations. What do you expect? Drug dealing is a dirty business and you're going to get your hands dirty as you clean it up. Rather than decry the actions of our agents who put themselves in harms way, we should be lauding them! We took out several top level dealers. The actions of the DEA should be commended.

  25. Will the Justice Department also be examining the personal bank accounts of the US Federal agents involved?

    Hard to believe that with all those millions floating around, that some of that cash is not being siphoned off.

  26. Keystone Kops

  27. I don't know ANYONE who can't get grass if they want it.
    I know one 82 year old who gets it from his grandson.

  28. The matter of the fact is very simple...this is just Economics 101...
    Demand drives supplie...if there were not much demand of cocain here in the USA in the first place, then there wouldnt be much supply.. The USA has failed to cut the enemy from the ground..
    What they need to do is control the demand of cocain here in the usa and therefore supply would be low....

  29. Can't agree more Abe. Never has a "War on anything" ever produced a more undesirable effect. Americans buy the coke with one hand, then throw aspersions at Mexico with the other. All the while we let the drug cartels we empowered kill thousands and thousands along our borders.

    Unbelievable. Do people even know that in the last 5 years, 4 times as many people have died in Mexico due to drug violence than US soldiers in our entire occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 10? If American deaths in our recent "wars" were this high, we'd have the military out in force.

    Way to go "War on Drugs"... Doing a great job. Ever heard of that other awesome anti-drug program called Prohibition?

  30. What the article fails to mention and also nobody seems aware of it on the comments section is the human toll the laundering operation takes on civilian lives in Mexico and the US - but mostly in Mexico.

    As drug profits soar and the drug cartels see their money come "clean" they feel more emboldened to do as they want across Mexico - from small villages to the big city - not only have authorities become more corrupted with the influx of more cash but the Mexican population lives in terror since the mafia basically controls every aspect of daily life.

    Nowhere do I see where this operation has aided in the decline of American drug consumption or in the reduction of the murder rates or violence in Mexico.

    Dear DEA - please explain how this operation makes drug enforcement a force of good.

  31. US DEA policy assists the BIG Operators and makes its budgetary statistics by making the small dealer and the user the fall-guy. One word: Government in action.

  32. Those who believe that there is nothing sinister behind this, or that these actions are a part of a broader legitimate initiative that ordinary Americans "dont understand for our own good", are terribly misled.

    The fact is that the people in power who perpetuate the criminalization of drugs, from the Presidents of Mexico and the United States on down, are ALL profiting either politically or economically (or both) from the bloodshed and mayhem associated with the prohibition of these substances.

    Murder, the disintegration of families and communities, and rampant corruption will continue to serve as distinct and useful tools for those in all levels of Mexico's and the United States' power structures as long as the most sensible approach to this problem (legalization and taxation of controlled substances) is avoided.

    The late comedian Bill Hicks highlighted the hypocrisy and opportunism of the bogus "War on Drugs" twenty years ago when he reminded us that cigarettes (of which sale and consumption are legal in the US and Mexico) kill millions of more people per year than do all of the currently illegal controlled substances combined.

  33. The U.S. helped the Taliban defeat the former Soviet Union...and the Taliban wiped out most of Afghanistan's opium production.

    Then the Taliban help Al Qaeda attack the U.S. on 9-11...and the U.S. put the opium lords back into power.

  34. Jon D -- the Taliban did not exist prior to the nineties. The mujahedin were not the Taliban. Many of the mujahedin like Ahmad Shah Massoud went on to lead the military struggle against the Taliban in the nineties as members of the Northern Alliance. Massoud lost his life while leading the fight against the Taliban two days before 9/11. So please bear that in mind.

    But as far as opium goes, you do have a point. The CIA knew that the mujahedin in the 1980s were growing opium in order to raise money to buy arms to fight the Communists. The opium in Afghanistan did indeed get there partly with our help. You are right about that.

  35. Goes deeper than that. The US 'drug war' is an interprise. America created the cartels and has assured that they grow and continue. It's about the money flow!

  36. Another 'Fast and Furious' example of bureaucatic bungling. Perhaps if we started treating the root social causes of both criminality and addiction instead of knee-jerking our way into belligerent and counterproductive (all over the world, over and over again) policies of interdiction, we wouldn't need to besmear ourselves in this manner and the ultimate results may be be better.
    The 'WAR ON DRUGS' is 50 years old now, and all that has been accomplished is that along with the drug purveyers, many on the enforcement side have been able to line their pockets quite nicely, thank you.

  37. Could you tell me just how they line their pockets and where you got that information? Thank you.

  38. Reminds me of a Philip K Dick story....

  39. The USA has transformed itself into an ends-justify-the-means country, now willing to do anything to further some goal of a White House administration. The morality is that of the novel "1984": War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery.

  40. That was certainly true during the bush admin.

  41. ... “The Rabbit.” He is accused of having sent some 150 tons of cocaine to Mexico between 2000 and 2010. Much of that cocaine, the authorities said, was destined for the United States.

    KUDOS to the brave and determined DEA Agents who brought this guy ... and others like him ... down.

    The criminals who are responsible for bringing large amounts of poison into the US cannot and should not be tolerated. But it is our porous borders that enable them to conduct their trade. And their trade makes victims out of too many thousands of Americans.

    At least we have one Federal agency, the DEA, that is doing its job. It would be great to see other agencies do theirs' as well.

  42. While I think the War on Drugs is a failure, as long as it is in place, these types of activities are necessary. The alternate/better solution is to legalize most drugs within the USA and control distribution through licensed outlets. The details of the solution may be complex, but they will not be any more costly and undoubtedly more effective than this "war".

  43. David - How do you propose users pay for these drugs. If one is on coke or heroin, one is most likely not working. Do you propose the taxpayers support them? Do you not think that if such a drugs were to become legal, armed robberies and burglaries would not increase so that users could get the money to legally buy the drugs? Clearly, the number of users would increase, simply because it would be legal. People who might not otherwise try the drugs now would. Just out of curiousity. So, who pays and how? Personally, I do not want to pay for someone to take drugs.

  44. The "war" on drugs has been a costly miserable failure in every respect from the very beginning...just as the "war" on alcohol was a costly and miserable failure in every respect.

    Legalization may not be the answer.

    And any form of decriminalization has risks and its own form of collateral damage.

    But allowing people to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana for personal consumption without fear of going to prison is a no-brainer.

    That would virtually END importation of marijuana from Mexico overnight.

  45. Mexico is a great country, but has, unfortunately, a vulnerable group of people willing to take any risks for money, even where the stakes are high, such as the drug trade. But, it should never be overlooked that like the agents involved here, the US plays a huge role in Mexico's plight, especially with our insatiable appetite for illegal drugs. I don't know if Mexico's Drug War is working, but one thing for sure, the War on Drugs has never been anything in America but a joke.

  46. The only sensible solution to this self-inflicted mess is to legalize drugs and then regulate them like tobacco or alcohol. Do that and watch as those pesky drug cartels in Mexico and around the world lose most of their profit margin and purpose of being, almost overnight.

    But of course that won't happen, because it makes too much sense. Instead the US Government will continue with this idiotic policy of making drugs illegal. They have to, since all the money is in keeping them illegal. Go ask your local police officer or prison guard. Drug prohibition is just a big socialist handout to those professions. Welfare, if you will. But no one is going to say that. Especially politicians who can use drug prohibition as a way to show off just how tough on "crime" they are. Even though the crime is actually a construct of the politicians themselves.

    Even though drug prohibition is demonstrably stupid for socio-economic reasons, the biggest evil is that the government wants to control your consciousness and believes it has the power to do so. Think about that for a minute, and you'll realize just how tyrannical the US Government really is...

    It assumes the right to be able to control YOUR consciousness.

  47. Yes, indeed, the war on drugs is nothing less than an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

  48. You can't present sensible solutions to an illogical argument or problem. Sensible solutions will be denounced. Remember, when debating supporters of the War on Drugs you are not dealing with fact and logic. You are dealing with their "feelings"...

  49. America's war on drugs is simply criminalizing the police on both sides of the Mexican border. How much longer do we have to endure outright demonstrable failure and counterproductive results from this misguided effort to enforce a religion-based prohibition of recreational drugs??

  50. This is a cheap shot article. It is not like Reagan and North who purposefully traded arms for drugs; the intent here was completely different. Bad journalism.

  51. I don't see how you can deny that Mr. Obama is a Rockefeller Republican the way he carries on the drug war.

  52. This was how Bush carried on the drug war. You should take the time to read before you comment.

    "The documents, part of an extradition order by the Mexican Foreign Ministry against the Colombian supplier, describe American counternarcotics agents, Mexican law enforcement officials and a Colombian informant working undercover together over several months in 2007."

  53. Is it not time for the American citizen to demand complete transparency on what these shadow groups do. When we ask the DOJ for a recount on just what they did and they refuse, we know then its time for a change.
    As far as I can tell almost every problem we face today the gov't created or allowed to be created by their "friends". It is time to down size the policement power the us gov't has. Evidence is the fact that they have operations going on outside of the US.
    I ask anyone to comment on one time a war on behavior has ever resulted in a good thing. police less by big brother and the people will return to policing themselves. this has been proven time and time again.

  54. No, it's not. As much as I don't like big government in every aspect of our lives, and as much as I despise this Justice Department for refusing to prosecute mortgage fraud (see www.wallstreetmortgagefraud.com), I can't deny that drug enforcement requires the widest latitude in enforcement technique. I've dealt with narcotics cases first hand, and can tell you the enemy is clever, ruthless, and determined. "Transparency" in such situations is simply foolish. There comes a time when we have to trust a little, and drug cases, as distasteful and dangerous as they are, are the place where a little trust can go a long way.

  55. Transparency would defeat the whole purpose of catching a network, rather than just a few members. With transparency the kingpins will be tipped off and the guys lower down in the chain would be captured repeatedly to no effect.

    When left to their own devices everything tends toward chaos, so I disagree that people will police themselves. It takes systems and authority to put order in place, and people that fight the system on every single aspect are self harming.

    As for an example of war on behavior resulting in a good thing: Sweden and its attack on the sex trade from the angle of criminalizing the purchase of sex services.

  56. Nope you're wrong on this one. Undercover tactics used to infiltrate are the only way to create a case strong enough to prosecute. Sunny below is correct.

  57. I continue to be amazed at the ability of so many people to type with one hand. And can someone on the Times editorial staff please remember that DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Administration and not Drug Enforcement Agency? I realize it's an unimportant, small detail, but it always makes me wonder whether the bigger facts are checked as well. Sorry to nitpick.

  58. Prohibition didn't prevent anyone from buying liquor or getting rich off the sale. It just spread law enforcement thin, used precious resources, and accomplished nothing. Legalize marijuana and put legal constrains or controls on harder substances. Marjuana has proven health benefits, may very well be a substitute for alcohol, and may, after all, bring an end to racketeers making profits and creating havoc here and in other countries. Take away the power of the drug traders and give the public a choice.

  59. We need to stop this asinine war on drugs. We are fighting criminals that we ourselves created through prohibition.

    Look, cocaine is not like marijuana. It is physically addictive and an overdose can definitely lead to death. But why should we spend so many resources protecting people from their bad choices, while at the same time creating a criminal market that results in the deaths of tens of thousands? Alcohol can also be addictive and kill people when abused, and yet people are free to become alcoholics. We provide treatment centers but ultimately alcohol abuse is a health and family issue, as is drug abuse. If someone is so reckless as to become a coke head, let them. Most people know the dangers of such drugs and do not touch them or at least touch them in very small quantities. It is better to give people the opportunity to mess up their lives or not than to fuel organized crime which has too many victims.

  60. I would suggest that the US and Mexico have, as neighbors, mutual interests. The war on drugs is not helpful. Undoubtedly, these misguided forays into trying to control drugs are increasing the murder rates in Mexico. Poverty and lack of opportunity breeds corruption in Mexico as well as an undetermined amount of access to drugs in the US because a 14 year old with a bicycle can get a good job in the drug trade. Vested interests do not care to address the fundamental issues because they are the wealthy and, if necessary, they and their families just go to high-priced rehab. The "War on Drugs" is merely political theater.

  61. I don't know why anyone is shocked by this. Hello, people, we've been doing this for forty years. This is how the War on Drugs is conducted. We lie and pretend to be criminals all the time. We help the people we're supposed to be arresting all the time. It's how drug enforcement is done. It's a dirty business by nature and there's no way to make it clean.

    By the way, the biggest thing we can do that helps the drug cartels is to keep marijuana is illegal. That's their biggest market by far. Marijuana accounts for 80% of seizures by the DEA in Mexico and brings in almost two thirds of drug cartel revenues.

    Since marijuana is illegal and therefore can't be taxed or regulated, the cartels can make obscene profit margins from selling it, far more than they could ever make by selling legal intoxicants like alcohol.

    Tequila is taxed and regulated. That's why we don't see tequila cartels in Mexico. You're never going to see the makers of Patron in a brutal war with the makers of Jose Cuervo. That is not going to happen, because those are both legal businesses, so if they have a business dispute, they can settle it in a court of law using lawyers instead of automatic weapons.

    So if we're all aghast over the moral quandaries in drug enforcement, there's always the option of just saying "No" to putting all that money into the hands of gun-toting psychopaths and allowing legal, government-regulated businesses run by law-abiding people to handle the marijuana market instead.

  62. The hallmarks of all government spending are waste, fraud, and corruption. This is just one more example.

  63. Headlines; Iran Imposes Death Sentence on Alleged U.S. Spy. In Infiltration Effort, U.S. Aided Drug Trafficker, are these synonymous?

  64. Ah yes, the drug war! Quite a history here, to say the least. Let's tag this article with three very important subjects: 1. Iran Contra, 2. Oliver North, and 3. Gary Webb

    1. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo...The plan deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages.
    .
    2. Col. North's handwritten notebooks... show that North and other U.S. officials were repeatedly informed that the Contras' ties to trafficking of drugs from Latin America into the United States..

    3.Gary Webb (August 31, 1955 – December 10, 2004).. Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist... best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" .. Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S. (which) was distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles, with the profits funneled back to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this...sparked, and significantly fueled, the widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept through many U.S. cities during the 1980s... In 2004, Webb was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head, which the coroner's office judged a suicide..Though he was criticized and outcast from the mainstream journalism community, his reportage was eventually vindicated...

  65. With "enforcement" such as Eric Holder and the DOJ have provided under the Obama Administration, no wonder our Mexican border is wide open and filled with drug traffic and murder! Holder is a rank amateur in all things outside of a classroom! First, give them guns. Then, move money for them. The Mexican government may have caught some of them, but the rest just keep on going! Where did the money end up? Oh, and by the way, will Holder ever remember to take time from his busy schedule of politics and posing to try Khalid Sheik Muhammad? Too busy on the re-election campaign? He certainly ranks up there with such luminary AG's as Robert (I'm the little brother) Kennedy and Janet (capture Elian Gonzalez at gun point ) Reno!

  66. You need to re-read the article my friend. This happened in 2007 when Bush was in the White House. Nice try pinning this on the Obama Administration though.

  67. Is or is not the DEA profiting financially from taking part in the illegal drug trade?

  68. Good question. My guess is not, other than their existence being dependent on there being an illegal drug trade. My observation on a local level has been that LawNet, for example, is mostly interested in catching low level drug dealiers, usually kids, and doesn't really have the budget, unlike the DEA, or the desire to pursue the higher up drug dealers. It's pretty useless. Yet they do have a budget. Mostly their actions seem to just ruin kids' lives unless they can get the charge dismissed.

    Most of the people on this board seem to believe, a lot, in conspiracy theories to the point of sounding nuts, frankly. No, I'm not naive. I worked inb government for years. I can understand the infiltration given that drugs are not legal. I can understand the desire to make drugs legal. I am concerned that if they were we might wind up with a bigger problem. I just don't know and it's hard to go back. I think the majority of the American people do not want currrently illegal drugs to become legal.

    While there may be a few people over time that may get their hands on some of the drugs they are supposed to be confiscating and selling them, I doubt very very much if it is rampant.

  69. Who was President in 2007? I bet that FOX and their acolytes will leave that out of their narratives.

  70. My immediate thought too. I was under the impression that the GOP was the "law and order" crowd. Between that and the secret energy meetings, Bushco was the most corrupt administration since Richard Nixon.

  71. money money money money...money

  72. The government has been helping ALL cartels by maintaining the illegality of drugs. Without such price-support assistance from the U.S. government, these organizations cold have never risen to be the powerful organizations they are today.

  73. The War on Drugs support of major drug cartels and violent gangsters via black market price-supports is truly the simplest most fundamental flaw in the "Tough on Crime" approach. In truth, it is no different than the way Prohibition allowed Al Capone and other violent criminals to thrive, and just like Prohibition, The War Must End.

    I'm trying to collect fifty million signatures to send a message to the President and Congress before the 2012 election. Please join me, and help spread the word!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/fight-addiction-end-the-war-on-people

  74. The comments indicate that we the people have a clearer understanding of this "problem" than the gummint policy makers. All politics is local. Several states have made mj legal to some degree. If we keep working at the local level the federals may eventually have to give up their misguided efforts.

  75. Nope...there is TOO much money to be had for the government to back off now...so sad...I am 61 and the drug war is worse than ever AND more stupid

  76. I think there's an argument to be made that the War on Drugs has turned into a kind of secular state religion.

    To see this, look at how the DEA has succeeded in retaining the right to control any science that could challenge the DEA's official religious dogma that marijuana is so horrifically dangerous as to be completely medically useless.

    The DEA has better control over marijuana science now than the Pope had control over astronomy during the age of Galileo.

    What saddens and astonishes me is that the American science establishment puts up with this secular state religion and accepts without protest every single last insult this agency perpetrates against science.

    If we had a more courageous science establishment in this country, then the DEA would not be able to get away with what they're doing to impede any science that could challenge their positions.

  77. The government is supposed to want drugs to be illegal, and to make sure that there isn't drug trafficing. But yet, government officials are involved in it. How is the government going to stop drug trafficing within the United States if when it does happen theres not that much of a consequense.

  78. I am so weary of reading that Mexico is a corrupt country.

    As if "corruption" here in the States is non-existent?

    Well, I can assure you that "corruption" exists on my side of the border here in Southern Arizona where I live.

    Very certainly, even among (gasp!) our Federal law enforcement officers

    Here's only one example that convinces me of that.

    Not long ago. I met, during our scorching month of June, an exhausted migrant who'd spent two nights and days in the rugged mountains off to my west. I took him into my home and gave him food and water.

    I then listened to this "illegal's" story which was that he was trying to return to his job as a manager at a prospering ranch near Phoenix after having returned to Mexico to attend the funeral of his mother.

    He asked me if he could call his boss.

    Who, a day later, showed up at my front door.

    The boss then thanked me for showing such compassion to a migrant in need. He then paid $1,200 to have this undocumented migrant transported back up to Phoenix.

    When that air-condtioned van carrying him approached the check-point on I-19, it was waved on through. (That van, complete with soft drinks and snacks, also carried a load of 6 more undocumented migrants.)

    (To repeat: this is only one example.)

  79. Let us not forget that in 2008 when the banks were tanking because flow of funds was being cut off, the “the only liquid investment capital” to keep the banks afloat was the drug money deposited (and laundered) by the Cartels - with the blessing of the US and Mexican governments. It is estimated that hundreds of billions, if not a few trillion, of illegal drug money was available to the banks to use in transactions, hedging, lending, covering their bad bets and debts, and that Wachovia was the main culprit. We can only assume that Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America were right up there in the laundering process, as well. Why was nothing done to prevent this, you might ask? Well, it's called skimming profits off the top of the deposits to pay bonus' for 'doing God's Work' (in the case of Lloyd Blankfein) and declaring your bank a safe and solvent entity (in the case of Jamie Diamond), or 'we don't need no stinking Government capital' (in the case of Brian Moynihan), or 'what, we laundered money?' (in the case of ousted Chief Executive Ken Thompson). When your top execs of the banks are chummy buds with 'Our President' and his team of Infidels (Geithner, Paulson, Bernanke, and various and sundry lackeys and facilitators), then turning a blind eye to the shenanigans of the DEA, the ATF, the FBI, the IRS and who knows, maybe even the CIA, means that everyone profits. Except the Slobbus Americanus. Want to read the full story? Go to The Guardian of April 11, 2011.

  80. there are a couple ways to look at this.

    one is of course that these guys dont know what the hell they're doing and/or are taking a cut from what they're supposed to be fighting against

    another is that sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to go forwards

    either way, it doesnt matter. as long as there is demand for drugs by people with money, there will always be a supply line. it may get tripped up or re-routed, but it will always get there. its the same in nature when there is a niche` to be filled

    where there is a niche`, there is a way

  81. All this work to help the American drug addicts? Why not put the effort in stamping out the demand?

  82. It bears mentioning here that 80% of DEA seizures in Mexico are just marijuana. According to the DEA's own estimates, marijuana accounts for almost 2/3 of cartel revenue.

    If we legalized marijuana, the cartels would be cut down to a third of their size. They'd only be as third as powerful because they'd only have a third of the money they have now.

    If I were a ruthless drug cartel leader, I'd be infiltrating the DEA so that I could help the DEA keep marijuana illegal.

    The DEA and the cartels have a common interest in marijuana prohibition because it keeps them both in cash.

    If marijuana was legally sold like alcohol by government-regulated businesses, the drug cartels would lose 2/3 of their budget, but the DEA would lose 80% of theirs, because marijuana enforcement accounts for 80% of what they do.

    One can see why the DEA and the drug cartels work so well together. They both make most of their money from the fact that marijuana is illegal. So that's a very big interest to have in common.

  83. All of the above written by Patricia is based on solid facts. What I would add to the foregoing is the privatization of US jails, and how minorities wind up in jail due to drug convictions due to possession of marijuana. Packing the jails with African-American and Latino inmates spruces up the balance sheets all around. The Wachovia Bank laundered 360 billion dollars of drug money between 2003 and 2007, but the government only fined that bank 160 million dollars, a mere slap on the wrist. The whole thing is one mega-sized corrupt sham. I would like to see a massive rehabilitation program to dry up the demand for drugs, but that would bring about impaired balance sheets and income statements. It should also entail looking inwardly and asking what has gone wrong with the very fabric of society that induces or drives people to consume drugs, whether illegal or of the prescription variety, just to scrape through an average day. Isn't there a way to downsize the supposed value of balance sheets and income statements, and the havoc they wreak on every day life?

  84. Somebody tell me again just who the bad guys are.

  85. The politicians...foolish question

  86. How are you supposed to stop the war on drugs if you help people get to the United States to further their range of drug selling. We do what we do to stop this from happening and to make things safer for the citizens of the Untied States.

  87. Drugs are illegal, but then stuff like this comes out. How is it supposed to stop when the governmet isn't exactly stoping it. They say its illegal and the people who get busted for it go to jail and such, but when governemnt officials are involved not much will be done about it.

  88. I can't speak for Kentucky, but in PA where I live, the only people to go to jail are the poor and the immigrant...the middle-class and wealthy kids who get caught NEVER go to jail

  89. If this happened in 2009 the rightwingers would be damning Obama in a media blitz, but since it happened in 2007 under Bush - no such outrage. HMMMM - so very GOP to never condemn their own but always no matter what ,show outrage at Obama. I'm so sick of the too-immature-to-govern GOP righwingers.

  90. On the one hand, you are sooo right...BUT, where is your outrage when the Democrats should be the party to legalize, yet are just as involved in the sorted business as the Republicans?

  91. It has always seemed clear to me that no business as big as the international drug trade could not possibly operate without the involvement of both our government, and our financial system. We create all these convenient illusions of good/bad for ourselves, but the reality of the situation is much like turning over an old log in the forest -- all sorts of tangled, ugly things come crawling out. And this continues because those involved make far more money from the War on Drugs, than they ever would, if these substances were legalized and controlled. Hell cannot possibly be hot enough for these hypocrites.

  92. Last year or so, Hillary, on a tax-payer paid junket to Mexico for 'Trade Relations' or 'Security of the Americas' or 'Helping the Mexican's Fight Drug Cartels' or 'Property Speculation for the Clinton's Retirement' was asked by Mexican President Vincente Fox; 'Why doesn't America just legalize drugs).'

    Her reply? 'We can't, there's too much money in it.'

    This may be the first time a Secretary of State has been honest - albeit unwittingly…obviously, she didn't think that those pesky Mexicans were recording the conversation or that her words would make it back to Mainstream Media.

    But too much money in it is an understatement, by all standards. This latest revelation is proof pudding that the Government won't do anything to stop the flow of money (more important than the drugs, of course) - that more likely than not ends up in the bank accounts (offshore) of many a bank and government official, whose Marty Feldman-like eyes have been turned blind by the lucrative opportunity to feather their nest at the expense of everyone else.

    First drugs, then guns. Soon we'll be running rings of young kids for major sports program supporters at major universities.

    Oh right. We've done that already.

  93. Hillary (& Billy) know better than most how the top-tier money is processed - not because either was ever involved, because it was one of the areas Billy knew that he was not to know.

  94. Yes, indeed. Secretary of State Clinton is so naive that, despite her legal training, she doesn't think her statements will make it to the press. Can you let us know what proof you have for your statements abou where this money goes or is it just your fertile imagination let loose? I'm so sick of conjecture presented as fact. Yes, there willalways be corrput people; no, not everyone is corrupt.

  95. One wonders who is really interested in the way drug cartels are really holding back Mexico's development. The rise of ultra-violent, heavily armed and military trained gangs coincides with the increase of GDP and industrialization after trade liberalization regulations, also with the rise to top numbers in world tourism industry.
    Can we be so naive to believe that the US does not benefit from having a poor Mexico.
    US controls the world drug trade and has the means, and the will to use it to its benefit.

  96. A rather typical pipe dream from a foreigner. The US controls everything. How naive.

  97. It never ceases to amaze me that the US media in intent on covering up corrupt US drug enforcement officials by printing words such as: "acting undercover to follow the money trail or the gun trail" when it is actually them doing the dirty laundry.

  98. Apologies for the double negative in my first sentence. Need new reading glasses ASAP.

  99. Our so-called War on Drugs is so corrupted that it is a disaster tens of times worse than the use of Drugs...as if we cared one bit about the users!
    The corruption of our legal system, the militarization of our police forces, the rotting victims in our prison businesses, the disaster "protecting" the borders, and perhaps the worse is the increase in crimes to get the money for the Drugs artificially inflated in cost because of our WOD.
    There is no value in this War on Drugs of any type except to those who profit from the War itself! Making money from this corruption is one of the worse behaviors of our government and its peoples...it must END!

  100. Maybe we'll start using drones and secretly infiltrate their defenses and simply eliminate the drug cartels at the source. Though, many people depend on the income. 150 tons(?) WOW there's a definite issue here. Which Congressmen are getting the cash?

  101. The lengths the US goes to in order to pursue the War on Drugs (and prosecute other vice activities) are heroic but totally unnecessary. Legalizing, regulating, and taxing such acitivities would go a long way to reducing corruption and criminal involvement, not only within our country, but also at their across border sources. Some of the revenues could be devoted to education, treatment, and prevention.

    Addictive substances and behaviors are so ubiquitous and impossible to eliminate or strictly control that children need to learn to recognise and avoid temptation and exploitation from an early age. We also need to seriously challenge the attitudes of instant gratification, boundless consumption, and emotional lability that corporate marketing and advertising campaigns have been allowed to encourage and exploit.

  102. Peanuts! Thats the amount Mexicans cartels make compared to the oil kingpins, and the chemical kingpins. Millions of lives are affected by the waste generated by their products. Enviormental degradation causes death to hundreds of thousands, yet nobody goes to jail. Smoke a joint, Go to jail. Smoke stacks of toxic sulfur clouds and hey, thats the price of progress. Growing green plants from the earth we are all born from is seen as so much criminal activity. Lakes, rivers, oceans, polluted with lead waste. Mercury allowed legally to be air borne into the air we all breathe. Why can the USA have a legal right to a oil and chemical and arms industry? Yet Mexico cant make a buck with legal plants? Mexico can only be free by making all its plants legal. If your against legalization, your for the violence. Free Mexico! Mexico libre!

  103. Just from reading the comments on this article one could come to a number of conclusions. The first is that the majority of those commenting are present or former seasoned law enforcement officers who are very familiar with the way undercover operations are worked and know much more about them than those who actually work for the DEA. The second conclusion is that most if not all of those commenting on this article truly believe that the United States is at the heart of all that is wrong with this world. A very erudite and noble group of readers.

  104. I think your second conclusion fits best, too! I, for one, am extremely encouraged by the commentaries! People are finally catching on...and I think it's going to show in the next Presidential election! It's about time for the drug prohibition to end...but not a moment before those, who thought they'd never get caught with their indiscretions...the powers that be, whom have been hiding in the shadows, get their day of reckoning! Gig's up!

  105. I think your second conclusion fits best, too! I, for one, am extremely encouraged by the commentaries! People are finally catching on...and I think it's going to show in the next Presidential election! It's about time for the drug prohibition to end...but not a moment before those, who thought they'd never get caught with their indiscretions...the powers that be, whom have been hiding in the shadows, get their day of reckoning! Gig's up!

  106. Headlines; Iran Imposes Death Sentence on Alleged U.S. Spy. In Infiltration Effort, U.S. Aided Drug Trafficker, are these synonymous?

  107. As a member of the priveleged 1%, I hope Harold Mauricio Poveda-Ortega is paying his fair share of taxes to help us with our budget deficit, especially since our govt assisted in this, just like Solyndra

  108. Those who support drug prohibition are either dupes or hirelings of organized crime. That includes the DEA!!!

  109. DEA has always run to cowboys and loose cannons, so this is no big surprise. Meanwhile the real top-tier money is untouchable, as are the people who put their laundry-marks on it.

  110. Some years back, the ex-wife of a local DA - who happened to chair the area Drug Task Force - was busted trying to sell three multi-kilogram packages of cocaine from the Task Force's evidence locker, complete with state crime lab certifications of weight and purity. Somebody obviously didn't get the memo, but that's not the punch line. The packages had been opened, the coke removed, and the wrappers refilled with bunk True story - you can fill in the details with a little research - but that's how the War on Drugs has always worked.

  111. This is why the Administration is opposed to legalization or decriminalization of drugs. The DEA would be out of business!

  112. This operation is rather crazy and could very easily get very ugly. With millions of dollars being moved and laundered by undercover DEA agents, the temptation to go rogue and skim off thousands of dollars for a sports car say, would be hard to resist.

  113. Read a Wikileak on DEA involvement in Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) to appease Russians concerning pipeline of opium and derviatives moving along NATO's Northern Distribution Network (NDN) into Russia. How does a domestic regulatory agency become so entangled in the logistics of war? Would seem they overstepped their purpose and charter long ago. Maybe Rick Perry could do away with the DEA...

  114. I certainly hope the people employed by the DEA and the DEA informers are no longer in that position. From the quite explicit details provided in this article, I don't think it would take a genius to figure out who these people are. This truly concerns me. I don't really see anything in this article that is as shocking as many of the commenters would have one believe. It is pretty much what I would expect in an operation of this nature. The concern is, of course, is will the work really bring down a cartel? If it does, it is worth it.