Here is an excerpt from Richard Marosi's article in the Los Angeles Times:
"Authorities announced charges Thursday against a Mexican gang that took Tijuana-style violence to the upscale suburbs of San Diego County, kidnapping, torturing and killing well-to-do residents, even after some families paid large ransoms. The gang, a rogue cell of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix drug cartel, moved across the border in 2002 and posed as U.S. law enforcement, donning FBI and police uniforms and caps while snatching victims outside homes and public places, said San Diego County prosecutors. Nine victims were killed from 2004 to 2007, and the bodies of two of them were dissolved in chemicals at a rented house in San Diego. Gang members were also charged with trying to murder a Chula Vista police officer in September 2005, peppering his car with high-caliber bullets before fleeing in a car. The gang targeted people it suspected of having links to organized crime, although some victims had no known ties, authorities said." Link to Full Article
Analysis: When I was working as an analyst for the State of California, one of the most frustrating things for me, as well as colleagues in other border states, was the fact that no standardized definition exists for the term "spillover" or the concept of "border violence spillover." Whether or not it is occurring depends on whom you ask. In February 2009, Texas state Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw said, "Yes, absolutely it has occurred; there's no question about it," McCraw said after a hearing before the House Committee on Border and International Affairs." However, the unanimous opinion of 10 Southern Arizona law-enforcement officials interviewed by the Arizona Daily Star in April 2009 was that spillover was NOT happening. "Spillover crime would be bad for business," Douglas, Arizona Police Chief Alberto Melis said. "And they're businessmen."
But what guidance are these people using to form their very visible and influential public opinions regarding spillover? I ask this question because, reading the reasons 17 people were charged in San Diego for that string of kidnappings and killings, it's obvious to me (but apparently not to everyone) that border violence spillover is happening in San Diego, and probably plenty of other cities on the US side of the border. You might ask what guidance I'M using to form my opinion. One part of it is the fact that violent criminal activity directly related to Mexico's drug trade occurred and is occurring in the United States. A second part of it is that many of the perpetrators of these types of crimes move freely between both countries and target illegals, legal residents, and US citizens alike. True, most victims are not "innocent" in the sense that they are usually involved or connected to organized crime in some way. This fact does little to calm the fears of neighbors in the US cities and towns where these crimes are happening. The third part is the bold willingness to impersonate US law enforcement officers and use high-powered weapons in our cities to carry out the orders of foreign organized crime groups. If the actions of those 17 individuals don't qualify as border violence spillover, I don't know what ever will.