A few miles from my home in Las Vegas is a casino by the name of Arizona Charlie’s. I presume that it is, or was at one time, owned by a person named Charlie who came from our neighboring state of Arizona. This presumption is based on the fact that there are a lot of Chevron gas stations in southern Nevada that are owned by a chap who goes by the name of Terrible Herbst. Mr. Herbst is a real person – and he has roots in California – so the name of his business makes sense.
After my first visit to AC’s about fifteen years ago, I came away with two impressions of the place. The first was that I thought they would make the place a more inviting venue for their patrons if they renamed it Arizona Carlitos, or at least had the name in parenthesis on their large billboard. The second was that I was concerned in the short while I wandered around the casino to check it out that my car would be in the parking lot when I left to go home. The casino is not in one of Las Vegas’ most upscale areas.
As I was not overly impressed with the place the first time around, it took about ten years before I decided to go back. The reason for my return was that a number of people had told me that Arizona Charlie’s café had an excellent and inexpensive steak and egg breakfast. And one day my desire for steak and eggs led me back there. My friends were right and I was very pleased with the meal.
As I was leaving after breakfast, I noticed that one of the machines had hit a jackpot which required a hand payout by casino staff. That occurs whenever a machine pays $1,200.00 or more on a single spin or play. Naturally, being nosey, I was curious to see how large the lucky gambler’s hit was. So I walked over to the flashing lights and ringing bells and took a seat at the bank of machines just behind the one which had been hit for $3,800. There were two Hispanic people, a man and woman, sitting in front of the machine engaged in a vibrant Spanish conversation.
Within a minute or so, two of the casino’s staff came over and asked the couple for identification so they could complete the 1099 tax info required of all jackpots. I was fairly certain this was the reason for their animated conversation since I had noticed that they were playing without having a casino card inserted into their machine. A casino is legally required to obtain current photo identification such as a driver’s license, state issued ID or passport before giving the hopeful player a card which entitles him to cash back offers and entries into drawings based on the amount of his play. The couple was unable to furnish such identification and the casino withheld payment of the amount due them until such time as someone presented the required documentation. I leave it to your imagination to hypothesize why neither of this couple had a picture ID of some sort.
So what does this all have to do with the title of this post? And what’s a Gallardo?
Well, I needed to find a way to link this to our fine state of Arizona. And what better way than to introduce the man who was lovingly entitled “The Godfather” of the Mexican drug cartels, Miguel Gallardo. Back in the ’80’s he established an association with the Columbian Medellin’s cartel kingpin, Pablo Escobar so that cocaine could be moved from the site of production through Mexico to the United States. At the time of this agreement, Florida was the major port of entry for illegal drugs. But that all changed.
Gallardo, now 71 years old, is serving a 40 year prison term in Mexico for ordering the murder of undercover DEA Agent Enrique Camarena in 1984. Camarena had infiltrated the cartel and disclosed the location of an $8 Billion marijuana growing operation on one of Galalardo’s ranches. The crop was destroyed and several days after the raid, Camarena was kidnapped and for 30 hours was tortured until finally a Phillips screwdriver was shoved into his head, killing him.
So now you understand the Gallardo portion of the title. But how does Arizona fit into this whole thing? Read on.
As you can readily understand, when a multi-billion dollar business loses its CEO, there is no lack of candidates who are ready to step up to the plate. And as times change, so do businesses. The old system of drug mules, while still extensively used by the cartels, is not their only method for exporting drugs to the United States.
One of my local readers mentioned to another who mentioned his comment to me – that my post about how building the Trump wall might decrease the amount of illegal drugs that would be imported as being sheer fantasy. Perhaps he is right. Or perhaps the Mexican cartels are concerned that it might actually work. Hence, they have already come up with an alternate delivery method.
South of the Arizona border, the DEA has discovered that a catapult has been constructed – for hurling drugs across the border. What a novel, if somewhat medieval idea. And on learning about this, a thought occurred to me. Why couldn’t we use the same method to deport those who are here illegally and have been convicted of felony drug law violations?
The libs should like this as delivery to your destination by catapult has none of the negative implications of putting a person on a plane run with fossil fuels. Conservatives should like this because we’d save a fortune on our prison budget. We could broadcast these deportations on Pay Per View, so the media should like this. The manufacturers of athletic gear should like this as each deportee would be provided a helmet to mitigate the blow of landing. The Vegas bookmakers should like this as they come up with proposition bets on whether the individual will survive his or her brief journey and if so how many body parts would be broken on impact. And the country could pull together as we all learned the phrase, “Via Con Dios.”
It sounds like a win, win, win, win, win, win idea to me. And with the number of candidates for exiting in this manner stage south, President Trump might be proven correct with his statement that, “We all might get tired of winning.”