Sunday, February 13, 2011

Case details South Texas smuggling network, possible Zeta plot to attack deputies



By: Jared Taylor
The Monitor

For years, Jose Maria Carvajal Jr. moved thousands of pounds of marijuana through his Brooks County ranch, authorities allege.

Carbajal’s workers used all-terrain vehicles and other means to move loads around Falfurrias for the better part of a decade, according to court documents.

All the while, informants inside Carbajal’s smuggling operation allowed federal investigators to unravel the inner workings of the network and build a case against its key players.

Investigators finally brought the hammer down on Carbajal last month, when he told an informant two members of the Zetas drug cartel traveled to his ranch.

Carbajal claimed he showed the cartel enforcers where two Brooks County sheriff’s deputies lived — apparent kidnapping targets after authorities intercepted 1,100 pounds of the Zetas’ marijuana.

Those two cops are Brooks County Chief Deputy Benny Martinez and Deputy Mo Saavedra.

Battling drug smugglers, whether they’re based in the U.S. or Mexico, is part of the job for Martinez.

“He also mentioned my family,” the chief deputy said. “That’s when it really hit close to home. As far as I’m concerned, (threats) are part of the career I chose. But when it comes to family members, that’s a different story.”

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into Carbajal dates back to a September 2008 drug bust.

U.S. Border Patrol agents intercepted more than 600 pounds of marijuana hauled by three of his workers, according to a 19-page criminal complaint. They moved the drugs in a John Deere Gator all-terrain vehicle, wearing night-vision goggles to maintain a low profile under the cover of darkness.

Agents arrested Ernesto Hernandez that night but were unable to catch his two buddies helping move the load, the complaint states. He was eventually sentenced to more than seven years in prison for the smuggling attempt.

Authorities eventually arrested the two others who were working with Hernandez the night he was caught. One of the men, Emerson Lopez, busted out of the Brooks County Jail in November 2008. Tracking dogs followed his scent to Carbajal’s house, a quarter of mile west of the jail.

There, federal agents made contact with Carbajal and his wife, Falescha, who said she worked as an interior decorator, the complaint states. Lopez was nowhere to be found.

It wasn’t until August 2010 that the case against Carbajal seemed to gain traction.

A Brooks County sheriff’s deputy caught one of his smugglers with 370 pounds of pot.

The smuggler, an illegal immigrant, told investigators he had been brought to the area a few weeks before to work on Carbajal’s ranch. He claimed Carbajal was paid $25,000 to move the load of marijuana through his ranch.

The informant told investigators Carbajal’s smuggling ring primarily moved drugs around the Falfurrias checkpoint north to Arkansas, where he has several contacts including his brother-in-law, the complaint states.

The money would be funneled back to Carbajal and his wife in Brooks County, where they allegedly sold property to friends to help launder hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another informant told investigators he would receive $1,000 cash whenever he moved a drug load through the ranch. Loads typically would cross the ranch twice a month.

The informants continued to work with Carbajal into December of last year, when one tipped off authorities to the load purportedly owned by the Zetas.

Federal, state and local authorities busted Carbajal’s smugglers as they attempted to move the drugs near Falfurrias.

After that, Carbajal told one informant that he had met with the Zetas on his ranch and tipped them off to where deputies Martinez and Saavedra live.

“Carbajal informed these individuals Benny Martinez was in charge in Brooks County and would be the one to capture in order to make him talk about who provided the information,” according to the criminal complaint.

Martinez said that threat likely prompted ICE agents to expedite Carbajal’s arrest. He was taken into custody without incident Jan. 12.

Authorities never independently confirmed that Carbajal met with the Zetas or that they were planning to kidnap the deputies.

“They felt like he was becoming more of a threat for everyone around,” Martinez said.

Carbajal was indicted last week in U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to possess marijuana. His wife, Falescha, was also indicted on a money laundering charge.

Court documents state Carbajal’s smuggling network had operated since 2003.

Martinez, however, said the operation dates back to the late 1990s, when Carbajal purportedly took it over after authorities took down others involved in moving drugs through the ranchlands.

Carbajal’s smuggling network stands out for its broad reach and for the length of time it has been in operation, Martinez said.

“When you're moving so much for so many years, you feel like you can run the county,” the chief deputy said. “That's why he was mad at us — because we disrupted his trafficking.”

But in Brooks County, where Border Patrol agents and as few as one local sheriff’s deputy patrol the entire 955-square-mile area at any given time, making a living moving contraband is hardly uncommon.

Bootleggers moving tequila and moonshine during Prohibition gave way to the drug and human smuggling common across the South Texas monte today, Martinez said. With that sort of a history, smuggling operations likely won’t go away.

“It is inevitable. It is happening and it is continuing to happen.” Martinez said. “There’s a lot of major stuff happening, but it’s out there in the brush — and they get away with it.”

___

21 comments:

  1. and the Az sheriff says within 60 days he expects combat with the cartels.

    This is so huge, and few talk about it, I am yet to see either one of these stories on CNN or FOX

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Buela
    That sheriff is all talk, no action...prob bust some low level smugglers here and there but combat?? haha get real lol...trying to make it seem like he is tough on crime so he can get reelected like a dumbass-lying politician they all are.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am from Falfurrias and if those pussy coward zeta queers think they can fuck with these ranchers- we will fuck them up and chop them to pieces and feed them to the pigs.
    This is'nt mexico bitch- here in America we WILL do something about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sherrif is a wackjob wierdo, he's been going on and on about cartels for years, it's all right wing nonsense. The Juarez cartel wants to kill him, Zeta's are going to take over the city, he just wants to get people are worked up. Nothing will come off this, 100%.

    ReplyDelete
  5. somebody need to do something! we want justice,,Zetas should b erradicate,,please USA do something Mexico needs ur help!

    ReplyDelete
  6. DFL

    if you are for real you guys should put out the call for a little help from the eastern USA,you might be surprised how many would be glad to show up armed and ready, we need to teach these pointy headed assholes to stay out of the USA, and the language they speak is force

    ReplyDelete
  7. DFL, why do you need a "call?" Dont sit around waiting for an invitation, take action like Don Alejo did, instead of blogging it to death on the internet. Grab your arsenal and let them know in a narco blog (this one will do)that you are there waiting for them.

    Come on, Mexican there do it every day, just do it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. DFL.....Make sure you REALLY chop them up to pieces because they(zetas) WILL 100% sure about that,your whole family.Just save the talk...talk is cheap

    ReplyDelete
  9. fuck chopping then up,just leave them laying, the coyotes will take care of it,

    ReplyDelete
  10. DFL wouldn't know action if it bit him on the ass. Like many posters, their words fill them with their right-wing bravado. But they will be the first to crap their pants when any shooting starts...

    As far as the Pinal County sheriff, don't dismiss what he is saying. If you live in AZ, you will see big signs, posted by the feds, warning people not to travel south of the freeway (several miles north of the border) because of criminal activity.

    But if it comes to the wack-job Sheriff Joe in Phoenix, ignore EVERYTHING he says. He is a nut

    Living in Mexico now is a very scary thing. My wife and I relocated here because of my job 7 years ago. We loved it initially, but we are very seriously thinking of moving (at least her) out of Mexico entirely because the security situation is so bad, and corruption at all levels of police, military and government is staggering. As a plant manager, I have armed guards 24/7 and that would be worthless if attacked.

    This is a very complicated situation with no easy solution. For the ignorant among you, keep thinking that guns and force alone can make a difference. But for the realists, this needs to be attacked from many fronts. The spillover into the US has been happening for decades. The cartels operate in most major US cities. And it is the US the is the customer and making the cartels rich. No line on a map will stop them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 8:55 pm
    @ Big Shit talker

    Save your personal story for someone who cares.
    We here in South Texas see more "Action" in a week than you sofa poster will ever see.
    This is the front. This is where the actions is.
    If Mexico is scaring you maybe you should move a little closer to the American Border to maybe Reynosa, Juarez, Matamoros or just any northen Mexico city so that you will feel safer and close to home, or at least send your wife...

    ReplyDelete
  12. DFL
    ignore this protected by armed guards pussy,protected is all i need to know about him,every time some body says we will fight the cartels,you get one of these guys saying no, they are too powerful,be afraid,because their hearts pump piss they think every body else's does too

    ReplyDelete
  13. DFL, IMO you sound like exactly like no one in Falfurrias would probably ever want to talk like.... not even the Migra crowd You sound like just another Right Wing Anglo twit who probably knows about only how to order a puta or cerveza in Mexico and get back drunk afterwards across the line. ...but that was only for you in better years before what is going on now.

    How many trucker fools I saw with their rigs parked right across from Nuevo Laredo when I lived there not so very long ago.

    'Save your personal story for someone who cares. We here in South Texas see more "Action" in a week than you sofa poster will ever see.'

    Yeah right, DFL... so look in the mirror then

    'DFL said.. I am from Falfurrias and if those pussy coward zeta queers think they can fuck with these ranchers- we will fuck them up and chop them to pieces and feed them to the pigs. This is'nt mexico bitch- here in America we WILL do something about it.'

    You're probably just some minimum wage clown who hauls from the uranium mine right down the road, Dude. Or some semi literate prison guard from the prison down the road from Falfurrias??? Nah... you're just an Anglo trucker parked in the big parking lot hauling his own fat ass to head for 'Boys Town' activities- Nuevo Laredo style. A Big Boy.... hamburger sort of dude.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ CHEPE THE IGNORANT MEXICAN

    Actually i am Hispanic. Just because i am not as dumb as you does not make me an anglo automaticlly. Whats wrong with someone being anglo anyway? Makes you feel inferior? Fucken puto!!
    I am from Falfurrias and was rasied in the Roma, Falcon Dam area- For stupid people like you- thats the American side of the Border from Mexico. Thats where the shit is going down and has always gone down. Stupid Mexican!!!
    Grab yourself another beer and wait till mama comes home from a long hard days work to feed your slob ass and all the little iliterates that you are suppose to be "baby sitting" PEPE.

    ReplyDelete
  15. DFL
    take this mouthy cheepy puta to Salineno and tie him up at the boat ramp for a night these pinches putitaz think they run the world, but their world stops at the river

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yea, go visit Salineno. Its really beautiful, its only a 2 mile drive from the safety of Highway 83. The woods are full of arrow-heads, real old antiques , rattlesnakes and zetas!!!LOLOL

    ReplyDelete
  17. DFL

    don't forget the bird watching,and smuggling central,and chapeno rd, so they dont feel left out,i like how you drive past the cemetary on the way into town,it really sets the tone

    ReplyDelete
  18. And 'Kill a Z', who the hell goes out to that horrible so called 'nature area' on the river' (Salineno), other than you and your Migra buddies like DFL to hunt people down?

    'DFL -take this mouthy cheepy puta to Salineno and tie him up at the boat ramp for a night these pinches putitaz think they run the world, but their world stops at the river'

    Actually, I rather think that it is YOUR world that ends at the river, Buddy. You talk all tough in your little uniform here in the US but I think the Zetas would hang your butt out from a bridge if you were involved in 'law enforcement' the other side instead of at Salineno, home of 300 people at most.

    We can't really say much on BB how we actually think about people who merely substitute the word ZETA for Mexican in their little Migra-ized racist heads... When you let your hair down I'm sure it's more like 'Kill a M' rather than 'Kill a Z' like you pose yourself merely as being here.

    'I am from Falfurrias and was rasied in the Roma, Falcon Dam area- For stupid people like you- thats the American side of the Border from Mexico. Thats where the shit is going down and has always gone down. Stupid Mexican!!!'

    I know where you work out of, Pendejo. No need to spell it out anymore for us. Been by your check point many a time...

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Chepe

    I am not law enforcement but you can bet your sorry ass that i do support U.S Law Enforcement Agencies that protect our Great country from assholes like those destroying Mexico.
    I am an American with the support of 300 million more who would never allow shit like that to happen here. It is true that here in South Texas we are all armed and would have no problem putting a hot bullet into the head of an ignorant, uneducated gangbanger thug who wants a stupid title like "Zeta"- They are thugs, worthless trouble children who would have the wrath of god, the American law and the rest of us to conntend with. They would stand NO chance.
    You can sit and post your little thoughts from the safty of distance from these places -you'd never make it down here.
    The only racist comments have come from you- ist its fat anglo, now its kill an M. If the KKK allow Mexicans in, you'd be a perfect fit.
    Your a pretty insecure person who thinks the White man is the boogy man and hes out to get you and "your" people. LOLOL!!!What an idiot!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. OK, Mr. Falfurrias patriot.... I want you to go inside your 'central business district' there (that would be the tiny Walmart in the McDonalds there inside the tiny building with all the imported Chinese garbage having LOW LOW prices guaranteed!) and have a burger on me, Dude. And don't get bit by a rattlesnake there if you take it back to your 'rest stop on the highway to enjoy with some of your vomit green uniformed 'rancher' buddies.

    'I am not law enforcement but you can bet your sorry ass that i do support U.S Law Enforcement Agencies that protect our Great country from assholes like those destroying Mexico.'

    Yeah Right ... blah, blah, blah, Rush, Rush, Rush....Limbug Dude. I bet they use ground road kill tlacuache in those hamburgers out of the Falfurrias stores, there, DFL?

    ReplyDelete
  21. hey cheepo,what is your point,are you really trying to think that some bunch of raggy ass mexican bandidos can really stand a chance against Americans,you are a real jokester,
    thats why there is a mexico..cause we kicked your asses across the river a long time ago,

    ReplyDelete

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