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New report details the increased presence of the Sinaloa Cartel in New Jersey

December 3, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
New report details the increased presence of the Sinaloa Cartel in New Jersey

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A new report highlights the increasing presence of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel detected by law enforcement agencies in the state of New Jersey.

The report published in Sunday’s edition of the Asbury Park Press reveals how Sinaloa Cartel operatives have taken up residence in quiet small towns and have integrated themselves into the communities.

The Sinaloa Cartel is considered the world’s largest drug trafficking organization with a presence in 59 different countries worldwide.

Moreover, the group is the most significant importer of heroin in the United States.

Since 2012, New Jersey registered over 4,000 overdose deaths related to heroin.

The group has flooded the streets with cheap, highly potent Mexican heroin to meet the growing U.S. demand for the drug, which has fueled the addiction rate and exacerbated the opioid epidemic across the nation.

DEA agents from NJ and NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Major Case Squad seized 140 pounds of pure fentanyl in an apartment in Queens, New York in August. (Photo: Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York

In 2016, there were over 64,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. with the vast majority tied to opioids.

The cartel is said to now control of 90% of the wholesale heroin in New Jersey and is responsible for nearly 80 percent of the fentanyl seizures in New York City.

The uptick in cartel activity has also correlated with New Jersey law enforcement officials detecting the increasing presence of Sinaloa Cartel operatives in the state.

“If it’s Mexican heroin, most likely there’s a Sinaloa guy right behind it,” said New Jersey State Police Sgt. 1st Class Larry Williams.

“They’re not the guys you see in the movies dressed in black, all tattooed, and wielding AK-47s, they’re businessmen,” said Mexican organized expert David Shirk, an associate professor at the University of San Diego.

A Sinaloa cartel bust in June resulted in the arrest of four suspects. (Right to Left): Daniel Vasquez, Jesus Yanez-Martinez, Omar Zeus Rodriguez, & Jesus Carrillo-Pineda (Office of the Attorney General)

Williams said cartel operatives live under the radar in neighborhoods like Willingboro as part of an effort to oversee drug trafficking operations, expand drug distribution networks and dictate market street prices to maximize profits.

“They’re controlling that transportation route and their guys handle it here so they can basically set the price that a kilo will go for in this area as opposed to at the border,” Williams said.

Significant drug busts made by federal and state authorities has resulted in the recent arrests of top Sinaloa Cartel operatives in New Jersey.

In June, authorities intercepted a drug shipment during a sting in a parking lot of a Target in North Bergen.

Officers watched as two Arizona men exited a tractor-trailer with two duffle bags and threw them into the back of a Mercedes driven by 31-year-old Jesus Carrillo-Pineda, an alleged Sinaloa Cartel operative from Philadelphia.

When police moved in, they discovered 45 individually wrapped kilos of what was initially thought to have been heroin, but later tested positive for the highly potent synthetic drug Fentanyl.

The bust was the biggest synthetic opioid seizure New Jersey history.

The 45 kilos was enough Fentanyl to kill every resident living in the state.

Authorities arrested Pineda along with 28-year-old Daniel Vasquez and 22-year-old Jesus Yanez-Martinez, both of Somerton, Arizona.

The bust eventually led investigators with the New Jersey State Police Trafficking South Unit to 38-year-old Omar Zeus Rodriguez, a cartel operative who was arrested in the township of Willingboro.

Rodriguez had largely gone unnoticed as he took up residence on Berkshire Lane, a well-maintained block in Willingboro

A top Sinaloa Cartel operative was discovered living on Berkshire Lane, a quiet block in the township of Willingboro, New Jersey (Google Maps)

.Officers arrested Rodriguez in June outside his home as he loaded a suitcase into his Range Rover.

During a subsequent search of the premises, authorities located an open Fed-Ex box with 40 kilograms of heroin and 40 kilograms of cutting agents.

Rodriguez had identification showing that he originated from Sinaloa. However, neither he nor Pineda admitted to being a member of the Sinaloa cartel.

All four men were indicted in September and have since pleaded not guilty.

Officials have attributed an uptick in drug seizures with the arrival of Sinaloa Cartel members in the state.

“You used to see 5 kilos of heroin, 7 kilos of heroin, or 2 kilos of heroin. Forty kilos would have blown our socks off five years ago,” Williams said.

“Demand dictated it. Now it’s coming straight from the mountains of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Durango. They’re pushing it as fast as they can grow it. Now, it’s off to the races.”



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