Photo: Courtesy of Borderland Beat
A series of drug arrests this week have underscored just how blurred the border separating the U.S. from Mexico’s drug war has become.The cartel leader recently arrested for massacring more than 200 people found in mass graves grew up in central Washington state, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports today.
Martin Omar Estrada, or “El Kilo,” the leader of the notorious Los Zetas drug trafficking organisation in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, was apparently well-known to authorities around Tieton, Wash., where he was an admitted gang member who supported himself in the drug trade. His ex-wife still lives in the Yakima Valley.
It is not clear how Estrada went from being a small-town gangster to a boss of the powerful Los Zetas cartel. He was deported from Reno in 2009, but acquaintances told the Herald-Republic they thought he was living in Laredo, Texas, just across the border from Tamaulipas, where the mass graves were discovered last week.
Separately, authorities in Akron, Ohio unsealed indictments Tuesday against 18 men involved in a “sophisticated drug trafficking organisation” with ties to drug gangs in Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
And the U.S. Attorney in Fort Wayne, Ind., handed down 40 indictments stemming from a lengthy investigation into local drug trafficking operations, The [Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel reports. The drug ring is accused of smuggling cocaine, heroine, meth and marijuana from Mexico through California and then up to Indiana.
It’s unclear which Mexican cartels were connected to the Ohio and Indiana operations.
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