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  • Arrests target Puerto Rico airport drug running ring

    Arrests target Puerto Rico airport drug running ring



    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico | Wed Jun 6, 2012 1:45pm EDT

    (Reuters) - Thirty-six people were arrested on Wednesday in a crackdown on a drug trafficking ring that used Puerto Rico's main airport to smuggle large quantities of cocaine off the island aboard U.S.-bound passenger flights, authorities said.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the 36 detainees, including 22 suspects rounded up at San Juan's International Airport, were among 45 people indicted for smuggling more than 61,000 pounds (28,000 kg) of cocaine out of the U.S. territory on commercial flights to the U.S. mainland since 1999.

    "It's an important blow," said Laila Rico, a spokeswoman for the DEA's Caribbean Division, which is headquartered in Puerto Rico.

    "The Puerto Rico airport is sought-after by drug dealers because it's basically a mid-point between South American countries and the United States and offers an easy entry point," Rico said.

    She was referring to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, the point from which the bulk of the drugs were flown to Miami and Orlando, in Florida, and Newark, New Jersey, aboard flights operated by American Airlines.

    The DEA said in a statement that some suspects caught up in the drug bust were current or former American Airlines employees and airport personnel, who used a designated bathroom to hand over cocaine to couriers preparing to board U.S.-bound flights.

    Cargo handlers on the payroll of the drug ring also worked to ensure that drug-laden suitcases were placed aboard U.S.-bound flights, the DEA said.

    "The defendants in this investigation not only utilized their positions and security access to smuggle large quantities of illegal narcotics, but they also compromised the safety and security at one of the Caribbean's most vital airports," Pedro Janer, the special agent who runs the DEA's operations across the Caribbean, said in a statement.

    Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth of about 4 million people, has long been known as a leading transshipment point for the smuggling of illicit drugs out of South America and into the United States.

    Three of the suspects arrests on Wednesday were detained in the United States, according to Rico. She said two were nabbed at Miami International Airport and one at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    (Writing by Tom Brown; Reporting by Reuters in San Juan with additional reporting by Kevin Gray in Miami; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

    Arrests target Puerto Rico airport drug running ring | Reuters

  • #2
    this story is overblown..........everybody knows that that best way to get drugs into the U.S. is by the routes in Mexico not Puerto Rico.

    If you are a drug cartel you rather go with the routes in Mexico because they don't have to deal with the FBI, DEA, Coast Guard, U.S. NAVY or Airport Security......they have the Mexican government and Mexican police in their pockets because they buy them off or kill them.


    Most of the drugs that come in in the U.S. comes from the routes in Mexico.

    Comment


    • #3
      Overblown- you obviously dont know what is going on in Puerto Rico. If the problem of drug improtation is not controlled this can be disastrous for the people, the economy, and tourism. Sure the Mexican border problem is far greater, it is a 2000 mile border after all. But we are talking about a small island that is dealing with a grossly disproportionate problem in comparison. If the problem is truly not abated, dont think of going to Puerto Rico on vacation, and send your family a well made gun, they're going to need it, [actually they already need it]- you like living behind bars in your own home, well ignore this problem and see how much the situation improves. This is our island and we have to defend it. Read some ICE, DEA, FBI AND US ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASES and educate yourself about how serious the problem is.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you been away too long from Puerto Rico and believe everything the media prints to sell news................you actually believe in the fairy tale that 85% of drugs entering the U.S. its easier by Puerto Rico than Mexico? LMAO!!!!!!! Where do you live New Jersey?

        I go to Puerto Rico and Mexico a lot........let me give you my 2 cents.:


        There is a huge difference between Mexico and Puerto Rico in the drug trade and the violence .......is night and day. In Puerto Rico the battles are between the drug dealers and the violence stays between them. If you stay away from that crowd you should be fine in Puerto Rico. Don't hang around in caserios or hot spots, dont be in debt with gangsters and you will be fine in Puerto Rico. Just like when you go to Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and NYC.....stay away from the hotspots and you will be fine.

        In Mexico is the wild wild west. Even if you are not part of the drug trafficking crowd a lot of innocent people get killed and families kidnapped because the Drug Cartels have declared war on the Mexican government or anybody that wont work for them and they are more powerful than the police and they have more powerful weapons and they will shoot whole villages for control.
        Go read the Department of State for traveling to Mexico and is nothing what Puerto Rico has.



        Mexico esta K-BRON like we say in Puerto Rico.......the whole government and police are corrupt and more than half are in the payroll of the drug cartels........kidnapping in Mexico is the national pass- time for criminals to make money. Car jacking too, Nobody is safe in Mexico.



        I live closer to Mexico than Puerto Rico, Anybody knows that Mexico by far is the bigger problem in the drug & human trafficking and violence.



        when the drug dealers in Puerto Rico starts beheading and burning civilians to intimidate and recruit and putting bounties on cops and government officials like is happening in Mexico then things are F@CKED up......until then, go travel to Puerto Rico, you will be fine.


        As long that Puerto Rico remains a territory of the U.S. and the feds are in the island things will never get like Mexico.....now once the feds leave and you get your REPUBLICA, then all hell is going to break loose.












        Comment


        • #5
          From personal experience, I have to agree with Mike on this one.

          The drug/crime issues in PR appear not to be as rampant or as hightened as they are in Mexico. I've traveled to PR once to twice per year since 1998. Not once have I been concerned for my wellbeing while out and about. As he stated, I make it a point to stay away from hot spots and stay sober enough to be aware of my surroundings. The shootings and violence seems mostly concentrated within those involved in the drug trade.

          Mexico, on the other hand, is unrecognizable from what it use to be. I use to go across the border, into Tijuana, a lot back in the 80's, less so in the 90's, and ABSOLUTELY NOT since 2005. You could not pay me to cross that border. While I've never been a victim of crime in Mexico, I do know a few persons who live there, who have been victims of - or are linked to people - who have been involved in some bizzare crimes (e.g., kidnap and murder, an attempted kidnap thwarted by hiring a hitman squad, bribery, police corruption, drug trafficking. . .).

          I'm on a personal boycott against Mexico Until things change there. I use to love going to Mexico and have visited places like Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, and León Guanajuato. I sincerely hope things improve there. Given its proximity to the USA, it's two oceans, industrious/hard working people and vast natural resources, I've always felt that Mexico should be Latin America's first 1st world nation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Everybody in Puerto Rico knows where are the hotspots and trouble and what crowds not to hang around with and what areas you shouldn't be late at night. If you use your common sense you will be fine in Puerto Rico. Just like when you go to Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, or NYC.


            If you go to the PERLA or a caserio late at night to buy drugs then dont be surprised if you get mugged or even shot......that's like me entering GANGLAND in Los Angeles or Chicago late at night to buy drugs, Im taking a risk.........or go in business with gangsters....sooner or later bad things is going to happen to you.


            But Mexico nobody is safe, not the families, not cops and not even government officials. If you dont do what the drug cartels demands in local communities they will take you out and your family.


            60 minutes did a story last year that even mayors of towns in Mexico were kidnapped and killed by the Drug Cartels. They buy off cops and politicians or kill them. When organized crime put bounties on cops and government officials you know you live in a war zone and things are so out of control.


            You never see that in Puerto Rico................you can take your family to the OLD SAN JUAN during daylight or any mall and not be worry about the crossfire between the cops and the drug cartels that is happening in Mexico anywhere at anytime.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sonambulo View Post
              Overblown- you obviously dont know what is going on in Puerto Rico. If the problem of drug improtation is not controlled this can be disastrous for the people, the economy, and tourism. Sure the Mexican border problem is far greater, it is a 2000 mile border after all. But we are talking about a small island that is dealing with a grossly disproportionate problem in comparison. If the problem is truly not abated, dont think of going to Puerto Rico on vacation, and send your family a well made gun, they're going to need it, [actually they already need it]- you like living behind bars in your own home, well ignore this problem and see how much the situation improves. This is our island and we have to defend it. Read some ICE, DEA, FBI AND US ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASES and educate yourself about how serious the problem is.
              good quote i agree that it's always a problem. and when looking at it proportionately indeed it rivals the border problem in that respect. good post!

              Comment


              • #8
                Puerto Rico rivals the border problem (Mexico)?????

                Why dont you take a trip to Mexico and then talk......The drug and violence problem with Mexico is not only the border, its the whole country.


                Great Post to me!!! ...LMAO!!!!


                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Mike

                  [FONT="Arial"]Hey Mike u dont know jack about the drug problem. I am a federal officer dude and i actually deál with this on a day to day basis and am privy to intel I dont share on this or any board. Where is it that I said anything about 85 percent? Apparently you don't understand standard English. Take a diction and comprehension course it may be helpful I base my opinion not on any little trip to a safe Mexico or Puerto Rico location, but from talking to defendants who move hundreds and sometimes ton amounts of product (and thousands or sometimes millions of dollars from transactions) or from other agents who deal with these people. If you don't agree that drugs are a huge problem in Puerto Rico well then you are part of the problem or you cant accept reasoned positions. Don't presume what you don't know jack.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    take a diction?.......what is a diction?....I will take a comprehension course when you take spelling classes and anger management since I have no idea why you get so uptight and personal with me.



                    The drug problem in Puerto Rico is nothing like Mexico. You want to defend Puerto Rico what are you doing in the states as a federal agent? I thought you were an independentista?


                    by the way, the drug problem is nationwide not just Puerto Rico. The main problem is the government who criminalizes addiction and continues the war on drugs which has been a total failure. They have no answer at the local, state, federal and world levels. Where ever there is poverty and corruption drugs will rule because is a multi billion dollar business and there is a huge demand (addiction)



                    you really want to get to the root of the problem then start talking the cause and solutions since you are an expert on the matter.



                    by the way before you question my knowledge on this matter, Im a former Navy Vet that works in the FBI building in Salt Lake City and I know info and know many DEA and FBI agents and state police. I have lived in California, Washington State, Arizona and Utah and very familiar with Mexico and the border and im pretty familiar with Puerto Rico since I lived there and own property in the island. Plus my wife is a counselor for an addiction center for the state. You are not the only one that works for the federal government pal.


                    You really want to get to the root of the problem then you have to take out the source and supply and deal with the demand (addiction). Puerto Rico doesn't produce cocaine and the rest of the crap that comes out Central and South America which those countries depend on that for their economy and agriculture. How are we going to deal with the demand?......if you think like a cop all the time you will be clueless to the root of the problem and how to find solutions for change . You can't put everybody in prison with long sentences , that's not the solution.








                    Last edited by MikeRavens; 15th June 2012, 09:39.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have many friends from Venezuela who tell me the drug and crime problem in Venezuela is huge and it has to do with poverty and lack of opportunities and demand.


                      the drug problem is not just in Puerto Rico,...it gets more attention because we are a U.S. territory and the feds are on top of it and it gets more exposure in the media but its going on in Central and South America and Brazil far worse, it just it doesn't get reported in the U.S. media.


                      They have the same problems in Brazil like they do in Colombia and Venezuela.
                      Last edited by MikeRavens; 15th June 2012, 09:26.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Personal?

                        For a Navy Vet you are pretty thin skinned; sorry I hurt your feelings; read what I wrote again and again; eventually you have to get it.,,

                        BTW, being a Navy Vet and working in the FBI building, does that mean you have some special knowledge? Do you have any street credentials?; do you have access to intelligence briefings; have you ever spoken to a major or international trafficker? You try too hard dude to prove when you should just listen; ease up. I have nothing to prove but I do know something about this topic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          you didn't hurt my feelings, I think you get silly and childish with your inputs and the only thing you have to say is we have to protect Puerto Rico and your are the "expert" on this matter?....dude, get out of your bubble. This is way bigger than Puerto Rico.

                          Puerto Rico doesn't produce any cocaine and all the garbage that comes out of South and Central America. Puerto Rico doesn't have Drug Cartels with their own Armies and death squads. Puerto Rico doesn't have a crisis of gangs like Mexico.


                          You want to help Puerto Rico instead of complaining, then get out of your bubble and see it as it is, this is a international problem that involves the United States and a lot of 3rd world countries.


                          The violence in Puerto Rico is no bigger than what goes on in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and the rest of the 3rd world countries.

                          Does your intel gives you info of foreign countries or just U.S. jurisdiction?

                          you are not FBI, DEA or CIA so stop pretending that your input is the only one correct.


                          we can wipe out Puerto Rico out of the map and the drug supplies, trafficking, demands and violence will continue at the same rate.
                          Last edited by MikeRavens; 15th June 2012, 14:00.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sonambulo: let me inform you before you keep making an a$$ out of yourself.


                            My job in the U.S. Navy for 8 years active and 4 years active reserves was AVIATION ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE OPERATOR in P-3 Orion Squadron....sub-hunters.

                            We did maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.....that means when the cold war ended and the Soviets were no longer a threat we focus more on maritime patrol and work with the U.S Coast Guard in drug trafficking.

                            I have a security clearance and our Intel is wider than yours as a state cop.


                            I didn't want to slap you with that but you ask for it questioning my credentials...........but you started with the pissing contest and your resume to ridicule me in public.


                            now do I STILL don't know what Im talking about?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Que cosa

                              Im a Fed you dope. Wow, now I understand you were a sub seeker. How many subs did you interdict? Did you debrief the captain and inspect the cocaine or was that The civilian Coast Guard? Did you file the criminal complaints and turn the prisoners over to the marshals? Did you also prepare the cooperating agreements? Dude you are not passing the smell test.

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