McKiiney SWAT utilized by the DEA in Federal Roundup
Posted in the McKinney Forum
#1 Aug 17, 2007
McKinney SWAT was utilized and praised by the Federal DEA in the McKinney raid. This story also points out why SWAT teams are needed in North Texas. A drug kingpin, whose enforcement arm is the heavily armed Zetas, lived in McKinney.
Dallas-area raids net drug cartel suspects
30 arrests in 4 cities include McKinney man alleged to be 'cell leader'
11:23 PM CDT on Thursday, August 16, 2007
By BRENDAN McKENNA, ALFREDO CORCHADO and JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – Federal drug agents swept through Dallas and three other Texas cities, arresting more than 30 people believed to be affiliated with the narcotics distribution network of the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico 's most powerful drug smuggling organizations.
Agents simultaneously executed 19 search warrants in Dallas, McAllen, Laredo and San Antonio – starting about 6 a.m. Thursday – as part of a 2 ½-year Drug Enforcement Administration investigation known as Operation Puma. The operation has captured more than 2,450 kilograms of cocaine, 33 metric tons of marijuana and $5.5 million, according to the agency.
The raids netted Sergio Maldonado, 33, of McKinney , believed to be the cartel's "cell leader" for North Texas, and several other longtime players in the Dallas drug scene, according to law enforcement officials. Mr. Maldonado, arrested without incident in Laredo , is one of 20 people from the Dallas area indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering.
"North Texas is ideal for the Gulf Cartel because of the many interstates and tiny airports throughout the region," said the U.S. law enforcement official. "It's also a straight shot to the Midwest and points beyond. This is not surprising because not only are these people cold-blooded killers, they're also savvy businessmen and know where the dollars are."
The growth of the Gulf Cartel and the trigger-happy Zetas has led to widespread panic across Mexico , but also throughout Texas , where Mexican cartels have established drug cells as part of Mexico 's $25 billion-a-year drug trafficking industry.
Illegal drugs are killing an estimated 20,000 Americans each year, said Adm. James. G. Stavridis, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, who spoke at a border security conference in El Paso this week.
The most feared group is the Zetas, whose membership has grown to nearly 2,000, with the help of Guatemalan army commando unit known as the Kaibiles, according to U.S. and Mexican officials. Together, they have terrorized Mexico with the growing use of beheadings and other savage killings.
In addition to the Dallas arrests, the North Texas portion of Operation Puma has resulted in the seizure of 277 kilograms of cocaine, 900 pounds of marijuana and nearly $2.5 million in the city. Thursday's raids contributed 2 kilograms of cocaine and $80,000 to that total.
Federal prosecutors also will seek forfeiture of homes in McKinney and Dallas and 13 vehicles seized from the defendants.
#2 Aug 17, 2007
I find nothing in the article about McKinney Swat. Am I missing something?
#3 Aug 17, 2007
I didn't get an answer, so I did a little research and found this:
These arrests mark the conclusion of an international and multi-jurisdictional operation that was coordinated by the DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) based in Washington, D.C. Operation Puma was a joint investigation involving DEA offices in Dallas, McAllen, Laredo, and San Antonio, TX, and the associated U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the U.S. Department of Justice. Key local and state participants included the Dallas Police Department, the McKinney Police Department, the Garland Police Department, the Plano Police Department, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, the McAllen Police Department, the Mission Police Department, the San Juan Police Department, the Weslaco Police Department, the Pharr Police Department, the San Antonio Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the U. S. Marshal’s Service, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So are you saying that out of all those cops involved, McKinney swat are the guys that are the heros of the hour?
#4 Aug 17, 2007
Facts: I honestly don't know because I have no idea don't know who Ghost Rider is, but I must believe he's a cop. So maybe he's just passing along what he heard. Maybe he's not presenting it as fact that MPD SWAT was involved; but again, I honestly have no idea. Seeing the blog somehow brought out the psychologist in me; a woman suffering the propensity to over-analzye. :) Apolgies if I've offended you or Ghost Rider.
#5 Aug 18, 2007
Hmmm. Regardless of which SWAT team was used, let's step back for a moment.
This was a two year investigation so it was apparently done carefully, as opposed to the slip-shod investigative work typically done by the MPD.
Based (only) on the news accounts there was believed to be and apparently was tons of dope stored in the house. So the argument that a SWAT team was needed to prevent the possibility of evidence being flushed down a toilet goes right out the window.
The husband was known not to be home at the time of the attack on the home. Just the wife and their daughter. It would seem a counter attack by the occupants is a far fetched proposition.
The people inside the house were terrorized, particularly the daughter. The neighbors are quoted as saying that thought it was a terrorist attack.
So, while I am glad this amount of drugs have been taken off the street by the Feds, I have to question the use of a SWAT team's violent attack in a residential neighborhood putting not only the occupants, but the neighborhood in extreme danger.
#6 Aug 18, 2007
Actually, all of the officers involved are heroes.
Please refer to the thread on LODD (Line of Duty Deaths) on this Forum.
His is another version of the above stroy which answers your other question:
DEA sting nets McKinney man
BY DANNY GALLAGHER, McKinney Courier-Gazette
(Created: Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:11 AM CDT)
The Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 20 people in a statewide drug sting that netted a McKinney man in Laredo who investigators believe is the leader of a multi-million-dollar international drug cartel cell.
Federal law enforcement officials arrested Sergio Maldonado, 33, of McKinney , after he was indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and money laundering by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas back in July, according to federal court records.
Maldonado’s arrest was part of “Operation Puma,” a two-and-a-half-year, multi-jurisdictional investigation that targeted 30 individuals accused of being involved in an international drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring. DEA officials said the ring is responsible for smuggling over 2,450 kilograms of cocaine and 33 metric tons of marijuana across the Mexican border, according to a released statement.
DEA officials from the Dallas and Houston office with the help of local law enforcement officials executed a total of 19 search warrants and arrested 20 people in Dallas , McAllen , Laredo and San Antonio as of 5 p.m. Friday. They also seized 277 kilograms of cocaine, 900 pounds of marijuana and nearly $2.5 million, according to the statement.
Terri Wyatt, DEA Dallas division spokeswoman, said Maldonado is believed to be the leader of a “Gulf Cartel” drug cell based out of North Texas . She said since only 20 of the 30 indicted individuals have been arrested, the DEA and the Northern Division of Texas federal court could not release any more information on Maldonado’s charges or alleged crimes.
McKinney police Capt. Randy Roland said the McKinney Special Weapons and Tactics Team raided Maldonado’s house located in a cul-de-sac in the 3500 block of Greystone Court Thursday morning in connection with the DEA operation.
Wyatt said she could not reveal what police found or obtained from Maldonado’s home.
A nearby resident who asked not to be identified said the early morning raid jolted her out of bed.
“We were home when we were woken out of bed with a loud boom,” the resident said.“I thought actually some gas exploded or something happened.”
When she went outside, a McKinney police officer ordered her back into her house and she watched the events unfold through her front window. She said police officers and helicopters surrounded the house.
An officer eventually told her what happened.
“Once everything kind of settled down, I waived a police guy over and he told me what happened,” the resident said.“I was shocked. We (the resident’s family) all were.”
She said she never met Maldonado or any of the other people who lived or visited Maldonado’s lavish west McKinney house.
“They kind of kept to themselves,” the resident said.“There were a lot of cars always in the driveway, very expensive cars. I think there were some Corvettes and Escalades.”
DEA officials seized Maldonado’s home and vehicles, including a 2002 BMW and a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, according to the indictment. Collin Central Appraisal District records show the address of the home and the land has a total market value of over $645,000. The owner of the property is also listed under a different name.
#7 Aug 18, 2007
Yes, please do refer to the LODD forum and see the truth:
Oh please. All your references are from police departments and the like.
Try this one which reports the FBI's actual findings:
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics doesn't even rank cops as a dangerous job and never has. Granted, all jobs involve danger to some degree, police included.
Out of the 900,000 cops in this country between 50 to 60 per year (through 2006) have been killed in the last several years by felony shooting. Also note NONE of the shootings involve assault weapons or military gear by the criminals (police are simply not out gunned - that urban myth is just that - a myth). And don't forget the number of friendly fire deaths, usually about 3 to 5 per year, typically SWAT wildfire incidents. Do the math and be prepared for decimal points and a lot of zero behind the decimal point.
The average citizen is 3 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than is a cop by being shot.
What is the number one reason for police deaths? Regular old car accidents - "deaths in the line of duty"? Hardly. Using that logic, anyone killed in a car accident driving to work is killed in the line of duty. Ridiculous.
The point I am making is not out of disrespect for good police officers who gave their lives in the actual line of duty. I appreciate the work they do and the sacrifice made. I also understand the desire to stand by officers by "memorial groups".
But please tell the truth - the yet to be determined number of felony police deaths in 2007 is unknown. And, the hysterical "the sky is falling" attempts to add to the myth that cops are dropping like flies are nothing short of dishonest. It is the proliferation of such myths that has resulted in the militarization of our civilian police forces to the point where we literally have a standing army across this country.
You might want to read up on the founding of our country and how such things were not only feared, but prohibited.
Using you own cite:
“….compares with 145 officers killed nationally in all of 2006, including nine in Florida . That includes 52 who were shot, 45 who died in traffic crashes, 15 struck by a vehicle and 14 who died from job-related illnesses [Nick's note, it also includes 19 other unspecified deaths]. One in 6,000 officers dies in the line of duty every year, Floyd said.”
and using only police who were shot, here is the average percentage of cops who truly died in the line of duty: 0.00598%.
Apparently you have an uncritical mind and really don’t comprehend the mathematical sciences or know how to interpret what such results really tell you.
(Ghost Rider, be a good guy and quit posting the same thing on mutliple forum topics. I understand it is your right to do so. But it really is a pain in the ass to have to de-bunk your comments repeatedly. I am asking this with respect.)
#8 Aug 18, 2007
Using the number provided in the McKinney SWAT bashing site, their numbers not mine, there are 40,000 search warrant served across the nation every year. The Cato Institute studied 20 years worth of information. So, 40,000 warrants times 20 years equals 800,000 warrants served during that same time period. Divide the Cato Institute's finding of 296 allegedly bothced raids by the total number of warrants and the result is:.00037
While SWAT teams strive for perfection, that percentage indicates that there is more of a probability of being injured or killed by your own doctor. You are much more likely to be injured in traffic.
#9 Aug 18, 2007
First, the number of SWAT attacks has grown exponentially over the years so your calculations are grossly wrong out of the gate. today, they are estimated at 40,000. Some years ago they were 3,000.
Again if find it very telling and sad that you trivialize the lost and damaged lives and private property (the protection of which being distinguishing tenants of american society) of innocent civilians caused soley by bad, incompetent and corrupt police policies/actions.
You ask us to mourn for the lost lives of the few police oficers actually killed in action (we do) but you blow off the very citizens cops are sworn to protect - over and above themselves.
If you are a cop, how do you look in the mirror?
#10 Aug 18, 2007
And again,the lovely group of Swat desperate, for action put in danger other lives by raiding like freaking animals peoples houses ,i guess that's Mckinney .
#11 Aug 18, 2007
GR Wrote: McKinney SWAT was utilized and praised by the Federal DEA in the McKinney raid. This story also points out why SWAT teams are needed in North Texas. A drug kingpin, whose enforcement arm is the heavily armed Zetas, lived in McKinney.
Okay, I am beginning to get a clearer picture now. I, too, am glad to have these very large amounts of drugs off the streets. I do believe credit is due to several departments for this accomplishment. I still question the use of SWAT in McKinney. From what I understand, Sergio Maldonado was arrested in Laredo "without incident". So why was SWAT in Mckinney necessary?
#12 Aug 18, 2007
It wasn’t necessary and it endangered the lives of the two women inside the house (which was under surveillance) and the entire neighborhood.
Radley Balko’s (RB) recent interview with David Doddridge, a 20-year veteran of LAPD, a former narcotics officer gives some insight:
“RB: One aspect of the drug war I've spent quite a bit of time researching is the militarization of police, the increasing use of SWAT teams. A common response I get from cops is that SWAT teams make warrant service safer. Do you agree with that?
Doddridge:(Laughs).”Oh, no. Of course not. SWAT teams are trained to deal with dangerous people. When you bring a SWAT team to serve a drug warrant, a drug offender, you're escalating the situation, not de-escalating it. One thing you have to understand: Cops love action. They crave action. You have thousands of these SWAT teams across the country, now. You've got these guys in some small town in Idaho with nothing better to do just looking at each other. "What do we do with this warrant? Well, might as well give it to the SWAT team." It isn't necessary.”
RB: Police groups say that drug dealers are armed to the teeth. Heavily-armed, military-style SWAT teams are necessary to counter this high-powered weaponry.
"Doddridge: I've heard that. And it's just not true. In 21 years at LAPD, I never once saw any assault weapons on a drug raid. Drug dealers prefer handguns, which are easier to conceal. Occasionally you'll find a shotgun. But having a bunch of high-powered weaponry around is just too much trouble for them. It's too much for them to worry about.
RB: Many thanks for your time."”
According to FBI statistics, there have been zero shootings of police officers by military grade weapons. Almost all have been from stolen handguns.
#13 Aug 18, 2007
Actually, law enforcement mourns the loss of every life, civilian and sworn. It is generally law enforcement that has to deal with the tragic aftermath of crimes and car wrecks and other disasters. Cops pick up the pieces of shattered or lost lives and notify families.
Now you are starting to get my point. This is the balance I was refering to earlier. Law Enforcement must take everyone's life and safety, including their own into consideration in every operation. Law Enforcement knows that this is not a black and white world but one that is shaded is gray. Warrants are not coldly or callously served. There is risk in every operation and Law Enforcement strives to minimize those risks for everyone.
If you would like to know why SWAT teams: they are currently the industry standard as the safest way to conduct certain operations including high risk warrant service.
With that being the case, great liability is incurred to attempt to conduct operations any other way.
The mirror poses no problem since I have this balnced view of the role of policing in a democratic society.
Perhaps you should consider the other view too?
#14 Aug 18, 2007
Oh Please. Tell that to the peoples whose lives have been shattered by incompetent and corrupt cops.
SWAT raids have nothing to do with citizen and private property safety and everything to do with police safety. Such raids are contrary to civilian police officers sworn duty to “serve and protect” as well as directly contradictory to states Castle Laws. That tired argument is a vile canard. More and more police officers admit it and have come out against the practice of militarized police. My god man, innocent people have been killed and maimed by the hundreds, houses have been burned to the ground and untold perhaps millions of private property destroyed.
And you argue this is good and competent policy by trivializing and ignoring terroristic attacks on private citizens, while you whine about the very few cops who get killed in the actual line of duty?
As examples of how ridiculous your proposition sounds, consider this: the entire state of Wisconsin was serving ALL of it’s warrants – regardless of what they were for utilizing SWAT raids. This, until the State Supreme Court ruled the practice unconstitutional. Manassas, Virginia currently does the same. These are just the first two examples that come to mind and completely belie your statement that
“Law Enforcement knows that this is not a black and white world but one that is shaded is gray. Warrants are not coldly or callously served.”
Serving all warrants with SWAT teams are pretty damned cold, callous and black and white.
If you read the full forums you will see many quotes from longtime officers which debunk this b.s. Overwhelming destructive and violent force utilized against (by law innocent until proven guilty) private citizens and their private property? Even the Supreme court is sitting up and taking notice. Towns across this country are getting sued and losing. It's as absurd. My friend, if you actually believe what you just wrote - then you would have drank Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid during your training.
“Now I am getting your point?” What are you talking about? I have not gotten a single point you’ve made. None of them are valid.
And there you go again on “balance”– you’ve presented nothing on balance – as if that somehow validates your position. It doesn’t and causes me to question your intelligence.
I don’t expect you to show balance, it is irrelevant when arguing a point in a forum or a debate which by definition is a dialog regarding opposing viewpoints. It is very odd that you don’t seem to comprehend that concept. And I have addressed and debunked your balance argument twice now and you have yet to come back with a counter. Neither have you answered a single question.
#15 Aug 18, 2007
This is neither Wisconsin nor Manassas, Virginia. The SWAT Team is not utilized to serve every search and arrest warrant. Here, it is utilized when the intelligence information indicates that it will be a high risk apprehension. Information considered includes the nature of the criminal investigation, access to and nature of the suspect's weaponry, violent tendencies, criminal history, etc.
If you read the entire article: In this case the suspect was a known kingpin of a Drug Cartel that was prone to violence and known to kill people, including police officers, through their trained and heavily armed enforcers, the Zetas. The DEA knew that the house was occupied and believed that some of the occupants were Zeta gang members.
Therefore, they requested the assistance of the McKinney SWAT Team.
Under those circumstances, an operational plan was implemented to safely secure the location with minimal property damage. No one was injured in securing this location. In short, a job well done.
The balanced view is that cops are people too and perform their duties with everyone's safety in mind, including their own. A most successful SWAT operation is when everybody (citizens and cops)goes home.
I totally agree with you that SWAT Teams are not for every warrant. They should be used only for high risk apprehensions.
#16 Aug 18, 2007
GR, with this said, is it or is it not true that the house in question had been under surveillance for a long period of time? Was it known, or not known that the only occupants of this house were a lone woman and a girl?
#17 Aug 19, 2007
Oh I'm going to regret this in the morning, but here goes.... Ghost Rider never said McKinney SWAT was part of the DEA operative targeting drug cartel suspects, one of whom lived in McKinney. All he said was they were “utilized and praised.” That appears a very honest statement; its also one with a very tight cap. To his credit, Ghost Rider made no attempt to loosen it. He easily could have. He certainly had no way of knowing there was someone out here who could have nailed him the first time he tried. So whether you believe it or not, Ghost Rider proved himself a man of character and integrity; he did the right thing even when he thought no one was looking.
Lest anyone wonder what that has to do with the title of this blog, go back and read the entire blog, more than once if necessary. Then take time to process everything. You’ll find the answer. I promise. Now I have a question of my own:“Who are you Ghost Rider and do you work for MPD?” Just a hint will be alright if that’s the best you can do. Thanking you in advance. Dr. Sienna
#18 Aug 19, 2007
Sienna, No regrets. Note that I am only asking questions, not making statements or stating opinions. Truthfully, I know too little to put myself in that position.
#19 Aug 19, 2007
Facts: Something tells me you're a woman, and a mother at that. Something tells me too, that's why this is tearing you apart. Okay, here's something that might help. At least it might help you worry a little less about MPD SWAT while at the same time intending no disrespect for MPD. In fact it might even confirm what I said earlier about Ghost Rider. He made no attempt to exaggerate the role of MPD SWAT.
Again from one mom to another...credible sources in the field of law enforcement report that in cases such as DEA Puma, neither MPD SWAT any other PD SWAT is given discretion. Only the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM is shared with anyone at the local level. It just doesn't happen. Particularly in cases such as this, federal agencies rule, period. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether the house was under surveillance or who was in it because this case belonged to the Feds; it never was MPD's baby. So if we follow the logic of law enforcement sources clearly in a position to know, MPD SWAT were simply doing what they were asked to do. I hope this helps.
#20 Aug 19, 2007
Facts: It occurs to me I better clarify what I said about ‘discretion’ or MPD SWAT might show up at my door with their panties all in a wad before dawn. As I understand it, certainly any local PD is given a certain amount of discretion, and rightfully so. They too have an enormous investment on the line. What I meant is that in a case such as this, it isn’t likely MPD SWAT had the discretion (or luxury) if you look at it from their perspective, of calling the shots.
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