DEA Breaks Up Drug Smuggling Ring
A drug smuggling ring responsible for bringing in at least 40,000 pounds of marijuana into the state through Cochise County over the last three years has been broken up, according to a report in the Sierra Vista Herald.
A number of local, state and federal agencies were involved in the three-year operation, which has produced 39 indictments and 34 arrests. One of the individuals arrested, Angelica Borquez, allegedly took money to provide information to the smuggling ring while she worked as a secretary within the Cochise County Attorney’s Office.
Ed Rheinheimer, Cochise County Attorney, noted the DEA had been monitoring Borquez’s activities for more than a year.
“We had to, on one hand, make sure that she didn’t have access to any information that she could pass on that would do any serious damage to a case or put someone in jeopardy, but at the same time, try to do it in such a way that she didn’t think she was being investigated,” he said.
Borquez stands accused of passing confidential information to the drug traffickers between Nov. 5, 2008 and January 2010. As a result of information gathered, she has been charged with 13 felonies, 10 counts of unlawful use of a wire communication to facilitate a felony, participating in a criminal syndicate and fraudulent schemes and artifices.
As a result of this overall investigation, 12 people have been identified as key players in the operation, six of whom have been apprehended, indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Such charges can carry a life sentence. Reportedly, those not in custody are thought to be hiding out in Mexico.