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Feds question first sign of killer Mexican drug cartel in Seattle

Graffiti warning of the arrival of a deadly Mexican drug cartel has appeared in South Seattle. (Image courtesy Northwest Gangs)

Graffiti touting the coming of a killer Mexican drug
cartel has shown up in South Seattle, reports a local
website that tracks area gang activity. But the creator
of Northwest Gangs tells the Seattle
Weekly
he’s dubious the
spray painted message that reads “Coming Soon Zetas,” is
legitimate.

“I am very skeptical,” says the author, who only goes by
the name Brad to protect his identity. He says he found
the graffiti in the South Park neighborhood on South
Cloverdale Street above Highway 509
.

“I doubt it, but you never know I guess. It is the
first drug cartel graffiti I’ve ever found in 8 years,” he
tells Seattle Weekly.

The Los Zetas cartel is known and feared for a wave of
gruesome violence across Mexico. The cartel was formed by
rogue members of the Mexican military special forces. It’s
blamed for a number of atrocities including beheadings and
torture.

There is at least one local connection to Los Zetas.
Mexican authorities arrested 34-year-old Washington native
Martin Omar Estrada Luna, accusing him of leading the
massacre of more than 200 migrant workers found buried in
mass graves in the Zetas stronghold of San Fernando,
Tamaulipas. Luna, nicknamed “El Kilo,” was raised in the
Yakima area and grew up a member of the La Raza street
gang. He was deported in 2009, and later turned up in
Nuevo Laredo.

While there have been several local drug busts with ties
to other Mexican cartels, a spokeswoman for the DEA’s
Seattle office says the the “coming soon” message is
unprecedented in the U.S. and likely not legitimate.
“Although it is possible, we do not
have any intelligence that graffiti is being used as such
domestically by Mexican drug cartels,” DEA
spokeswoman Jodie Underwood tells Seattle Weekly.

About the Author

Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at jkerns@kiroradio.com

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