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Monday, 18 May 2009

Barrio Azteca Members are said to have been bringing large amounts of cocaine and marijuana into the United States

20:38 |

Barrio Azteca Members are said to have been bringing large amounts of cocaine and marijuana into the United States, crossing it in from Ciudad Juarez. The only thing more surprising than their 3,000 members is the way the gang is organized. "They have structure, they have different ranks. They have different command levels. They have the people that give the orders, and then they have the people that carry out the orders" said Robert Almonte, Executive Director, Texas Narcotic Officers Association.

With titles, such as sergeant and lieutenant it was the arrest of the ring's alleged leader, Jaime Velasco-the so called boss-that may make the most impact in bringing an end to the gang. According to a federal court affidavit Velasco would cross shipments over the bridges, and supply the drugs to alleged distributors, Gualberto Marquez and Raul Cabral. The drugs would then allegedly be sent to lieutenant Jose Montes.
Like a well trained army, there is a unique form of communication used by those involved. In conversations intercepted by authorities the members used food to reference narcotics. In an conversation between supposed drug runner Michael Torres and Marquez, Torres said "I got seven onions from this guy... Ruben lent me seven onions... You want me to put one in the oven?" Marquez's reply according to the document is "put one in the oven, just one." investigators translate that to seven ounces of cocaine, and put one in the oven refers to making crack cocaine. "the hold up because you're going on the experience of the law enforcement officers that are monitoring these conversations, and that's not all you have, they have other evidence that's going to come out in court that's going to coroberate the testimony from the law enforcement experts" said Almonte.The experts say the drugs don't say in town long. According to this investigation, the drugs would enter from Juarez into El Paso, then be transferred to midland more than 300 miles away. From their they would be distributed to other us cities. "There is a potential for violence, so that's something else this investigation did. It removed the potential for violence, by removing this drug trafficking organization from the streets of El Paso" said Almonte. Federal officials are still looking for Michael Torres. Those already arrested are scheduled to make their first federal court appearance Monday morning.

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