July 2014
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StingRay: Feds’ New Cell Phone Spying Device Raising Privacy Concerns

Stingray Cellphone Tracker


by Clarence Walker / Stop the Drug War

Blocked by a Supreme Court decision from using GPS tracking devices without a warrant, federal investigators and other law enforcement agencies are turning to a new, more powerful and more threatening technology in their bid to spy more freely on those they suspect of drug crimes. That’s leading civil libertarians, electronic privacy advocates, and even some federal judges to raise the alarm about a new surveillance technology whose use has yet to be taken up definitively by the federal courts.

The new surveillance technology is the StingRay (also marketed [...]

Narcos clash in Zacatecas, 14 dead

Zacatecas violence


At least 45 people killed is the balance of a new round of executions, account settling, and clashes between criminal groups and security forces, according to police reports.

In Zacatecas, 14 members of Los Zetas and the Cartel del Golfo died in a confrontation. Both groups used assault weapons and grenades at various locations in the state capital’s metropolitan area, including Zacatecas City and the Guadalupe municipality.

The weekend’s chases and shootouts took place even in the historical center of Zacatecas, where Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, and Governor of Jalisco, Aristotles Sandoval, were special guests of [...]

Jalisco Allies. New cartel in Mexico?

Los Aliados


If not a drug cartel, at least it’s a new armed group.

A narco-message was anonymously released today by a group calling themselves “The Allies” and directed to the people of Jalisco.

The recording that lasts almost three minutes, shows more than 20 heavily armed and hooded men. All members of Los Aliados (The Allies), a new group or splinter group related to drug trafficking in Mexico.

Four men are sitting at a table and the rest around it. One man at the table starts reading a document that states the group arrived to Jalisco stste to [...]

Yearlong trial for alleged Los Palillos gang members begins in San Diego

Los Palillos safe house raid in San Diego


SAN DIEGO – A top leader of a violent Mexican drug trafficking crew participated in the 2004 murders of three friends in southern San Diego, in which the Tijuana residents were shot and asphyxiated by having socks stuffed down their throats, a prosecutor alleged Tuesday.

In his opening statement in the trial of Jorge Rojas Lopez and Juan Francisco Estrada-Gonzalez, Deputy District Attorney Mark Amador said Rojas Lopez was one of four “Los Palillos” gang members who lured the victims to a home and eventually killed them. Amador said one of the victims had ties to drug [...]

Wealthy, business-savvy Mexican immigrants transform Texas city

Wealthy Mexican immigrants

Settling in San Antonio with private jets and Porsches, their influence has been compared to that of well-heeled Cubans who took refuge in Miami decades ago.


By Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times

SAN ANTONIO — The Mexican businessmen in Rolexes and Burberry ties meet on the north side of town, at Cielito Lindo Restaurant, or at new neighboring country clubs. Their wives frequent Neiman Marcus, Tiffany’s and Brooks Brothers at the nearby mall. Their children park Porsches with Mexican license plates in the student lots at Reagan High School.

They are part of a wave of legal [...]

Slain Mexico drug lord lives on in legend

Nazario Moreno

Late cartel leader seen as local saviour but Mexican government considered him a ruthless criminal.


When one of the founders of the La Familia drugs cartel was killed in 2010, the Mexican government hailed it as a major victory.

Yet many locals say the cartel leader who protected them, Nazario Moreno, lives on in spirit.

In Morelia, in the state of Michoacan, the legend of the so-called St Nazario continues.

AlJazeera’s Rachel Levin reports from Morelia, Mexico.


Mexican drug cartels are a Pennsylvania presence

Mexico Drug War


Carolyn Davis /

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane caught more than a few people by surprise last month when she told a legislative budget hearing she was losing sleep over Mexican drug cartels.

“They are in Pennsylvania – they are taking over our neighborhoods,” Kane reportedly told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, asked later about the issue, saw less of a threat.

“Coming over and taking over drug sales in Pennsylvania? No. We don’t see that,” he said. “They are the source of drugs but have not really established that presence [...]

High-tech border security no match for cartels

Border Security Expo


By Allyson Blair / CBS5AZ

PHOENIX – As the Border Security Expo rolls into Phoenix, experts say securing the border has less to do with technology and more with intelligence gathering.

Law enforcement and defense contractors spent the day checking out the newest technology at the expo in downtown Phoenix.

Dozens of companies from all over the world offered up their solutions to keep illegal immigrants and drugs out of our country.

New aircraft were on display as well as armored vehicles, bomb resistant shelters and towers, personal protection and new computer software.

But even with all the [...]

Dionicio Loya Plancarte “El Tio” leader of “Knights Templar” killed

Dionisio Loya Plancarte


Loya Plancarte died early Friday when confronting Mexican Army troopers near El Alcalde community in Apatzingan, Michoacan.

Federal authorities mentioned that the balance of the confrontation could be above 5 dead, including military personnel and members of the criminal group. State police gave an initial balance of 5 dead.

A military convoy of three vehicles was on patrol on roads of Tierra Caliente region and around 2:00 AM they came in contact with a group of armed civilians traveling on a convoy of utility vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

The troopers requested the men to surrender [...]

Can the DEA Hide a Surveillance Camera on Your Land?



by Clarence Walker / Drug War Chronicle

Acting on a tip, DEA agents went on rural property without a warrant, set up surveillance cameras, and used the evidence obtained to get a search warrant and convict the property owners for growing marijuana. And a US district court judge said that was okay. Is it?

A case that began with reports of suspicious activity in northeast Wisconsin forest land last spring may be headed for the US Supreme Court. That’s because a US district court judge ruled in the case last fall that it was okay for the [...]