The Department of Justice sent out a press release Monday morning titled “Leaders of the Lorenzana Drug Trafficking Organization Extradited on International Narcotics Trafficking Charges.”
The release explains two Guatemalan nationals were extradited to the United States from Guatemala on Friday in order to face international narcotics trafficking charges against them. The release states:
Guatemalan nationals Haroldo Geremias Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Chuci, aka Chuchy, and Marta Julia Lorenzana-Cordon, aka Julie, aka Yulie, aka Julia and aka Morena, were extradited from Guatemala to the United States on Dec. 10 to face international drug trafficking charges. They made their initial court appearance in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 11. They are detained pending their appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Court documents say the defendants were leaders of the Lorenzana drug trafficking organization, a criminal group comprised primarily of family members. “The organization transports tonnage quantities of cocaine from Colombia into Guatemala, where the cocaine is inventoried and stored on properties owned by the organization throughout Guatemala. Once processed, the organization works with the Sinaloa Cartel, among other organizations, to traffic cocaine into Mexico, through Central America, and eventually, into the United States.”
Documents also show that between 1996 and 2019, the group helped transport, store and distribute multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Central America and Mexico, for eventual distribution into the United States.
The press release states “Defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that it will be unlawfully imported to the United States. If convicted, they each face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.”
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More Deadly Fentanyl Has Been Seized at U.S. Borders Than Heroin For First Time in History
History has been made in the worst of ways. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shows 2021 was the first time in American history that federal law enforcement seized more of the deadly drug fentanyl than heroin at our borders.
Data shows 11,200 pounds of fentanyl was seized in 2021 compared to 5,400 pounds of heroin. The numbers were double that of 2020’s fentanyl seizures. 319,447 pounds of marijuana, 190,861 pounds of methamphetamine, 97,638 pounds of cocaine and 10,848 pounds of ketamine were also seized in 2021.
Taking the 2022 fiscal year into account, 2,158 pounds of fentanyl has already been seized. 277 pounds of heroin have also been seized in the same time period. The Washington Examiner reports:
Not only were fentanyl seizures at the highest level ever recorded, but fentanyl overdoses within the United States also hit new highs, indicating the success that transnational criminal organizations had in pushing their deadly products to the public. A DEA investigation this fall found a direct link between criminal drug organizations in Mexico and fentanyl-related overdose deaths.
Many drug users are unaware they are taking the substance because street drugs are being laced with fentanyl, making even the most dangerous of illicit drugs deadly.
The Examiner adds, “Because just a few grains of the substance is all it takes for a user to feel its effect, its value per ounce is higher than other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine. For example, the DEA states 2 milligrams is enough to kill someone who inhales, consumes, or injects it.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) additionally “seized 20.4 million pills that were fake versions of prescriptions and pumped full of fentanyl. The pills were enough to kill every American, according to the DEA.”
Due to small dosages of the drug being so potent, “it also makes it significantly easier for the criminals transporting it to sneak into the country.”
The Examiner also reported on the deadly drug’s connection to Wuhan, China:
Mexican cartels purchase the ingredients for fentanyl from labs in Wuhan, China . The cartels will produce the fentanyl from those ingredients and push it into the U.S. Chinese-based financiers launder the profits for the cartels out of the U.S., back to China, and on to Mexico.
The cartels are in the business of selling whatever drug brings in the most money and is easiest to produce. Through the decades, federal law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border has seized millions of pounds of drugs — most of which was marijuana.
Over the past five years, marijuana seizures have significantly declined as U.S. states legalized recreational cannabis and legal grow operations began in the U.S. Because marijuana can only be grown in certain climates, similar to cocaine, it made drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamines more attractive because they can be produced anywhere, any time.
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