In the days immediately preceding and following the meeting on July 12th with President Biden and López Obrador, there has been 2 separate record-setting fentanyl busts at the California border and Culiacán, Mexico, and the capture of a notorious fugitive and former cartel boss. Whether its all political theater that was preplanned, or one hell of a coincidence, we may never know, but its been a wild July ride for Mexico's Narcos.
Here's a timeline:
July 2nd: Largest Fentanyl Bust in Mexico's History
The Mexican Army announced the seizure of 2,000 pounds of fentanyl of at a warehouse in the city of Culiacán, the largest city in Sinaloa and the rumored home to many of the biggest names in drug trafficking. Along side the fentanyl, the army also discovered 1,224 pounds of methamphetamines, 15 pounds of heroin, 68 pounds of cocaine and 156,528 pounds of processing materials. What a party.....
July 12th: Biden Meets with Mexico Pres. López Obrador aka AMLO
I won't go too into the politics, other than that there may have been some tension between POTUS and AMLO due to the fact that Obrador had declined attending the Summit of Americas days earlier because Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua were not on the invite list (kind of a baller move tbh).
One of the main agenda points slated for discussion was the flow of fentanyl across the southwest U.S. border. The White House released a joint statement later that day stating "We pledged to establish a U.S.-Mexico operational task force to disrupt the flow of fentanyl into our countries."
"We pledged to establish a U.S.-Mexico operational task force to disrupt the flow of fentanyl into our countries."
July 14th: 1 Million Fake Perc 30s
Early in the morning Socal DEA agents kicked in the door at a home in Inglewood and found approximately 1 million pressed fentanyl pills, setting yet another record for the largest bust in history, just on the other side of the border this time.
The bust was announced on the official Los Angeles DEA's twitter, but it was in fact a joint effort by a group known as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), the Hawthorne Police Department. ( I hope to be able to write about HIDTA in the near future)
According to the DEA, the investigation began in May of this year in which they began monitoring couriers and stash house managers suspected of distributing narcotics to other drug distributors in the area on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel.
At a press conference the same day of the bust, DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner stated:
“This massive seizure disrupted the flow of dangerous amounts of fentanyl into our streets and probably saved many lives. The deceptive marketing coupled with the ease of accessibility makes these small and seemingly innocuous pills a significant threat to the health and safety of all our communities. ”
FUN FACT: The first known bust of fentanyl in California can be traced back to April of 2016, when federal agents in San Diego found more than a hundred pills on a smuggler attempting to cross by foot across the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego along the Mexico California border. I expect this number to climb dramatically as the epidemic follows us into the rest of the 2020s.
July 15th: Fugitive Cartel Boss Rafael Caro Quintero CAPTURED
Rafael Caro-Quintero spent nearly 28 years behind bars in Mexico for his role in the torture and murder of DEA agent Kiki Camerona, whom he blamed for burning down his prized marijuana farm the year prior. In 2013 he was release on a weird Mexican version of a technicality, although an arrest warrant was ordered 4 days later, he was long gone before the federals could swoop him up again.
He's now 69 years old, its hard to say how much of a role he currently plays in the Narco business, but he also managed to elude authorities for almost a decade so its likely he still has many of his old connections who hold loyal to the once legendary drug trafficker.
US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar spoke to journalists after the announcement “The apprehension of Caro Quintero was exclusively conducted by the Mexican government" and that “(Quintero's capture) shows evidence that there’s no protection of capos”, presumably indicating a shift in policy.
“This achievement is a testament to Mexico’s determination to bring to justice someone who terrorized and destabilized Mexico during his time in the Guadalajara Cartel and is implicated in the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena,” Salazar said late on the 15th.
So Many Questions....
It would shock absolutely zero to learn that politicians will on occasion instruct the federal agencies that work directly under their authority to work on their behalf to make a big public display of their efforts to combat crime. But given the scope of these recent events, orchestrating them to occur in specific time frame would have to require advanced intel on each. So was this all coordinated by the Mexican government? Did the Mexican Authorities know all along exactly where Caro-Quintero since his release in 2013 and did they hold onto that information in order to be used at a time when they needed to improve relationships with the US? Did the US intelligence agencies know all along where he was, or at least know that Mexico officials knew where he was? Did they know where to find 1 MILLION fentanyl pills this whole time?
I certainly think that someone knew a lot. Others think so too
Even the Chicago Sun Times seems to suspect that something is off about all of this. An article published Sunday even suggested this was all a show in the title: Drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero’s capture in Mexico could be signal to U.S. government.
Whether this was all a stunt by our overlord or not, I just hope that fentanyl stops killing all of my friends from back home. I have a 20 year high school reunion to attend soon and I want to see some of them. I also hope that no more spider monkeys get killed.
RIP El Changuito