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Anel Violeta Noriega Rios, Alleged Mexican Drug Cartel Ambassador, Arrested in L.A.

Noriega.
Noriega.
ICE

The bloody war between drug cartels in Mexico is being fought largely over which one will control turf that leads mostly to the California border and ... Los Angeles.

Yes, we're the illicit drug capital of a hungry drug nation. All roads lead to L.A. Strangely, you rarely hear about cartels operating in town. While they're responsible for heads rolling down streets and bodies piling up in Mexico, the guns of crime syndicates have been mostly quiet in this neck of the woods.

Of course, that doesn't mean they're not here:

Twenty-seven-year-old Anel Violeta Noriega Rios was arrested at her El Monte residence last week, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials announced this week.

They say she's a "fugitive female member of La Familia Michoacana cartel, for whom Mexico offered a 5 million peso reward."

ICE officials promptly deported her to Mexico based on immigration violations. But she's accused in Mexico of being a meth runner with ties to California and Washington.

U.S. officials say this particular cartel is big in meth production and exportation to the United States. And meth appears to be the new game in the cartel business, as it's much more profitable than shipping cocaine from South America.

According to an ICE statement:

Mexican authorities allege Noriega is one of La Familia's main U.S.-based operatives, helping oversee the organization's methamphetamine distribution activities in California and Washington state.

La Familiar Michoacana, named for its home state of Michoacan, is a bloody cartel known to kidnap people, according to agents.

David Marin, acting field office director of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in L.A:

Last week's removal should be a reminder to fugitives in Mexico and around the world that we won't allow our borders to be barriers to bringing dangerous criminals to justice.

Feel a little safer? Don't.

Noriega has been arrested and deported five times in recent years.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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