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Authorities: San Diego native released from prison seeks to re-establish Tijuana cartel, threatens to attack Mexican newspaper

April 9, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Authorities: San Diego native released from prison seeks to re-establish Tijuana cartel, threatens to attack Mexican newspaper

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Law enforcement officials in the United States and Mexico say a notorious member of the Tijuana Cartel also known as the Arellano-Félix Organization (AFO)  recently released from prison and has returned to Baja California with the intentions of re-establishing the criminal organization.

Authorities say the introduction of Jose Roque Garcia, a native of San Diego, California, a hitman for the AFO, has further complicated an already spiraling situation in Tijuana, which has experienced a record number of drug-related homicides not seen since the height of the drug war in 2008.

For the better part of two decades, the AFO led by the Arellano Felix brothers had controlled Baja California’s lucrative drug trafficking corridors into the United States until the group was upended following a violent incursion in 2006 by the Sinaloa Cartel led by Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border have repeated the same narrative that the AFO had been dismantled with the absence of Arellano-Felix brothers, Benjamin, Raymon, Francisco Javier, and Eduardo. All of whom were arrested with the exception of Raymon, who was killed in 2002 during a shootout with police in Mazatlan, Sinaloa.

But despite the claims by the authorities, AFO cells have continued to operate in various stages in the Baja state.

For the past year, the border city has remained ground zero for a brutal turf war for control of the drug trade between the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) allied with remnants of the AFO, following the arrest of ‘Chapo’ Guzman in January 2016.

However, a joint anti-narcotics investigation involving the DEA and Mexican authorities have gathered intelligence indicating that Roque-Garcia seeks to reestablish the Arellano-Félix Organization without the help of the CJNG.

Officials say Roque-Garcia now leads an AFO cell operating in Tijuana and has also garnered the support of a network of corrupt ministerial police officers.

U.S. and Mexican authorities are actively searching for Roque-Garcia who recently surfaced in Tijuana pictured above following his arrest in 2004.

In meetings held with other members of the Arellano-Félix Organization, investigators learned of his criminal intentions, which also includes launching an attack on the headquarters of the Tijuana-based newspaper, the Zeta Weekly.

According to Proceso, authorities informed the publication on Wednesday of the group’s plan to attack Zeta Weekly by placing a bomb inside or near the news outlet’s headquarters.

Moreover, officials say Roque Garcia is plotting a series of high impact attacks against rival groups, in an attempt to display the group’s criminal power and snatch control of Tijuana from the CJNG and Sinaloa Cartel for the AFO which he intends to lead with the absence of the Arellano Felix brothers.

Little is known about the purported drug trafficker, the names of his criminal associates, or the means he has employed to corrupt ministerial police officers who now serve his illicit purposes.

Additionally, authorities in the Baja state have not provided any information as to how, why, and when Roque Garcia was released from prison.

According to information published by the Weekly Zeta, Roque Garcia is reportedly from the Logan Heights section of San Diego. The neighborhood is the home of the Logan Heights street gang which at one time worked as cartel enforcers for the Arellano-Félix Organization during the brutal drug war with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Zeta Weekly was informed of a plot to attack the publication’s headquarters last week

Logan Heights gang members, trained as assassins were part of a hit team that killed a Catholic Cardinal in 1993 during a botched hit at Guadalajara airport after he was mistaken for ‘Chapo’ Guzman.

Records indicate Roque Garcia was arrested in 2004 with two other operators on kidnapping and extortion charges following a shootout with state police in the town of La Gloria.

During his interrogation, Roque Garcia admitted that he belonged to an AFO hit squad that was responsible for committing countless murders and disposing of the bodies of victims in drums of acid.

After spending several years at a prison in Tecate, he obtained his freedom but was apprehended again in 2009 during search operations of AFO members.

In the following years, little was heard of the capo until this year, when authorities from Mexico and the United States began actively searching for him.

Meanwhile, the news agency remained resolute on Friday in the wake of the latest purported threat by the AFO, commenting on its website: “Once again, ZETA is under threat, under these conditions, investigative journalism in our country is risky for the development of the trade.”

“In this context of insecurity and violence, impunity and institutional corruption, ZETA remains committed to its readers, friends, and advertisers.”

“We will continue to report current events happening in Baja California and Mexico, making investigative journalism beyond threats, as long as we rely on their trust and solidarity.”

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