Archive for April, 2009

Threat Assessment
April 28, 2009

I wanted to expand a little on the threat drug traffickers pose to the border. I’ve gotten a hold of a couple intelligence reports from both the state and federal level. First, the head of Texas’ Homeland Security Office, Steve McCraw, doesn’t even use the term “drug cartel” anymore, he calls them “crime cartels”. McCraw says the cartels have expanded far beyond drugs and are now modeled closer to what La Cosa Nostra used to be in this country. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I’m working on a future story regarding these new “revenue streams”. However, one “white paper” I read reports the Director of the CIA states the threat from the cartels is the 2nd biggest security challenge for the US in 2009. Al Queda is #1 and Iran’s nuclear problem is #3. This speaks for itself.

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The Future of an Icon
April 15, 2009

I have a story coming up about the future of the Houston Astrdome. Last July I ran a story on how the Dome had been hit with several violations from City Inspectors and the Fire Department. The City even yanked the Dome’s Certificate of Occupancy, which every building in the city has to have before it can be used. The initial estimate to fix all of the problems to bring the Dome back into compliance was $30-million. Naturally, Commissioners Court wasn’t going to spend that kind of money for a building the County was trying to sell and, more specifically, had no idea what it would be used for in the future. I hear a decison on the Dome’s future is close. I’ll have the full details coming up Thursday night at 10. I want to know what you would like to see the Astrodome become, so I’m taking a poll. Also, drop me a comment.

Caught!
April 2, 2009

Mexico has nabbed one of it’s 24-most wanted drugs. Vicente Carrillo Leyva was arrested in Mexico and Mexican officials say he is one of the top heads of the Beltran/Leyva cartel which operates on Mexico’s Pacific coast near the city of Chilpancingo. Carillo Leyva is also the son of Amado Carillo Fuentes who was one of the most powerful drug lords in Mexico until he died in 1997 during plastic surgery. Federal investigators say Carillo Fuentes was trying to change his appearance. This arrest follows last week’s arrest of another liuetenant with Beltran Leyva cartel. Even though Mexico recently offered millions of dollars for information leading to the arrest of it’s 24 most wanted drug lords and 13 top lieutenants, this arrest came from old fashioned police work. Federal officials in Mexico tracked down Carillo Leyvas through his wife. There has also been another interesting development in Mexico. In February I reported on the river of guns flowing into Mexico from the US. This is happening in part because there are almost no checks driving into Mexico. I can honestly say I’ve driven into Mexico dozens of times for both vacation and work and I’ve never been searched, or even given a second look by Mexican authorities. If you’ve ever driven into Mexico you know how it works, push the button and you either get a red light or a green light. Green light go ahead, red light stop and get searched. That is now going to change. Mexico said it is going to increase it’s inspection of vehicles going into the country. Not only will this hopefully catch some of the weapons going to the cartels but also the money. The same routes and means used to bring drugs into the US are the same ones used to transport the guns and the money back to the cartels in Mexico. The US has also started to search southbound traffic and in Laredo that has had gtreat success. Recently, border patrol agents found a hug stash of guns in the car of a Houston man headed to Mexico and about a week later found three million dollars in cash hidden inside an old school bus also headed to Mexico.