Skip to comments.Former soldiers caught in DEA sting[ one killed in Laredo, Texas shooting]
Posted on 03/27/2012 10:55:08 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
A South Carolina man was gunned down by federal agents Saturday in Laredo after a sting targeting U.S. soldiers who wanted to work for the Zetas drug cartel went wrong, federal prosecutors said.
Former Army 1st Lt. Kevin Corley, 29; Army Sgt. Samuel Walker, 28, both of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Shavar Davis, 29, of Denver; and Jerome Corley, of South Carolina, drove into Laredo Saturday armed with two semiautomatic rifles, a knife and a .300-caliber bolt-action rifle equipped with a scope and a bipod, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
They were in Laredo, prosecutors allege, to raid a ranch where the men believed they would find 20 kilograms of cocaine that had been stolen from the Zetas.
Kevin Corley, who served in Afghanistan in 2010 and is Jerome's cousin, had been so gung-ho about his assignment that he planned to use his knife to carve a Z, the Mexican cartel's calling card, into his victim's chest, according to the complaint.
But something went wrong when the four men went to meet with the traffickers at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday at a warehouse on Laredo's northwest side. The Zetas, actually undercover DEA agents, moved away, according to the complaint. Armed federal agents moved in. In the ensuing confrontation, an agent shot and killed Jerome Corley.
The circumstances surrounding Corley's killing remain unclear. The DEA, FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office said they couldn't comment beyond the criminal complaint. The complaint doesn't say if Jerome Corley was armed, only that agents found weapons in the van the men drove to Laredo.
Kevin Corley's girlfriend, Mikaylin Young, said she can't believe he'd been arrested.
He's a great guy, she said. I don't understand how this happened. It's taken me by surprise.
The two met in 2010, after he'd served in Afghanistan, she said. He rarely talked about that. He enjoys playing pool, Young said, and had played football as a young man. She described him as easy going and drama free.
Young had met Jerome Corley, she said, but didn't know him well.
As it turned out, the Corleys had never met with any members of the Zetas. They'd been the targets of a DEA sting more than a year in the making, using wiretaps and undercover agents.
The sting began in January 2011, when accused drug trafficker Marcus Mickle, 20, of South Carolina, negotiated to buy marijuana from undercover DEA agents he thought were Zetas, the complaint alleges.
In September, Calvin Epps, 26, also of South Carolina, and Mickle put agents on the phone with Kevin Corley, then still in Army.
Kevin Corley offered to provide tactical training for cartel members, including approaches, room clearing, security and convoy security, the complaint reads. Corley also offered to purchase weapons for the cartel under his name as long as he could destroy the serial numbers.
By January, Corley had sold the agents Army training manuals and military equipment, including an armored vest, according to the complaint. But things escalated that month, prosecutors allege, when the agents asked Corley to participate in what the complaint described as a murder-for-hire scheme.
The agents inquired about Kevin Corley's earlier assertion of his ability to perform wet work,' specifically whether he could provide a team to raid a ranch where 20 kilograms of stolen cocaine were being kept by rival cartel members, the complaint reads. Corley confirmed that he would conduct the contract killing with a small team consisting of his cousin Jerome Corley and Walker, the Army sergeant.
Meanwhile, prosecutors allege, the Corleys, Mickle and Epps were involved in marijuana smuggling.
On Jan. 14, police in La Salle County stopped a marijuana-laden tractor-trailer while the four men escorted it in another vehicle. In March, according to the complaint, Kevin Corley sold an undercover agent two AR-15 assault rifles, a training rifle, armored vests and other military equipment, according to the complaint. He was discharged from the Army on March 13. When the alleged hit team arrived Saturday in Laredo, a grand jury had already indicted the Corleys, Mickle and Epps for drug trafficking.
After the shooting at the warehouse, federal agents filed drug and weapons charges against Kevin Corley, Davis, and Walker. In an interview at DEA offices in Laredo, Davis said he was the driver and Walker said he was supposed to use the bolt-action rifle to cover the team's assault on the ranch, according to the complaint. Corley, the complaint alleges, said he planned to forego the $50,000 the Zetas were planning to pay him for the raid and skip town with the 20 kilograms of cocaine.
Corley, Davis and Walker are scheduled for a detention hearing Thursday.
MEMO: Only ATF agents are allowed to work with the Mexican drug cartels.
Dangit. You beat me to it!
I know it may be a shock to some, but the feds rules of engagement are much different than law enforcement on the local level. As a former member of law enforcement(10+yrs) I worked with various agencies. Their rules are much much different than the ones the locals have.
If what they are alleging these clowns did is true, than too E**ING bad on the bad guys and I will add that I wasn’t there.
However, if they already had the goods on these guys, a simple traffic stop after they rolled thru a stop sign, more than likely would have worked and no one would be dead. It seems like everyone buys all sorts of tactical gear and weapons these days and looks for any and every chance to use it. Even though there are better and safer ways of accomplishing the same task.
Hmmmm...Just like at Waco.
I wasn’t there and although it may seem like it, I’m not judging what the feds did. But the site routinely talks about the overuse of SWAT teams, the militarizing of the police, all of which I’m against as I saw it firsthand. There’s a time and place for everything. And there are much easier ways to do things.
But just like in Waco, the town sheriff said that it the feds had wanted Koresh so bad, he could have had him come down to his office and a whole lot of bloodshed would have been avoided.
This isn’t any different than that kid in Arizona. If they had the goods on him, they could have followed him home from work, traffic stop, in custody and driven back to his house to conduct the search warrant.
Amish being Amish...
How long before Sharpton and Jackson call for the agent's arrest, or the Not-so-New Black Panthers put a wanted poster out on him?
Gangland - Basic Training (Gangs in the military)
The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military
The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military...
So not only was he going to kill a bunch of people, he was going to cross the Zetas. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.