According to the Associated Press, Mexican authorities raided a meth and fentanyl lab last week capable of processing 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg) of raw material at a time, the country’s federal Attorney General’s Office announced on Sunday. The sheer size of the facility left authorities in shock.
“In the Attorney General’s Office, we have no record of any seizure of equipment of this size before,” said Felipe de Jesus Gallo of the federal Attorney General’s Office. He also said that the lab had two-story-tall chemical preparation vats.
Last week, the “mega-lab” was discovered on the outskirts of Mexico City, CBS News reported. A fake storefront advertising industrial cleaning products was used to conceal the warehouse in which the lab was located. The warehouse housed 265-gallon tanks containing precursor chemicals as well as stacks of drums. According to Gallo, these chemicals can be used for manufacture methamphetamines and synthetic opioid fentanyl.
In addition to this warehouse, other sites across the country were also raided as part of the operation that was code-named “Blue.” Some of these other sites were located in the states of Durango and Sonora in the north, other parts of Mexico City, as well as in the surrounding State of Mexico.
A raid at another property in Mexico City saw the arrest of an engineer and the seizure of a drum of what is thought to be a fentanyl precursor and instructions on how to go about processing it. The engineer supposedly constructed and operated labs for an organized crime group.
Furthermore, another raid at a lab in Sonora discovered 290 kilograms (639.34 pounds) of meth, some of which was intended for shipment to the United States, said Gallo. The batch was said to have “a high level of purity.”
Authorities suspect that the group running this drug operation is one based out of Sinaloa, evidence of which linked all these raids together.
The intelligence gathered by Mexican marines points to the source of the fentanyl precursors as China but imported through a Hong Kong company, per CBS News. A multi-container shipment of these precursors reportedly entered through a port in Baja California after being shipped out from a port in Japan, the marines said they had tracked.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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