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War on Drugs

60-year-old CA man arrested, possessed enough fentanyl to kill 12 million people

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California Highway Patrol officers arrested 60-year-old suspected drug dealer Alfonso Gomez-Santana last week during a traffic stop. Officers found four kilos of fentanyl inside his car, during the stop, and an additional $250,000 in fentanyl pills and 122 grams methamphetamine when searching his home.

Gomez-Santana is being charged with felonies for possessing enough fentanyl to kill 12 million people, with one felony count of sale or transport of a controlled substance and two felony counts of possession of sale with intent to sell.

Fentanyl-related deaths are plaguing this country, and the drug dealer is only facing a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in jail.

“It is unconscionable that someone who has the ability to kill 12 million people is facing just a handful of years in jail,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

“Every parent in America should be petrified that one day they are going to walk into their child’s bedroom and find them dead because their child thought they were experimenting with recreational drugs, and instead drug dealers sold them a deadly dose of fentanyl,” Spitzer said.

“This is not fear-mongering; this is reality – and if we don’t start strengthening penalties for drug dealers, it’s going to be the reality for you or someone you love.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention drug-related overdose deaths topped 100,000 annually for the first time last year.

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Immigration

DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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