Fox News reports that six illegal immigrants with ties to a Mexican drug cartel — a rival of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, whose notorious leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was convicted last week— were arrested in North Carolina from activity related to an elaborate drug trafficking operation running from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The feds identified the suspects as Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez, Rodolfo Martinez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez.
“Members of the investigative team believe — based on wire intercepts, surveillance and other facts discovered from the investigation — that Oscar and Regulo transport illicit proceeds, derived from the sales of narcotics, when they travel from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte,” according to federal court documents, as WMBF reported.
The massive drug operation included transporting large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine across state lines — for instance, from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina
DENIALS BY CITY MANAGER
When MyrtleBeachSC news first reported on these drug issues happening along 5th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, City Manager John Pedersen called those statements not accurate. Our ongoing reports about ties from Myrtle Beach to the international drug community have also been questioned ongoing.
However, recent raids along the 5th Avenue corridor have exposed a pattern of drug issues at a property called the “Yellow House”. A subsequent raid at the Bayview Resort netted the arrest of a drug ring at the end of that same street.
Wrong Actions – False Choices
Despite the reality that all non locals do business in Myrtle Beach through the hotel industry, City Manager John Pedersen, Mayor Bethune, and City Council continue to pin the drug issues on the backs of local downtown Ocean Boulevard merchants. City Council banned the sale of CBD oils and other related legal items last year, when the facts clearly show that the city’s chronic drug trafficking issues are spawned by “hotel and rental housing” concerns.
Denial No Longer An Option
As the city of Myrtle Beach continues to spiral downwards in brand appeal, City Manager Pedersen can no longer use denial and “optics management” as his key tools in dealing with our international drug – crime issues.
Ocean Boulevard merchants say his fixation on a downtown redevelopment city overhaul has clearly taken his eye off the day to day concerns of managing the city. As Mr. Pedersen continues to be in denial about the city’s hotel-related issues, Mayor Bethune and City Council must come out of their denial about the city manager’s overall job performance.
The competent days of former city manager Tom Leath are now a distant memory to all but a few locals. Evidence and the facts clearly point out that John Pedersen is not up to managing the day to day affairs of this city and its reputation.