Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- For a month, starting on February 9th, 2018, until March 8th, the FBI has been involved in an operation to arrest people and seize cash, drugs, and guns from a group of suspects who are alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars across the United States and Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel.
Six million dollars were seized in cash, 22 lbs of fentanyl, 138 lbs of heroin 209 lbs of methamphetamine, 202 lbs of cocaine, and 554 lbs of marijuana were seized.
70 people were indicted and 20 firearms were seized, including semiautomatic rifles and handguns. From dailymail.co.uk:
20 firearms, including semiautomatic rifles and handguns, were also seized
A picture of seized firearms was released. It shows two 1911 style pistols and two other guns, which at first glance appear to be AR type rifles.
The lowest gun in the picture is not an AR15 clone. It is a Mossberg 715T, which is an inexpensive .22 blowback type rifle in a plastic clamshell, made to look “tactical”. It is based on the common Mossberg 702 action.
The top rifle appears to be a rifle assembled by someone from parts. The lower receiver has an integral trigger guard that is not very common. I see them on some 80% receivers, so it may be a cartel manufactured AR. The lack of logo or any identification numbers on the forward left flat is suggestive, but not conclusive.
A couple of 1911 clones, a cartel manufactured AR clone, and an inexpensive .22 rimfire made to look tacticool. They do not make an impressive, scary photo-op. It the people making the bust had scarier guns that had been confiscated, they would have used them.
I wonder about the other 16 firearms. I have not seen a picture of them. Probably a collection of single shot shotguns, a few revolvers, and some .22 rifles. It is what you commonly see south of the border.
70 people indicted, 20 firearms seized. About 30% of adults in the U.S. own firearms. These suspects were almost exactly average for American residents. 30% of 70 is 21. They missed the average by one gun. You would think, with supposed millions of dollars flowing through their fingers, enough would have stuck to upgrade to some nice firearms, if for no more reason than to show off. Mexican cartels are known for splurging cash on showy guns. I expected engraved 1911 pistols, certainly Glocks, some AK47 clones, maybe something exotic such as a .50 caliber bolt gun or gold plated Browning Hi-Power pistols.
But there were no flashy guns that are more for show than effect, unless you count the Mossberg 715T .22 made to look sorta, kinda, like an AR15.
It is one reason I suspect these were low-level worker bees in the Sinaloa Cartel. Maybe they were independent contractors. Another is the small amount of cash seized, only six million dollars. The Sinaloa cartel is credited with income of about three billion dollars. Six million dollars is less than one day's cash flow if that figure is correct.
Several months work by high priced American law enforcement personnel, to grab one-day of cash flow from the Sinaloa cartel…
This does not look like a war we are winning.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.