Confiscated drugs for money, extortion for Government protection. It was a deadly game.
The border patrol watched from their hidden vantage point as the goods were tossed over the boat’s side.
One of the officers questioned his superior. “Let’s move on these guys. What are we waiting for?”
He obviously didn’t understand the rules of the game.
“Our orders are to wait and that’s what we’ll do,” replied his superior.
Once the boat had unloaded its cargo, the border patrol gave chase. It was a half-hearted effort. More to just herd the criminals out of the area than to catch them. Once the criminals were out of sight, the patrol circled back to the area where the packages were unloaded and picked up the contraband.
The following day, large capped headlines in the morning paper read…
“100 Kilos of Cocaine Seized, Suspects Elude Capture.”
Hector read the headline but knew better. He was there. If his unit had wanted to, they could have easily captured the cargo and the smugglers. Something was not right, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
He requested a meeting with his unit commander to discuss the situation. Instead of a meeting, he was quickly and quietly transferred out of the border patrol unit to a remote post where he would no longer question the affairs of his superiors.
The seized packages of cocaine were clearly marked as coming from the Lobos cartel.
The border patrol took full credit for the seizure. It looked like they were doing their job and It boosted their reputation with the locals.
The usual protocol for confiscated drugs was followed. They would be turned over to government security forces who would incinerate them at an undisclosed facility.
Once security forces took possession of the drugs they would disappear from public view, and the media coverage would end. That was the normal procedure.
One week after the drugs were turned over to security forces a lone helicopter was heard by local farmers some twenty miles from the nearest town. It touched down in a remote field where two vehicles were waiting.
100 kilos of cocaine were offloaded and placed in the trunks of the two vehicles.
A suitcase was passed from one of the vehicles to a man waiting in the helicopter. He opened it and assessed the amount of American dollars. Word was then passed on to one of the drivers instructing him to relay a message to Carlos Lobos that it was nice doing business with him.
The payment was sufficient for repurchasing the cocaine that once belonged to him.
Government agencies had stolen it and now he was being forced to buy it back. It was extortion by Government officials, Confiscating… no, stealing the drugs to make them look good, then selling it back to Carlos to put money in their pockets.
In exchange, shipping containers that were to be loaded the following morning for a U.S. port would not be inspected here or at their final destination.
Carlos Lobos was happy to hear this news since it would be his drugs being loaded, but he was beginning to grow quite unhappy with the frequency and the increasing amount of extortion money demanded by security forces. His profits were being marginalized and he didn’t like it.
This was a high stakes game and Carlos had had enough. He was about to raise them.
An ultimatum was sent to certain officials and to make his point he ordered hits on several others. It was a bad move.
Carlos soon realized he had underestimated the sophistication of government security forces and their surveillance techniques.
He had thought the killing of the officials would change things. He was right, but it wasn’t what he expected. It was now time for Security forces to pay Carlos Lobos a late night visit.
A well planned operation effectively dismantled the Lobos cartel.
Security forces raided the cartels main warehouse. Carlos Lobos was executed at his home and an undisclosed amount of cash and cocaine was confiscated.
The morning headlines were very favorable to security forces. The cash disappeared and the drugs were “Disposed of” in the usual manner. Most likely to another cartel under the security forces thumb, assuring Government officials that the drugs for money game would continue.
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.
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