by Jim Kouri
Almost two weeks after the shooting death of Immigration & Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata, and the wounding of Zapata’s partner, agent Victor Avila, in an ambush in Mexico, U.S. law enforcement officers are cracking down on Mexican-based drug operations across the United States.
According to Drug Enforcement Administration officials, close to 700 suspects were arrested and thousands of pounds of drugs were seized in a nationwide operation aimed at disrupting Mexican drug cartel activities.
The multi-jurisdiction operation involved men and women from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and departments, who arrested 676 people, seized $12 million in cash, recovered 280 weapons and 94 vehicles.
The narcotics and drugs confiscated included more than 35,000 pounds of marijuana, 467 kilograms of powdered cocaine, 64 pounds of methamphetamine, a/k/a "crank," and 21 pounds of pure heroin.
The nationwide dragnet began on Wednesday and is the latest example of Mexico’s violent drug war impacting the United States and the American people. Arrests and drug/weapons seizure occurred in 150 U.S cities.
The entire operation ended on Friday with only one violent incident in Houston, Texas. A local police officer taking part in a raid in connection with the operation was shot and wounded by one of the suspects. According to the HPD, the officer is a good condition and the bullet wound was not life-threatening.
While not linking this latest counternarcotics operation to the shooting of U.S. lawmen in Mexico, some within the ranks of the law enforcement community believe this and other operations will be "payback" to the Mexican organized crime gangs.
The attackers of two American federal agents while traveling in Mexico are believed to be members or associates of the Mexican crime gang Los Zetas, a source told the Law Enforcement Examiner last immediately following the release of the name of the deceased ICE agent.
The two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents had been assigned to the ICE Attaché office in Mexico City. They were shot in the line-of-duty while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico, by the assailants.
Sadly, the two U.S law enforcement agents were prevented from protecting themselves by an antiquated U.S.-Mexican agreement that prohibits American cops from carrying firearms in Mexico even when visiting that crime-ridden country on official business.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for Examiner.com and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.