The Boston Police Department has been credited with collaborating with New Hampshire law officials and the FBI in what is being touted as a “significant international drug bust.” Yesterday, on September 4, 2012, the US Attorney for the district of New Hampshire, John P. Kacavas, announced the arrest of several individuals of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
The arrest comes as the culmination of a three-year investigation that involved closely monitoring the movement of cartel henchmen as they conducted activities from New Hampshire down to Boston, and as far as Florida, in an attempt to establish and expand a market for their drugs in the United States. After constructing a foothold in New Hampshire, the cartel planned on running a pipeline of narcotics from Mexico to Europe, and then from Europe directly into New Hampshire. The drugs were to be sent across the Atlantic Ocean via boat. Dry runs were conducted with empty containers to test the viability of the plan.
Cheryl Fiandaca, a spokesperson for the Boston Police Department, declined to reveal how the Boston Police were directly involved but instead praised the high level of cooperation between federal and also international police authorities. With the assistance from the Spanish National Police, the FBI captured 346 kilograms of cocaine, more than 763 pounds, and apprehended four of the plot’s suspects in the port city of Algerciras, Spain. Jesus Soto, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, and Samuel Zazuetta Valenzuela were soldiers of the Sinaloa Cartel obligated with running logistics and financial planning. But the fourth apprehension, Manuel Jesus Guttierez Guzman is being considered the pick of the litter as he is the first cousin of the Sinaloa Cartel’s boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman-Coera.
Guzman-Coera’s rise, or fall, depending on one’s perspective, to being considered the world’s most powerful drug trafficker began with what is described as a “Hollywood-style” escape from a maximum security Guatemalan prison in 2001, after eight years of confinement. In recent months, he has been carrying out a bloody feud with Mexico’s Zetas cartel over the drug trade. Hundreds of bodies have been left dismembered in public places during the brutal war. And not only has Guzman-Coera been named on the 2011 Forbes list for the world’s richest people, but the billionaire is suspected of controlling twenty-five percent of the drug trade flowing out of Mexico into the United States. His organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, sometimes referred to as the Pacific Cartel, is the oldest of its type in Mexico.
The announcement of this recent arrest caps a thirteen-man roundup of Sinaloa suspects within forty-eight hours. Nine suspected heroin traffickers with links to Sinaloa were arrested this past Monday, September 3, in Colombia. And though Guzman-Coera finds himself spending more money to defend his empire against rival cartels, legal authorities, and public opinion, Kacavas has said that taking down the cartels will have to be “death by a thousand cuts” with this latest arrest simply being one of those.
The charges for the suspects will be coming from the Granite state because officials confirm that New Hampshire is where undercover agents first met the alleged traffickers. A New Hampshire grand jury has formally levied an indictment against the defendants with conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms, or 2,200 pounds, of cocaine. It’s been estimated that after transportation costs, one ton of wholesale cocaine can yield $5.4 million in profits.