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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Department of Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22,1999
WWW.USDOJ.GOV

CRM
(202) 202-307-7977
TDD (202) 514-1888

OPERATION IMPUNITY DISMANTLES NATIONWIDE
DRUG TRAFFICKING OPERATION

The Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Customs Service today announced the conclusion of a two-year international investigation which culminated in the arrest of 93 individuals linked to the Amado Carillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization, headquartered in Mexico. "Operation Impunity" was a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency complex investigation which tied drug trafficking activity within the United States to the highest levels of the cocaine trade operating today.

"The impact of Operation Impunity is significant," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "By targeting the cartel's importation, transportation and distribution network, we have substantially hindered their ability to move cocaine and other drugs into, and around, this country."

Donnie Marshall, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, stated that "this investigation graphically proves the reach and depth of the internationally directed cocaine trade that affects far too many communities within our nation -- from major cities to smaller cities, from suburban locations to rural areas." During the duration of Operation Impunity, over $19 million in U.S. currency was seized, another $7 million in assets, as well as over 12,434 kilos of cocaine and over 4,800 lbs. of marijuana.

The most critical aspect of the investigation was the identification and arrest of three major drug trafficking cell heads -- individuals who are on the payroll of major drug lords who direct their operations within U.S. cities: Arturo Arredondo aka "Aman" who was responsible for giving orders to traffickers based in the United States regarding all U.S. transportation and distribution activities; Jesse Quintanilla aka "Sobrino" who was in charge of all Chicago distribution of cocaine from Mexico; and Jorge Ontiveros-Rodriguez aka "Guillermo Alfonso" who was the San Diego cell head responsible for cocaine distribution. All three worked for the Amado Carillo Fuentes organization, based in Juarez, Mexico.

In 1997, Amado Carillo Fuentes, one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world, died as a result of plastic surgery designed to change his appearance to evade law enforcement. A key lieutenant of the ACF organization, Gilberto Salinas Soria aka Gilberto Garza-Garcia, who was arrested by Mexican authorities in January 1999, directed U.S. affiliates from Mexico. Operation Impunity provided concrete evidence of their oversight and involvement in the day-to-day operations of their affiliates in the United States.

Typically, operatives of the ACF organization -- targeted at all levels by federal agents in Operation Impunity -- moved hundreds of tons of Colombian cocaine from Mexico, to McAllen, Texas to other cities such as San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. From there it was moved to other cities like Nashville, Miami, Detroit, Raleigh, Houston, Newark, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Tulsa and Los Angeles where it was distributed to domestic organizations who guaranteed its sale on the streets of U.S. communities. Additionally, over a hundred million dollars in U.S. currency was returned to drug lords in Mexico by the same operatives who drove vehicles with bulk cash over U.S. highways. Traffickers based in Mexico and their U.S. affiliates communicated through various sophisticated means, taking full advantage of personal communications systems which the traffickers believed were safe from law enforcement attention.

Operation Impunity was coordinated by the Special Operations Division (SOD), which is a combined investigative coordination center for major narcotics and money laundering investigations involving the DEA, U.S. Customs Service, FBI, and IRS. In addition, there were numerous federal prosecutors in the field and with the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section, Office of Enforcement Operations, and Office on International Affairs. Also involved were the U.S. Attorneys Offices in the Southern District of Texas, Southern and Central Districts of California, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, District of Newark, Northern District of Georgia, Northern District of Oklahoma, Eastern District of North Carolina, Eastern District of New York, Eastern District of Michigan, Middle District of Tennessee, Southern District of Florida, and the Northern District of Illinois.

FBI Director Louis Freeh underscored that, "The success of Operation Impunity is an example of what can be achieved through cooperative efforts of all law enforcement agencies in addressing the most insidious crime problem facing our communities today."

"Drug investigations have become increasingly complex," added U.S. Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly, "The best way to fight drug dealers effectively is by pooling our talents and resources. Operation Impunity is an excellent example of law enforcement pulling together to fight a common enemy."

Acting Administrator Marshall concluded that, "this operation was undertaken to prove that traffickers in Mexico and the United States no longer operate with impunity. The Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal and state law enforcement agencies will continue to target and disable major drug trafficking organizations in order to bring the highest levels of the drug trade to justice."


Amado Carrillo-Fuentes Organization

Function: Before his death in 1997, Amado Carrillo-Fuentes was responsible for the command and control of the transportation of cocaine to the United States, the domestic distribution of cocaine within the United States, and the movement of drug money back to Mexico.
Significance: This group provides cocaine transportation services to Colombia-based trafficking organizations and serves as a wholesale distributor of its own cocaine in the United States.
Status: Following the death of Amado Carrillo-Fuentes, this group was fragmented by internal power struggles, but remains one of the most powerful drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico.

Alcides Ramon-Magana; aka "El Metro"

Function: This Mexican citizen was the transportation coordinator between cocaine traffickers in Colombia and major traffickers in Mexico.
Significance: El Metro, given control of Cancun by Amado himself, guaranteed safe delivery of cocaine from Cancun to Reynosa, Mexico.
Status: Under investigation by Mexican authorities.

Gilberto Salinas-Doria; aka Gilberto Garza-Garcia, aka Guero

Function: Command & control of all transportation and drug distribution from Reynosa to stash houses across the U.S. border, then, via trucks, to distribution cells working for Salinas-Doria.
Significance: His influence extended from Reynosa to Chicago, NewYork City, Newark, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and other U.S. cities.
Status: Arrested by Mexican police. In January 1999, the U.S. government has requested extradition of this former Donna, Texas police officer and multiple homicide suspect. Salinas-Doria is wanted for drug conspiracies in Atlanta, Brownsville, and McAllen.

Marco Flores; aka Chavez

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen was one of three top lieutenants of Salinas-Doria.
Significance: A major transportation coordinator across the Mexico/U.S. border to Chicago, Houston, and a number of East Coast cities.
Status: Believed to have been killed in Mexico in January 1999 by order of Salinas-Doria for the loss of a 1,000 kilogram cocaine shipment.

Victor Ortega; aka Pelon

Function: This Mexican citizen was one of three top lieutenants of Salinas-Doria.
Significance: A major transportation coordinator across the U.S. border to Chicago, Houston, and a number of East Coast cities.
Status: He has been indicted in Houston, Texas, and the U.S. government has requested Mexican assistance in his apprehension.

Jaime Aguilar-Gastelum; aka Don Jaime

Function: This Mexican citizen was one of three top lieutenants of Salinas-Doria.
Significance: A major transportation coordinator across the U.S. border to Chicago, Houston, and a number of East Coast cities.
Status: Arrested in Mexico by Mexican authorities on September 22, 1999.

Arturo Arredondo; aka Aman

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen supervised the loading of tractor trailers with cocaine concealed by produce. The trucking companies were owned by his underlings. He took orders from traffickers in Mexico and gave orders to traffickers based in the United States regarding all U.S. transportation and distribution activities.
Significance: Arredondo was the highest ranking trafficker of this U.S.-based network.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in McAllen, Texas, in August 1999.

Jesse Quintanilla; aka Sobrino

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen was in charge of all Chicago distribution of cocaine from Mexico.
Significance: Quintanilla is the nephew of Salinas-Doria and the Chicago cell head.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in Chicago in May 1998.

Ubaldo Aguilar; aka Colorado

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen received shipments of cocaine from Arredondo and turned them over to Colombian traffickers in New York City.
Significance: One of three top Mexicans controlling incoming shipments to New York City and Chicago.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in August 1999 in McAllen, Texas.

Alisandro Perez; aka Plumas

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen was a major East Coast transportation coordinator.
Significance: Supervised the off-loading of cocaine shipments arriving by tractor trailers to the Northeast and transferred the cocaine to local traffickers from Colombia.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in August 1999 in McAllen, Texas.

Tomas Garza-Adams

Function: This dual Mexican/U.S. citizen was a major East Coast transportation coordinator.
Significance: Supervised the off-loading of cocaine shipments arriving by tractor trailers to the Northeast and transferred the cocaine to local traffickers from Colombia.
Status: Believed to have been killed in Mexico in January 1999 by order of Salinas-Doria for the loss of a 1,000 kilogram cocaine shipment.

Jorge Ontiveros-Rodriguez; aka Guillermo Alfonso

Function: This dual Cuban/U.S. citizen was the San Diego cell head responsible for cocaine distribution.
Significance: Controlled distribution for several U.S. distribution groups in Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in San Diego in September 1999.

Jose Luis Diaz; aka Eduardo Pagan

Function: This Dominican citizen provided East Coast warehousing and off-load services.
Significance: Diaz was hired by Arredondo to perform logistical work in New York City.
Status: Arrested in the Dominican Republic on U.S. charges with the cooperation and assistance of the government of the Dominican Republic in August 1999; the U.S. government has requested extradition.

Julio Ramos

Function: This Dominican citizen was the direct boss of Diaz.
Significance: Operating from the Dominican Republic, he directed operations in the United States.
Status: Arrested in the Dominican Republic on U.S. charges with the cooperation and assistance of the government of the Dominican Republic in August 1999; the U.S. government has requested extradition.

Camilo Barraza; aka Cami

Function: This Mexican citizen was the cell head in Los Angeles and the distribution head in Chicago.
Significance: The DEA seized 500 kilograms of cocaine from him in Chicago.
Status: Fugitive at large.

Gary Lee Fox; aka Popeye

Function: This U.S. citizen handled all transportation for U.S.-based distribution groups.
Significance: He specifically handled transportation of cocaine and money for the Ontiveros cell.
Status: Pending arrest.

Broderick Hurst; aka King Kong

Function: This U.S. citizen was a self-employed Atlanta cell head for cocaine distribution.
Significance: He handled all local cocaine distribution in the Atlanta area.
Status: Arrested by the DEA in Miami on September 20, 1999.

Vincent Clinch

Function: This U.S. citizen was a self-employed Ft. Lauderdale cell head for cocaine distribution.
Significance: He handled all local cocaine distribution in the South Florida area.
Status: Pending arrest.
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