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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
NOVEMBER 19, 2003

DEA Billboard Offers Reward For
Dangerous International Drug Fugative

BillboardNOV 19--The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will unveil two billboards that will be posted along Interstate 10 in southern Arizona seeking information and offering a reward for the capture of Mexican drug lord Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada-Garcia. The DEA has been successful in disrupting his U.S. drug trafficking network during Operation Trifecta, indicting him in Washington, D.C. Zambada is operating one of the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico, smuggling wholesale quantities of cocaine and marijuana through almost every port of entry in the state of Arizona and is expanding his influence along the 2,000 mile Southwest Border. DEA Special Agent in Charge Errol Chavez stated, "Ismael Zambada is an extremely dangerous criminal whose narcotic trafficking activities are legendary. For more than three decades, he has skillfully aligned with almost every known drug trafficking organization in Mexico. We are asking the assistance of Arizona residents to provide any information they may have on his whereabouts so that we can bring his criminal career to an end."

Zambada-Garcia recently emerged as one of the top drug smugglers in Mexico after a bloody battle with the Arellano-Felix Organization, the once-powerful Tijuana cartel, and has consolidated his control over the smuggling routes from the Mexican state of Sonora into Arizona.

Wanted PosterWhile there is no hard evidence that Zambada has crossed the border into the United States, DEA spokesperson, Ramona Sanchez noted that the DEA is not ruling out any possible travel into the United States especially if he's known to have family here. Sanchez stated that the DEA is trying to dramatically increase the pressure on Zambada by soliciting the public's help in finding him. As part of a state-wide, aggressive media campaign, the DEA will also feature wanted posters and flyers of Zambada to be posted at ports of entry along the Southwest Border as well as in federal, state and local government buildings. "He will soon be a household name", remarked Sanchez.

The viewing of the billboards is scheduled for Thursday, November 20, 2003. The first one, which is located ½ mile North of Exit 212 (North of Picacho Peak), will be viewed between 10-11 a.m., and the second one, which is located 1 and ½ mile South of Exit 236, (South of Marana) will be viewed between 12-1 p.m.

If you have questions or need further information, please call Public Information Officer Ramona Sanchez at (602) 664-5725.


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