Skip to comments.Gov't. Informant Killed Citizens, Feds Knew
Posted on 09/22/2004 4:42:50 PM PDT by FITZ
Is a U.S. Customs informant responsible for the death of two U.S. citizens? And was he allowed to get away with it because agents badly wanted to get his drug boss? According to dozens of pages of government documents, that is exactly what happened.
ABC-7 uses exclusive information to outline a bloody drug tale in which murder plays a major role. El Paso Police will not yet confirm what ABC-7 has already uncovered. The cold-blooded killing outside the Whataburger at Paisano and Piedras, earlier this year, is directly related to a U.S. Customs informant working closely with the Vicente Carrlllo Fuentes drug cartel.
ABC-7 obtained documents, through the Freedom of Information Act, from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The documents say there is an informant referred to as "sa 913 ep", his real name is Jesus "Lalo" Contreras. He appears to be responsible for the death of at least two U.S. Citizens.
Contreras also knew of at least six more deaths. All but the Whataburger victim were found buried in the backyard of a Juarez home at 3633 Parsioneros in late January. Customs Agents had known about murders at the house for five months.
On August 6th, 2003, Lalo sat with an ICE and a Sheriff's Agent and told the story. Under oath, he said he actively participated in a murder while U.S. Agents listened to the killing live as it happened over Lalo's cell phone.
Lalo's statement about the killing of a man named Fernando reads quote: "I was told there was going to be a "carne asada" (barbecue- their code for a killing) I arrived at the home with two Judicial Police men. I let them in and went to go buy lime to dissolve the bodies."
In gruesome detail, the informant describes how the police officers wrapped duct tape around Fernando's head. They choked him with an extension cord, but it broke. Then, they put a plastic bag over his head to suffocate him. Fernando put up a fight, kicking his legs and Lalo felt forced to assist in the restraining of Fernando by the legs.
Then, the document says, the police officers hit Fernando in the back of the head with a shovel to make sure he was dead. After the murder, Lalo says he was praised by members of the Cartel for his participation in the murder and taken to a safe house in Juarez. He was then told he was now the number four man in the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel.
When Lalo left the house, he called ICE agents and proceeded to El Paso to meet with them. He gave the agents the recording of the murder. Lalo oversaw the murder of several more people. Then, in January of this year, Lalo's cartel boss was arrested in El Paso during a traffic stop.
Federal agents later charged him with drug trafficking and the murders at the Juarez home. Santillan Tabares remains in jail awaiting trial. Once Santillan Tabares was arrested, Lalo was placed under the Witness Protection Program for months, but then, law enforcement sources say he disappeared.
Sources say he came to El Paso to set up a drug deal last month. Contreras reportedly sent Abraham Guzman to collect the money at a fast food restaurant on Paisano. Guzman was gunned down. The second El Pasoan killed was 27-year-old Luis Padilla, a model student and star athlete from Socorro.
A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency declined to comment on the case because it is an ongoing investigation
Police working for violent drug cartels. Vicente Fox claimed he would end this kind of corruption in his country --- but it seems he was just kidding.
I don't even know what to say about this sick story.
It is sick --- but the only ones being tortured and killed are drug dealers and those working for the cartels --- so no big loss and they all knew going in what the price would be.
I never thought Fox would have a chance of stopping it, not in one Sexenio. Even if he was serious, which I also never believed.
But this horror story should be spread far and wide, and it should be pointed out to the sweet little innocents of America that these are the so-called good guys in Mexico, and this isn't that unusual of a happening. So, uh, kids -- next time you go to Cabo San Lucas for spring vacation, just remember: run. Don't call La Policia. Better yet, head to Fort Lauderdale for the vacation, and forget never-never land.
I actually did believe he was serious about stopping it --- at first when he was first elected but he proved immediately that he had different goals that didn't involve making any real changes in that system or making life better for the people there. He had no intention of doing anything that would stop the big drug money coming in.
The money is just too much for a man without morals and integrity.
More fun and games for government agents.
The say, "O plomo o plata" to public officials. They come into their office with a case full of money, and a submachine gun.
What will it be? Silver, or lead?
I wonder if this is in their job description.
Nope. And pushing the little people north generates the other revenue stream that the oligarchy dips into.
And those are the people he's been working for all along. In the end, he couldn't cross them. He would have ended up dead. Better to forget all the reform chatter, and just keep the uber-class happy.
Here's an interesting bit of news that doesn't usually make it very far into the USA about what goes on at the border. Americans tend to believe that the Mexican government is more benign than it is.
Here's an update:
Drug informant allegedly helped in Juárez killings
El Paso Times
The man who led authorities to the bodies of 12 men in a Juárez back yard in January had a hand in many of the killings, according to documents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Mexico's attorney general's office.
The man, known as "Lalo," was linked Wednesday by El Paso police to the shooting death of a man at an El Paso Whataburger last month. Lalo sent Abraham Guzman to the restaurant to pick up money he was owed, and men shot Guzman, possibly mistaking him for Lalo, police said.
Four other associates of Lalo were also killed recently in Juárez, police said. Lalo is believed to be in U.S. Marshals Service custody.
In Juárez, Lalo was a member of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel and was an informant for the U.S. government, police said.
He witnessed one killing in August 2003, according to a previous memorandum by ICE officials. Two other documents recently obtained by the El Paso Times from a source who did not want to be identified show the informant's involvement in the killings was more extensive than previously reported.
The man participated in "carne asadas," the cartel's code name for the often brutal killings, by making appointments to lure the victims to places where they were kidnapped and by opening the safe house at 3633 Parsioneros Street in Juárez, where the killings occurred, documents show.
In January, Mexican federal police unearthed the bodies of 12 men in the house's back yard. Most had been tortured and suffocated.
Although the memos are dated after the discovery, certain details suggest that ICE agents knew what their informant was up to earlier on. For instance, the informant gave an ICE agent a key chain with the family picture of one of his victims, a name he knew only as "Chapo," soon after the killing in November 2003.
ICE officials said they won't comment on a pending case.
A trial date for the informant's alleged boss, Heriberto Santillán Tabares, who was charged with five counts of murder, was set for Jan. 24 in El Paso.
Santillán's lawyer, Sib Abraham, declined to comment on the case, but legal experts say the information in the documents may jeopardize the government's case.
"One of the biggest things you can do with information like that is to attack the credibility of the informant," said Joe Spencer, an El Paso criminal lawyer who defends cases in state and federal courts. Spencer also said that if a lawyer can prove prosecutorial misconduct occurred, a judge may exclude crucial evidence or even declare a mistrial.
An ICE memo dated August 2003 detailed the killing of a lawyer named Fernando Reyes Aguado.
The new documents -- a time line by ICE and a statement the informant made to the Mexican federal authorities in Dallas -- gives a deeper insight into who gets killed by the cartel and why.
Reyes, for instance, was apparently killed because Santillán wanted to steal a load of drugs from him.
Others were killed because they lost loads of drugs or money from drug deals, because their superiors felt they slacked off on the job or because they sold drugs without the approval of "the office," the code for the cartel.
In December, a woman and her young daughter were killed when she asked for money she said the cartel owed her husband, the informant said.
Three men saved their lives in December by giving the cartel a house to pay a debt, according to the document.
In most of the instances the informant recalled, according to the documents, Santillán called him to tell him to prepare the Parsioneros Street house for a "carne asada."
The informant told Mexican officials that he was a former federal highway police officer who started dealing drugs after he quit his job and couldn't find another one. He said he started in 1995 in Guadalajara, helping a drug dealer transport 3 tons of Colombian cocaine a month. Once, they used a van with side decals of the Mexican TV station Televisa to transport drugs to Juárez, according to the document.
In 2000, he started working for Santillán in Juárez, he said.
The document also alleges widespread police corruption in Juárez.
Miguel Loya Gallegos, the police commander wanted for his alleged role in the drug ring, is described as a brutal executioner, using hammers to beat his victims to death. Santillán is Loya's uncle on his wife's side, the informant revealed.
On Nov. 28, 2003, two men paid the price for going to the Federal Investigation Agency, known as AFI, the Mexican equivalent of the FBI, with information about the location of a stash house belonging to the cartel. AFI agents informed the cartel, and the men were taken to the Parsioneros street house and killed, the informant said.
In September 2003, a man died of a heart attack after being kidnapped. He, too, was buried at the house.
Yet our government has given this same government the authority to issue Identification cards that can be used in the USA to whoever it likes --- and much of the responsibility over the safety of Americans in the WOT.
Loosely translated: Police, Judge, Jury, and Executioner.
Mexico seems to have multi-tasked their "police" force.
Victim was 'go-between,' police say
Daniel Borunda and Louie Gilot
El Paso Times
An El Paso man who was fatally shot in a South El Paso Whataburger parking lot last month was sent there to pick up money by a U.S. government informant, said homicide detectives who have linked the case to four drug-related executions in Juárez.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant and drug cartel member known as "Lalo" witnessed the fatal shooting of Abraham Guzman on Aug. 25, said acting Cmdr. George McBain, head of the El Paso police Crimes Against Persons unit.
"We are saying he was there at the scene. He was not with the victim. ... He is considered a witness along with his (Lalo's) girlfriend," McBain said.
Guzman, 27, was parked in a 1998 Lincoln Navigator waiting to pick up drug money intended for Lalo when he was shot multiple times at about 11 p.m. Aug. 25 at the restaurant at 2120 E. Paisano, police said. Guzman, an oil lube shop manager, was the father of 2-week-old boy.
"Guzman, we know, was a friend of Lalo and Lalo's girlfriend. ... Guzman was simply used as a go-between to pick up the proceeds," McBain said.
Lalo, who in January led authorities to the bodies of 12 men in a Juárez back yard, is in the protective custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, police said. Lalo was interviewed on several occasions by detectives who linked the informant to executions in Juárez, including that of a father and son from El Paso.
"They were associates," McBain said. "We have confirmed Lalo had been talking to them prior to Guzman's murder."
Fernando Santibañez Gutierrez, 54, and son Jose Santibañez Salaih, 20, were found in the trunk of a Hyundai with Texas plates on Aug. 31 in the Chamizal park on the Mexican side of the Bridge of the Americas. They had been strangled.
The next day, the bodies of another associate, Jesús Laredo Aguilar, 35, and an unidentified man were found in a gray Chevrolet Suburban with Chihuahua plates parked outside a store on López Mateos avenue.
An investigation involving the FBI and Chihuahua State Judicial Police continues, and police are looking for the gunmen, who fled in a 1990s blue and tan Ford Bronco.
"Some potential suspects may have been executed in Mexico after (Guzman's) homicide," McBain said.
Anyone with information may call Crime Stoppers at 566-8477.
---- What's interesting too --- many of these border crossers --- who use it for drug smuggling and murder --- have received the laser visa to make their crossings very legal and very easy. Some background check ---- but that's what we've been duped into believing is done.
Beyond amazing. Karl Rove is so blinded by hispandering for votes that he'll risk terrorist attacks, and the infusion of Mexican style mega corruption into the USA.
Because her mother asked for money...the animals kill a girl?
Miguel Loya Gallegos, the police commander wanted for his alleged role in the drug ring, is described as a brutal executioner, using hammers to beat his victims to death
The police commander...
Lurid and disgusting, and all coming to a town near you, dear Americans. And our own "representatives" are indifferent...
What strikes me as really schitzy is how our Intel community's are forbidden by *law* from entering into any kind of relationship with (what're termed) unsavory charachters for the purpose of making us a more secure nation.
Yet it's kinda obvious our DEA goons aren't bound by the same rules, eh?
Guess "profit" trumps "security" in 2004 America.
I've some real mixed feelings about the WOD, but would have to concede [it's] responsible for 99% this kind of crap happening.
The money's simply too big, corrupts the best right down to the very foundation.
As for Vincente Fox acting in any way contrary to his own $$ interests?
In some screwed-up, twisted way there're people who'll justify this clown enriching himself at the expense of our children.
These people might even go as far as to consider this a much needed "Redistribution of wealth."
Here's another ---
Whataburger Shooting Update
El Paso Police confirm the shooting death of a man at a South El Paso Whataburger is related to drug-trafficking. As we reported, the murder of 27-year old Abraham Guzman is believed to be a hit by the Juarez drug cartel but the bullets were actually intended for an ICE informant known as "Lalo". Police confirm Lalo was with Guzman, in a Lincoln Navigator the night of his murder.
"Lalo" is being treated as a witness in the case. Police also confirm Guzman's murder is part of a killing spree, where four other men were found murdered in Juarez on September 1st and 2nd. Police are working with federal agencies, including the FBI and with Chihuahua State Police. They're on the lookout for the trigger man and the get-away vehicle, described as a mid 90's blue and tan Ford Bronco.
In case you missed it --- "Police are working with federal agencies, including the FBI and with Chihuahua State Police."
The Chihuahua State Police are the Chihuahua Judicial Police ---- the same department of police that was involved with the torture and burying of the 12 corpses under the patio. Now why would our police be working with that outfit to solve this murder????? Are they just trying to get more people murdered?
Status of informant at time of killing raises questions
El Paso Times
The alleged involvement of a U.S. government informant in the slaying of an El Paso man at a Whataburger restaurant last month has raised questions about the informant's supervision.
The man, a drug dealer known only as "Lalo," was an informant for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who turned into the star witness in an important drug and murder case to be tried in January in federal court.
Yet the night of Aug. 25, Lalo was apparently free to follow his friend Abraham Guzman, whom he sent to pick up money for him at the Whataburger at 2120 E. Paisano. The meeting was a setup. Guzman was shot to death, possibly by killers who mistook him for Lalo, authorities said.
El Paso police said Lalo was not with Guzman, who was killed inside a Lincoln Navigator in the restaurant's parking lot, but witnessed the shooting.
"He was present in the area of the homicide," acting Cmdr. George McBain, head of the El Paso police Crimes Against Persons unit, said Wednesday.
It isn't clear whether Lalo, who is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, enjoyed government protection at the time of the Whataburger killing, police said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials won't comment on an ongoing case. Guzman's family did not return calls.
Through his collaboration with ICE last year, Lalo led authorities to the bodies of 12 men whom a drug cartel had killed and buried in the back yard of a Juárez house, ICE memorandums show. Lalo's alleged superior in the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug ring, Heriberto Santillan Tabares, and others were arrested.
Santillan was charged with murder, and his trial was set for January in federal court in El Paso. Santillan is being tried in the United States because the killings allegedly were committed in the context of a binational drug smuggling operation.
According to court documents, only one co-defendant besides Lalo will testify against Santillan.
Documents obtained by the El Paso Times show that Lalo told U.S. authorities that he had participated in a number of drug-related killings in Juárez.
Law enforcement experts said it would be odd for Lalo, apparently a valuable witness, to be unsupervised. "Generally, protective custody means he's in jail or in a safe house under guard, hidden," said Richard Schwein, a former FBI special agent in charge in El Paso.
Warrants to protect material witnesses can be obtained from judges, or the U.S. attorney's office can ask the U.S. Marshals Service directly to protect its witness, Marshals Service officials and others said.
Marshals Service officials said they, in concert with the U.S. attorney, decide what level of protection is warranted. Witnesses can be picked up at home in the morning and escorted back at night. They can be under 24-hour surveillance or even enter the witness security program, also known as the witness protection program.
"A lot of it is common sense," said David Turner, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. "Witnesses in the witness security program yield 89 percent convictions, which is a high conviction rate, because when they are sure to be safe, they are more willing to testify. It's easier for the truth to be told."
Turner said he could not discuss particular cases and it is not known whether his agency was protecting Lalo before the Whataburger killing.
El Paso police spokesman Javier Sambrano said detectives are still working on the Whataburger case, even though McBain said the killers might already be dead.
Police have linked the Whataburger killing with the subsequent execution of four men in Juárez during a recent wave of drug- related killings. Police looked in particular into the double killing of an El Paso man and his son, Fernando Santibañez Gutierrez, 54, and Jose Santibañez Salaih, 20. The two were found Aug. 31, strangled in the trunk of a car left in the Chamizal park on the Mexican side of the Bridge of the Americas.
"We have confirmed Lalo had been talking to them prior to Guzman's murder," McBain said Wednesday.
Police didn't say whether the Santibañezes were the ones who set the trap that led to Guzman's death.
Louie Gilot may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 546-6131.; Daniel Borunda contributed to this story.
(Obviously interesting: "Law enforcement experts said it would be odd for Lalo, apparently a valuable witness, to be unsupervised.")
It always stuns me to hear that U.S. police are working with anyone on the Mexican side. Only credulous reporters actually believe that Mexican police are anything like real "police". Most American cops don't believe that. But I guess they make the pretense of cooperation for publicity purposes.
I would think that after what Enrique Camarena went through, the police and law enforcement agents here would be a little cautious about working around Mexican police.
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