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U.S. border town mayor arrested on gun running charges
Yahoo ^ | 3/10/11 | Tim Gaynor

Posted on 03/10/2011 8:28:15 PM PST by NormsRevenge

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) The mayor and police chief of a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border were among 11 suspects indicted for allegedly trafficking around 200 guns to Mexico, authorities said on Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney's office in New Mexico said the mayor of Columbus, Eddie Espinoza, the town's police chief Angelo Vega, and village trustee Blas Gutierrez were among those arrested on an 84-count indictment.

"Gutierrez, Espinoza and Vega were duty sworn to protect and safeguard the people of Columbus," U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said in a statement.

"Instead, they increased the risk of harm that the people of Columbus face ... by allegedly using their ... positions to facilitate and safeguard the operations of a smuggling ring that was exporting firearms to Mexico," he added.

Columbus is a small town just north of the border from Palomas, in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, where more than 4,400 people were killed by drug cartels last year.

The bust followed a year-long investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, together with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Drug Enforcement Administration agencies.

The indictment alleges that between January 2010 and March 2011, the defendants conspired to buy around 200 firearms for illegal export to Mexico.

Among the weapons allegedly bought by the ring from a gun store in Chaparral, New Mexico, were a cut-down version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle -- the weapon of choice for Mexican drug cartel hit men -- as well as high-capacity magazines and pistols.

Charges brought included conspiracy to smuggle firearms to Mexico, and making false statements while acquiring firearms, which carry a five-year jail term and a fine of $250,000 on conviction.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Mexico; US: New Mexico; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: arrested; atf; batf; batfe; border; dea; drugcartel; gunrunning; mayor

1 posted on 03/10/2011 8:28:17 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: CedarDave


2 posted on 03/10/2011 8:32:33 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: NormsRevenge

BATFags want to change the subject.

3 posted on 03/10/2011 8:33:09 PM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: NormsRevenge

ATF is looking to create a distraction from reports that hundreds of other weapons were smuggled across the border with full knowledge and approval of ATF. Defund the F Troop. Large scale movement of weapons began shortly after Obama took office, and was the start of a cynical plan approved by the DOJ to curtail US citizens rights by aiding and abetting Mexican criminals, then calling for restrictions on American citizens. Google up Project Gunwalker for details. This is so juicy that even CBS picked it up - 2 months after it hit the web at

4 posted on 03/10/2011 8:36:11 PM PST by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: NormsRevenge

Something they always leave out in these discussions of Pancho Villa’s raid on Douglass N.M. is they murdered an American family on their ranch including their baby.

Also the U.S. Army gave Villa a real bloody nose, killing something like 94 of them by the time they got back into Mexico.

5 posted on 03/10/2011 8:38:33 PM PST by yarddog
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To: NormsRevenge

That’s not exactly a shocking development. Columbus is full of Chihuahua narcotraficantes from Palomas who have mysteriously gotten permission to live on the US side and bought houses there. Wanted to keep their families “safe” from the violence across the border!

6 posted on 03/10/2011 8:42:44 PM PST by La Lydia
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To: NormsRevenge

He was the biz partner of the BATF, for crying out loud..!

With the help of this guy, they were CREATING a “border emergency” with the aim of acquiring new legal powers.

If there were no perception of an emergency, then they wouldn’t be able to do all this, “cool stuff”.

So to look good, now with all this extra scrutiny, now they arrest THEIR OWN GUY.

7 posted on 03/10/2011 8:58:29 PM PST by gaijin
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To: NormsRevenge; SouthTexas


8 posted on 03/10/2011 9:58:12 PM PST by tubebender (Now hiring Tag Line writers. Full time low pay)
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To: NormsRevenge

“Gutierrez, Espinoza and Vega”

Are they neoamish?

9 posted on 03/11/2011 5:55:28 AM PST by Rannug
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To: NormsRevenge

Can you say hanging offense???

10 posted on 03/11/2011 6:56:57 AM PST by S.O.S121.500 (That Kenyan bastard is not my president. ENFORCE the Bill of Rights.)
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To: Army Air Corps; LegendHasIt; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; ...

NM list PING! Click on the flag to go to the Free Republic New Mexico message page.

(The NM list is available on my FR homepage for anyone to use. Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)

11 posted on 03/11/2011 7:23:17 AM PST by CedarDave (Global warming is to today's science as was the sun moving around the earth in Galileo's time)
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To: tubebender; NormsRevenge

Just dealing the guns the Feds didn’t.

12 posted on 03/11/2011 7:30:21 AM PST by SouthTexas (Tea time!)
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To: SouthTexas

I don’t suppose these three guys are democrats by any chance, are they? /sarc

13 posted on 03/11/2011 8:05:52 AM PST by greyfoxx39 ("Take a look around this country. Outside the Beltway, we are all Jews now." Stuart Schwartz)
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To: greyfoxx39

Odds are, you can’t use the normal anti-gun theme with Texas dems.

14 posted on 03/11/2011 8:16:46 AM PST by SouthTexas (Tea time!)
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To: yarddog

Douglas, NM?

15 posted on 03/11/2011 8:24:21 AM PST by csmusaret (Q: How do they say incompetent failure in Kenya? A: Barack Obama)
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To: csmusaret

At first, I asked myself: “It was Douglas wasn’t it”

Then I saw the “New Mexico”. Yes I knew it was Arizona.

16 posted on 03/11/2011 9:07:13 AM PST by yarddog
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