Thursday, March 23, 2023

Uzis, Illegal Immigrants and Fentanyl: Feds Charge Men with Selling Guns to Cartel; Lawmakers Sound the Alarm Over Fentanyl-Laced Pills Sold at Mexican Pharmacies

Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald via AP
Uzis, illegal immigrants and fentanyl: Feds charge men with selling guns to cartel
Federal prosecutors announced charges Tuesday against two men they say were trying to sell serious firepower to Mexican smuggling cartels.
In reality, the men were dealing with undercover federal agents posing as cartel buyers, and they managed to buy dozens of firearms, including one automatic Uzi-style submachine gun.
The case highlights the poisonous interplay between illegal immigration, deadly fentanyl and gun smuggling, with a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent describing the alleged gun dealers as offing to supply drugs while asking the supposed cartel operative if he could smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S.
Cleveland residents Yuendry Rodriguez Hilario, 28, and Saleh Yusuf Saleh, 24, face charges of conspiracy to traffic firearms, possession of firearms while dealing drugs, and various other gun violations.
The men were arrested on March 2 while trying to hand off 40 rifles in the parking lot of a Five Guys restaurant in Cleveland, authorities said.
Text messages also showed Mr. Rodriguez Hilario offering to sell AR-style pistols with a binary trigger that would render them “close to automatic” fire. He asked for $2,500 for each of those weapons. --->READ MORE HERE
DEA photo
Lawmakers sound the alarm over fentanyl-laced pills sold at Mexican pharmacies:
Democratic lawmakers are pressing the State Department to issue a warning about fentanyl-laced pills sold by Mexican pharmacies to unsuspecting Americans who travel across the border looking for cheaper medication.
Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Rep. David Trone of Maryland pointed to California researchers who determined that northern Mexican drugstores are selling counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.
The pills are sold mainly to U.S. tourists and made to look like drugs such as oxycodone, percocet and Adderall, according to the team at the University of California, Los Angeles.
A separate investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that 71% of the 17 pills it tested from Mexican drugstores came back positive for more powerful drugs.
“These adulterated drugs place unsuspecting U.S. tourist customers — some of whom are seeking to avoid high pharmaceutical drug pricing in the United States — at risk of overdose and death,” Mr. Markey and Mr. Trone wrote in a recent letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “As an immediate step, the State Department needs to warn Americans traveling to Mexico of the danger they face when purchasing pills from Mexican pharmacies.”
The State Department regularly issues travel advisories to help Americans assess risks in certain locations around the world. --->READ MORE HERE
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