U.S. and Mexican authorities participated in a major cross-border operation that netted 24 arrests near the Arizona-Mexico border. Social media activity peaked on Friday, January 31, mentioning helicopters seen flying back and forth across the border in the Tucson Sector.
The activity was heaviest in and south of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Breitbart Texas, which also serves as the border and transnational criminal organization (cartel) reporting arm of Breitbart News, has reported heavily from the area. Sinaloa Cartel scouts operate in teams deep into U.S. territory and use sophisticated communications equipment to lead a network of smugglers and their loads into the U.S., often dispatching SUV’s full of armed men to teach brutal lessons to anyone who violates their turf–on U.S. soil.
The Tucson Sentinel reported the official statement on the cross-border operation from U.S. authorities:
A secret cross-border sting involving several U.S. agencies and Mexican law enforcement has netted 24 members of the Sinaloa cartel, authorities said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the results of the series of raids late Saturday, following on reports Friday that Blackhawk helicopters flown by Mexican federal police were using the U.S. as a base of operations to conduct operations in the border city of Sonoyta, Sonora, just across the line from Lukeville, Ariz.
Dubbed Operation Diablo Express, the raids targeted “high-level members” of the Sinaloa cartel operating in and around Sonoyta and the U.S. border, said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.
The Sinaloa Federation or cartel is a network of independent criminal organizations operating under the Sinaloa Federation banner and Sonoyta is believed to be controlled by plaza boss Guillermo Nieblas Nava. Unlike the cartels controlling much of the Texas-Mexico border, the various Sinaloa groups operating on the Arizona border have exhibited a tendency to be much more careful and thorough in their smuggling efforts, often bringing their trash with them back to Mexico in order to mask their numbers and presence.
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