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A major Mexican drug cartel has been busted in heart of Silicon Valley resulting in the arrest of an alleged kingpin and 17 others, two major illegal labs being shut down and the seizure of laundered money and a variety of illegal street drugs, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said the arrests and seizures capped an investigation that stemmed back to the 2012 arrest of a low level drug dealer.
Called “Operation Five Degrees,” the investigators were eventually able to trace the drugs to a network that was moving millions of dollars in illegal narcotics into Northern California from Mexico and also manufacturing drugs.
“Mexican cartels are using Silicon Valley as a major artery for the flow of illegal drugs,” said Rosen in a prepared release.
Among those arrested, Rosen said, was San Jose resident Esdras Avila Carrillo who is known on the street as ‘Blanco.’
Carrillo allegedly is a high-ranking Mexican cartel member who is responsible for running a multi-million-dollar illegal drug distribution network to street dealers on the San Francisco Peninsula and the South Bay.
The operation not only imported drugs from Mexico but also was manufacturing illegal narcotics in at least two labs that were seized. One facility was producing methamphetamines in the Sacramento area and was nicknamed “The Store” while the other was a concentrated cannabis lab.
Agents also seized an undisclosed amount of meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana. An undisclosed amount of laundered money was also seized.
Authorities said the 18 suspects would be arraigned this week on a variety of charges.Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:36:29 -0700
Our next system is approaching from the north. Clouds will continue to move into the area for the remainder of the day.
Rain showers will pay us a visit Friday. Thunderstorm chances have also been added to the forecast. Rain amounts could range from .10 to .30 inches. You can count on cooler temperatures. Highs should range from the upper 50s near the coast to the low 60s inland.
This will also be a snow producer in the Sierra! A Winter Weather Advisory runs from 11 pm Thursday until 5 am Saturday. Snow amounts could approach 1 foot.
Projected highs for FRIDAY:
Temperatures will trend up a little this weekend. We have added the chance of a few light showers to the Sunday forecast. A much warmer pattern settles in early next week (70s and 80s)!Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:38:08 -0700
While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it's not done in real time.
Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought and the polar vortex blamed for a harsh winter that mercifully has just ended in many places.
The Utah State University scientists involved in the study say they hope what they found can help them predict the next big weird winter.
Outside scientists, such as Katharine Hayhoe at Texas Tech University, are calling this study promising but not quite proven as it pushes the boundaries in "one of the hottest topics in climate science today."
The United States just came out of a two-faced winter — bitter cold and snowy in the Midwest and East, warm and severely dry in the West. The latest U.S. drought monitor says 100 percent of California is in an official drought.
The new study blames an unusual "dipole," a combination of a strong Western high pressure ridge and deep Great Lakes low pressure trough. That dipole is linked to a recently found precursor to El Nino, the world-weather changing phenomenon. And that precursor itself seems amplified by a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the study says.
It's like a complex game of weather dominos that starts with cold water off China and ends with a devastating drought and memorable winter in the United States, said study author Simon Wang, a Utah State University climate scientist.
Wang was looking at colder water off China as a precursor to an El Nino. The colder water there triggers westerly winds in the tropical Pacific. Those westerly winds persist for several months and eventually push warmed up water and air to the central Pacific where an El Nino forms, Wang said.
An El Nino is a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns. Wang saw the precursors and weather event coming months before federal weather officials issued an official El Nino watch last month.
Then Wang noticed the connection between that precursor — cold water off China, Vietnam and Taiwan — and the recent wild winter. He tracked similar combinations of highs and lows in North America. And he found those combination extremes are getting stronger.
Wang based his study, soon to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, on computer simulations, physics and historical data. It is not as detailed and doesn't involve numerous computer model simulations as more formal attribution studies. Still, Wang said his is a proper connection.
Wang compared computer simulations with and without gases from the burning of fossil fuels. When he included carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, he got a scenario over the past few decades that mirrored what has happened, including this past weird winter and other worsening dipole conditions. When he took out the greenhouse gases, the increasing extremes actually went down — not what happened in real life.
"We found a good link and the link is becoming stronger and stronger," Wang said.
And while other studies have looked at unusual activity, such as the jet stream, and possible connections to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, this study is different because it spots a possible tool that researchers can use to predict future weird weather, he said.
The study, already much talked about in meteorological circles, is an offshoot of a growing and still not completely accepted subfield of climate research linking real-time weather extremes to changes in the jet stream and connecting those changes to man-made global warming. Several outside scientists partly praised the work, but were also cautious about jumping to conclusions and not in full agreement.
"It's another way that climate change is probably connected to an individual weather event," Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis said. "There are still a lot of questions out there. It's another piece of the puzzle."Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:59:31 -0700 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories