The mafia, metadata and me: the day Stan called me into an ecstasy sting


The mafia, metadata and me: the day Stan called me into an ecstasy sting

Nick McKenzie

Mafia in Australia – Drugs, Murder and Politics

The mafia continues to flourish in Australia despite major police operations, as this joint Four Corners/Fairfax Media investigation reveals.

When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia’s biggest Mafia investigation in decades.

I was also unaware that the caller, who identified himself as “Stan”, was, in fact, a driven and entrepreneurial drug trafficker from Griffith, NSW, called Pat Barbaro.

Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust.Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust. Photo: John Woudstra

Barbaro had organised the world’s biggest ecstasy shipment into Melbourne in June 2007. But by the time he rang me, three months later, he was unable to locate the shipping container packed with his $500 million load.

Calling me, and then sending a series of texts from several mobile phones registered in fake names, was part of a desperate plan by Barbaro to either locate his shipment or confirm his suspicions that the police had seized his drugs.

He was hoping I would reach out to police or waterfront sources to do this, and then report my findings. To say his plan failed spectacularly would be an understatement.

Unbeknownst to either me or “Stan,” police were intercepting the text messages, which included detailed descriptions of the size and likely location of the drug shipment. These text messages, and analysis of the corresponding metadata, were used to prove Barbaro had organised the drug shipment.

But that was not the only implication. Over the past six months, federal police have used the scenario as a case study to convince the Federal Government of the need to pass laws ensuring telcos store the metadata generated when a person uses a phone or computer.

As the hulking Barbaro walked around Melbourne’s CBD, meeting bikies, South Asian money launderers and other Mafia bosses, he carried up to a dozen phones. One was his personal mobile, with a subscription under his own name.

The other phones were “burners”, which were registered in false names and regularly replaced with new phones. The problem for Barbaro is that these burners were hitting the same mobile phone towers as his regular phone.

Barbaro’s personal phone and the burners were pinging off the same towers so often that police were able to prove the burners belonged to Barbaro.

According to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Andrea Pavleka, the texts sent from the “Stan” burners “showed that Barbaro had critical knowledge of the contents of that container”.

“That was a terrific link for the prosecution to have in this particular matter.”

Back in 2007, I knew none of this.

In fact, had I known my communications were being intercepted, I would have been furious.

Many of my sources are banned by their employer from speaking to me, or any other reporter, so the prospect of any innocent whistleblower being outed would have concerned me greatly.

I only learned this many months later of the interception. From all the checks I have since conducted – and there have been many – no source of mine was compromised and the AFP agents involved acted professionally and with regard to the sensitivities of my trade.

That said, ever since 2007, I have implemented a range of measures to protect sources’ communications — steps not unlike those suggested by Malcolm Turnbull during the recent debate about metadata.

Ever since the phone buzzed that day in my pocket, and “Stan” briefly entered my life, I’ve been especially conscious about how a person’s communications leave a trail, no matter how careful they are. It is a lesson the now jailed Barbaro has, no doubt, also learned well.

Watch part two of a joint Fairfax and ABC Four Corners mafia investigation on ABC1 8.30 PM Monday.

Advertisements

Author: Robbo

I also love family, Photography, Cooking a great BBQ , Computers, Reading Crime Books, and solving crimes before the end of the show !

2 thoughts on “The mafia, metadata and me: the day Stan called me into an ecstasy sting”

  1. “JOAQUIN ‘EL CHAPO’ GUZMAN: MEXICAN DRUG LORD TUNNELS OUT OF CELL,
    ESCAPING PRISON FOR SECOND TIME ”

    ONE of the top drug lords in Mexico , JOAQUIN ARCHIVALDO GUZMAN LOERA AKA MAX ARAGON “EL CHAPO” and “CHAPO” or “CEFERESO” or ” EL RAPIDO” or “FAST GUY” or “COCAINE KING” or (SHORTY) GUZMAN, 5′ 8″ Tall , 165 pounds , brown eyes, black hair.has escaped from a maximum -security prison in his second jail break in 14 years.
    The drug kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano Prison in Central Mexico late on Saturday11 July 2015. (local time) before disappearing.
    Police have mounted a massive country- wide search for the escaped convict, including vehicle checkpoints and a search of the area around the prison .
    “An operation to locate him was deployed in the area and on roads of neighbouring states,”
    Mexico’s National Security Commission said in a statement, adding that flights were suspended at the nearby Toluca airport.
    The alarm was raised after ” he was not visible” for a period of time and his cell was found empty, the statement said.
    Prison Guards went into the cell and found a hole 10 metres deep with a ladder, national security commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said.

    The gap led to a 1.5- kilometre tunnel with a ventilation and light system , which opened up into a building under construction outside the Mexican Prison.
    A motorcycle on a rail system was found in the tunnel and is believed to have been used to transport tools to remove earth from the space, which was 1.7 metres and around 80 centimetres wide.
    Authorities have identified 18 Prison Guards who will be interrogated in relation to the Mexican Altiplano Prison jail break.
    Soldiers manned checkpoints on a highway out of Mexico City, using flashlights to scan people’s faces and checking boots of cars and backs of trucks.
    The Altiplano Prison in Central Mexico , houses some of the country’s most notorious drug lords, murderers and kidnappers.
    “EL CHAPO” GUZMAN , 58, is the head of the SINALOA CARTEL, one of the most powerful and ubiquitous drug-smuggling gangs in the world.
    .He was first arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and jailed for 20 years, but in 2001 gave authorities the slip and made his escape from prison in a laundry cart, His breakout cost $2,000,000 in corrupt payments and cartel expense’s to aid his escape from prison.

    He was eventually recaptured in February 2014 in Sinaloa Mexico with the help of United States authorities. This time around , he has only been in jail 17 months before breaking his way out —
    A fact sure to embarrass the Mexican Government.
    Following his previous capture , the Mexican Government paraded JOAQUIN “EL CHAPO” GUZMAN in front of television camera’s, showing the moustachioed ‘Mexican Mafia Boss’ being frogmarched by guards and taken to prison in a helicopter.
    “EL CHAPO” GUZMAN when he was a Mexican drug lord in Chicago in the United States was ‘Public Enemy Number One’.
    GUZMAN’S – SINALOA CARTEL EMPIRE stretches along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, north into the United States of America and as far reaching as Europe and Asia, smuggling billions of dollars’
    worth of Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin and Methamphetamines or Crystal Meth.

    His legend status grew following his first jail break and folk ballads , known as “narcorridos” —
    tributes to Drug Capo’s — sing his praises.
    The United States of America has offered a bounty of “$US 5 million”- for information leading to his arrest and in the city of Chicago – his ‘old Drug Kingpin headquarters ‘, and popular destination for SINALOA Narcotics, Chicago has declared him public enemy number one.

    The Drug Kingpin “EL CHAPO” was previously on Forbes ‘ list of billionaires — until the magazine became unable to verify his wealth and said they believed he was increasingly spending his fortune on protection. Which would infer even the highest levels of corruption in high places including political circles, law enforcement, even it has even been suggested the United States Government – ATF – Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco ‘ Firearms and Explosives supplied automatic US weapons in a Operation called Fast and Furious with the intent to control rival Mexican drug gangs carelessly, which allowed him to well armed operate as the head of the powerful firearms and drug cartel which the SINALOA CARTEL still is today, suppling the world demand for all types of narcotics and black market weapons, or arms trade with United States manufactured automatic weapons.
    In 2007, he married a 18-year- old beauty queen , EMMA CORONEL, and is believed to have fathered 10 children to various women.
    He wife was with him when he was arrested last year. GUZMAN’S capture sparked protests in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, Mexico, where he is considered a modern-day Robin Hood and is immortalised in low – budget movies.
    Following his arrest there , authorities found a home fitted with a bathtub that rose electronically from the floor, revealing a secret tunnel GUZMAN used to escape authorities prior to his capture.
    More than 80,000 people have been killed in Mexican drug violence since 2006.
    GUZMAN’S – CARTEL was involved in brutal turf wars against the paramilitary- like ZETAL CARTEL and other gangs for years.
    Mexico’s Drug Wars escalated after the county’s former president sent in the navy and arms to rein in cartels, a deployment which experts believe inflamed the problem.
    In Ciudad Juarez, on the border of Mexico and Texas , more than 10,000 have been killed in violence blamed on battles for supremacy between GUZMAN’S-SINALOA CARTEL and the JUAREZ CARTEL members.
    JOAQUIN GUZMAN was last arrested in 2014 after a decade on the run following a prison escape in 2001.
    …………………………More on GUZMAN from other sites…..
    :Daily Mail – Top drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman known as Mexico’s Osama Bin Laden escapes from prison for the SECOND time.
    ………………………….
    :Mirror – World’s most – wanted drug lord ‘El Chapo’ busts out of maximum security jail for second time.
    ………………………….
    :BBC- Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman escapes jail.
    ………………………….
    :ABC News – Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman : Mexican drug lord tunnels out of cell, escaping prison for second time.
    ………………………….
    :AL Jazeera- Mexican drug lord Guzman escapes maximum security jail.
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    WHO IS JOAQUIN ‘EL CHAPO’ GUZMAN?
    Drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman’s second prison escape is the latest in a series of high-profile crimes which have made him Mexico’s most notorious criminal, for participating in international drug trafficking conspiracies with 35 other defendants, and The Leader of the notorious Sinaloa Drug Cartel and helped manage operation of the flow of narcotics and blackmarket weapons arms trading into Chicago and all of the United States.
    Some VIDEOS on GUZMAN and The Mexican Drug Cartel’s and Prison gangs.
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..
    :Four Corners – Secrets of Mexico’s Drug Wars – Aired on ABC , Monday 18 May, 2015. –
    The arrest of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘el chapo’ Guzman was hailed a victory in America’s war on drugs, but the truth behind the capture could be just another murky chapter in the scandel – ridden historyof US involement in Latin America and the Mexican drug wars. – This investigation from the BBC looks into the American authorities ‘relationship with the biggest and most powerful criminal orgnisation in the world, the Sinaloa Cartel , a multi billion dollar international corporation with franchises in 58 countries. Despite the leaders arrest, the Cartel is still enjoying extrodinary success, and this program examines allegations that the group has been given an easy ride in return for informing on other Cartels. High level informants , immunity deals, government- sanctioned gun trafficking and a mysterious go between charged with carrying messages between the DEA- United States Drug Enforcement Agency and the Sinaloa Cartel: – A picture emerges of a dirty war being fought for control of Mexico’s drug – smuggling routes to America , with little regard for the thousands of victims of the violent drug war conflict. – Presented by Kerry O’Brien – abc.net.au/4corners.
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    :El Chapo Documentary – Parts 1 to 4. – 2013. – CEO of the Sinaloa cartel, the worlds most powerful drug trafficker. The cartel is responsible for an estimated 25% of illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico . Drug enforcement experts estimate concervatively, that the cartels annual revenues may exceed $3 billion . This February the city of Chicago branded him “Shorty” El Chapo , the first “Public Enemy No. 1” since Al Capone.
    ………………………………….
    :Mexico’s Drug Lord :The Rise And Fall Of El Chapo Documentary 2015. – 2hrs.10mins.
    …………………………………..
    :Mexico’s Drug War – BBC Documentary(Amazing Docu) -2013.- 59mins.
    …………………………………..
    :Drug Cartel War in Mexico – Documentary.
    …………………………………..
    :El Chapo Guzman series 30min (News Series). – Behind the News. -2014.
    …………………………………..
    :Los peligros enemigos de ‘El Chapo’ Guzman – His Califorian Son’s and wives and his rival Mexican drug lord cartel enemies. And some of his seized gold plated firearms.
    …………………………………..
    :Siete cosas que no sabias de ‘El Chapo’ Guzman – The luxary cars of ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
    …………………………………..
    :Sinaloa Cartel Chief ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Arrested – Armed by Obama Administation. – How they got “Shorty”. – US – ATF Opperation Fast and Furious, supplied weapons to Sinaloa Drug Cartels inn Mexican Drug wars.
    …………………………………..
    The Brutal Mexican Mafia – Documentary.
    :Los Zetas – The Mexican Drug War / Documentary.

    :Mexico :This house is where ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s escape tunnel ends.
    :Secret TUNNELS of El Chapo Guzman’s used to escape with his QUEEN WIFE from police before arrest.
    :El Chappo Guzman captured seaside apartment with woman in daring dawn raid marines planned over month.

    :Las diferentes casas de ‘El Chapo’ Guzman / Como vivia ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
    :Rare access inside the former safe house of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
    :DRUG LORD $205,000,000 CASH in room EL CHAPOs villa & guns. – Drug Lord with the Golden guns. – 1988 The United States -Drug Enforcement Agency – the DEA concidered Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman an important drug lord, due to his good relations with Colombian cartels.But that didn’t scare El Chapo. He drilled into the most guarded boarder in the world , The United States Mexican Boarder, making over 120 tunnels to introduce drugs into the United States and take out millions of dollars in cash. He is the main exporter of Marijuana. Cocaine, Heroin and Crystal Methyamphetamine. He is the Mexican version of Pablo Escobar Gaviria in Columbia.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Like

  2. Four Corners – Secrets of Mexico’s Drug Wars – Aired 18 May, 2015. Has been removed from ABC i.view site. I not sure where it can be obtained or watched on.line, which is a pity, as it is a real eye opener on the one of the worlds most notorious drug king pins. I have listed some other related documentaries in connection to the Mexican Sinaloa and Los Zetas Drug cartels, which do have connections or dealings with known Australian Criminal and Mafia and Criminal Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs with the trafficking of Cocaine, Marijuana, and Methamphetamine or the drug ICE. Which is causing immense damage and violence today in all of Australia as the damage it has and is still doing in drug addiction and heinous crime committed in the United States of America and all other parts of the western world with its dangerous addiction.
    As with the Italian Mafia’s organised international criminal networking, the Mexican Sinaloa and other rival Mexican drug cartels are in the business of competition to the ready supply and demand drug supply lines and the massive amounts of drug money made and laundering and profiteering from the direct supply of illegal prohibited narcotics for the international need of all types of recreational and addictive narcotics. Well Enough said for now, watch these films below and make up your own minds on how dangerous and powerful these drug cartels can be. The same with the Australian Mafia in a far smaller way than Mexico, but still just as powerful and with corrupt influences and very dangerous and making lots of suspected laundered wealth from the supply of drug trafficking and other illegal activities, tied in with global, international organised crime.///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Videos listed below.///////////////////////////////////////////////
    :The Mafia With Trevor McDonald [Part One]. – 2015…- 45mins. – Crime Time TV 5.
    :The Mafia With Trevor McDonald [PART2]. – 2015… – 46mins.
    …………………………………
    :Four Corners – The Mafia in Australia – Parts 1 and 2. – aired on ABC TV – 29 June 2015, Still for the time being until removed online – watchable on ABC i view. – 90 mins.
    …………………………………

    :Los Zetas – Mexican Drug War vs the Sinaloa Cartel Documentary. – 2015 – 1hr.4mins.
    …………………………………

    :Drug Cartel War in Documentary – War Documentary 2015. – BBC – 1hr.49mins.
    ………………………………..
    :Juarez Drug Lord : Documentary on Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Amado Fuentes. – 2015. 46min.
    ………………………………..
    :Documentary King of Coke (Pablo Esobar). Documentaries.
    …………………………………
    :Pablo Escobar’s Private Archive – The cocaine king worth over 30 billion US dollars -2014. 54min.
    …………………………………
    :The Real Story of Pablo Escobar: Documentary on Cocaine Kingpin Pablo Escobar. – 1993. 1hr.30………………………..
    :The Gambino Crime Family (Full documentary). 1963 to present day mafia. – 1hr.30.
    :Mafia Godfathers 1/6 National geographic documentary – 2015. – 2hrs.54mins.
    …………………………………..
    :The History of Cosa Nostra * Mafia Documentary – 2014 – 47mins.
    …………………………………..
    :HD- The Italian Mafia – Going Global (Heroin – The Pizza Connection. – 46mins. Sicilian Mafia in the United States – 1960,s to 1970,s and 1980’s. as told by Former FBI Agent Joseph D. Pistone or his undercover Mafia infiltration name aka: Donnie Brasco. -2013 – 46mins.
    …………………………………..
    :The French Connection documentary trailer – 2014 – The new criminal organisations.
    :Busting Strikes In Marseille And The Establishment Of The ‘French Connection’. – 1986.
    ………………………………….
    :Documentary: Mobster – Dominick Sonny Black Napolitano – Sonny Black was an American Mafia caporegime or capo in the Bonanno crime family. He is well known for unawares allowing Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Undercover Agent Joseph Pistone alias Donnie Brasco to infiltrate the mob or Brooklyn mafia.
    …………………………………..
    :Blood In BLood Out FULL MOVIE 1992 – Based on the true life experience’s of crime and the influence of narcotics in 1972 to 1984 of the East L.A gang known as “Vatos Locos” , White American Hispanic Mexican brothers of the Nuestra Famiila and Mexican gangs in United States San Quinton Prison and on the L.A. crime and gang controlled narcotics trafficking in the 1970’s. – 3hrs.10mins, – One of the best true life crime gang-prison related movies ever made!…
    …………………………………..
    :Johnny Depp & Al Pacino Movies / Donnie Brasco Full Movie / Biography, Crime, Drama Movies . – One of the best true story- real life mafia infiltration mafia mob films. – 3hrs.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Like

Post your thoughts here, then PRESS POST COMMENT button folks, cheers

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: