Federal agents in San Diego broke up a drug trafficking ring involving Iraqi immigrants who worked with one of Mexico’s biggest drug cartel.
Approximately 60 Iraqi immigrants were rounded up and arrested just east of San Diego after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) completed a six-month investigation. The DEA Agents also collected drugs, grenades, assault weapons and homemade explosives.
Many of the (Christian) Iraqi’s arrested fled the Middle East to avoid threats from al-Qaida during the continuing wars. Authorities say the immigrants worked in concert with the Sinaloa cartel to transport weapons and drugs to Detroit, Michigan.
The DEA seized crystal meth (18 pounds), marijuana (3,500 pounds), cocaine and other narcotics. The agents also recovered four IEDs, 30 firearms and $630,000 in cash.
William Sherman, DEA special agent in charge of San Diego told the Associated Press, “the ring was going to sell a portion of the 3,500 pounds of marijuana, believed to belong to the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who has become one of the world's richest and most-wanted men since he escaped from a Mexican prison 10 years ago.”
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The recovery of explosives by DEA is particularly alarming as security across the country is heightened in preparation for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
One of the Iraqi’s immigrants told an undercover DEA agent that they were able to obtain more grenades from the Mexican Military personnel.
The arrested drug smugglers face a combination of state and/or federal charges of narcotics, weapon and explosive trafficking. The DEA also reported some of the organized crime arrestees were illegally in the country and will most likely be deported.
Nofel Noel Suleyman was charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise a charge that carries a mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison.
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