Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich



Operation Portera

The Section supported a wiretap investigation into members of a criminal enterprise working on behalf of the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel which resulted in the indictment of 44 people on charges related to drug trafficking, human smuggling and money laundering. This group was responsible for coordinating importation of multi-ton quantities of marijuana and illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States through the San Miguel Gate area and the smuggling of bulk drug proceeds and assault weapons back into Mexico. Law enforcement intelligence linked over 150 drug seizures since May 2008 totaling approximately 28,000 pounds of marijuana to the enterprise. Since September, 2011, 27 defendants have pled guilty and 12 were sentenced to prison. On July 9, 2012, a lead defendant with no prior criminal record was sentenced to 8 years in prison.