Monday, September 19, 2011

Whistle-blowers allege corruption, cartel ties in El Paso border region

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times

Two former law enforcement officers allege that they cannot get anyone to investigate allegations that the Mexican drug cartels have corrupted U.S. law officers and politicians in the El Paso border region.

Greg Gonzales, a retired Doña Ana County sheriff's deputy, and Wesley Dutton, a rancher and former New Mexico state livestock investigator, said that instead of arrests and prosecutions of suspects, their whistle-blowing activities have resulted only in threats and retaliation against themselves.

"I lost my job for a security company at the federal courthouse in Las Cruces because I would not keep my mouth shut, and someone threatened me by holding a knife to my throat," Gonzales said.

Dutton, a rancher in Southern New Mexico, said an election official stopped by his ranch to ask him what was it going to take for him to retract his allegations concerning the official.

Confidential sources


Both men were confidential sources for the FBI in El Paso and assisted with investigations over an 18-month period.

Gonzales and Dutton allege that the FBI dropped them after "big names" on the U.S. side of the border began to surface in the drug investigations.

FBI Special Agent Michael Martinez said that the FBI cannot comment on its former or current relationships with confidential sources.

Dutton said an FBI official who used to be in El Paso sent a memo to other law enforcement agencies in the area to dissuade them from talking to him and Gonzales or having anything to do with them.

Gonzales and Dutton said both or either one of them helped with federal investigations that were successful, including the arrest of Special FBI Agent John Shipley. Shipley was convicted of weapons-related charges after a weapon he sold someone turned up in Chihuahua state at a scene where a firefight took place between Mexican soldiers and drug traffickers.

However, they said, they are concerned that other serious allegations have not found their way to court.




Hit on agent

"One of the street gangs that works for the Juárez cartel put a hit out on FBI Special Agent Samantha Mikeska, and I told the FBI as soon as I heard about it," Dutton said. "We also had information on campaign fundraisers and parties in La Union that the cartel held for officials from New Mexico and El Paso. A lot of important people were at those parties, such as bankers, judges, and law enforcement officers."

Mikeska is a high-profile agent whose investigations of the Barrio Azteca gang led to prosecutions of gang leaders. The gang, which has members in West Texas and New Mexico, is linked to the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel.

Gonzales said a U.S. law enforcement officer was suspected of selling to a street gang with Juárez drug cartel ties a list of U.S. Marshals that included their telephone numbers.

"With their number, the gang was able to 'clone' the agents' cell phones and intercept their calls," Gonzales said. "That way, they would know when one of the agents was trying to serve an arrest warrant against one of their members."

Dutton and Gonzales said small aircraft regularly drop drug loads on ranches or other properties along the U.S.-Mexico border, and that some U.S. law officers escort the loads to the next stop.

The two whistle-blowers said that drug cartels have managed to obtain computer access codes to U.S. surveillance systems that let them see where and when Border Patrol agents are monitoring the border.

They also alleged that drug cartels have given big donations to politicians, which are unreported, to influence appointments of key law enforcement officers.

Some of these allegations were contained in a letter that Dutton provided to Gov. Rick Perry, who is seeking the Republican Party's nomination for president in the 2012 election.

"Our office received the letter and referred it to the appropriate agency, which was the Department of Public Safety," Josh Havens, a spokesman for the Texas governor's office, said last Friday.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety and a former FBI agent from El Paso, said last Friday that he was interested in talking to Dutton. Then, about a half-hour later, McCraw said that Dutton had no credibility.

'Nothing there'

"We looked into it and there was nothing there," McCraw said.

Dutton said in response, "How can they say there was nothing when they didn't even look at what I have?"

Dutton said he has videos, telephone records, and other documents gathered over the 18 months he worked with the FBI.

"The DPS never asked to see any of it," Dutton said.

During his work with the FBI, Dutton said the FBI asked him to accept drug shipments from Mexico through his ranching company.

"The drugs were concealed in horse saddles, and we started getting a lot of them," Dutton said. "But the FBI kept putting me off when I asked for the money to pay the cartels for the drugs. I had to use my own funds. The FBI still owes me thousands of dollars for these out-of-pocket expenses.

"I asked the FBI for help when I started getting threats, but the only thing that happened is that everyone starting running for cover to protect their careers," Dutton said. "One of the FBI agents said politics got in the way, and that they had to close out the investigation and end their relationship with me."

As a state livestock investigator, Dutton made arrests like any other law enforcement officer, collaborated with sheriffs' offices, seized drugs and investigated thefts. He also developed intelligence that drug cartels used cross-border cattle shipments to transport drugs across the border at Santa Teresa.

Zetas cartel

Dutton said other informants told him that the Zetas drug cartel has a high-level member in Las Cruces whose wife holds a non-law enforcement job in the DEA's office.

The whistle-blowers also alleged that the corruption they've encountered includes a prominent doctor in El Paso who provides prescriptions for drugs to people who need to pass lie-detector tests.

"The FBI was provided with all this information, and I guess that's why they're now saying that we're crazy," Dutton said.

Dutton and Gonzales said their frustration over the lack of investigations has compelled them to turn to U.S. lawmakers and to Judicial Watch for help.

Judicial Watch is a conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation in Washington, D.C., which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

The organization publishes a list each year of the "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" of both major political parties.

Chris Ferrell, Judicial Watch research director, confirmed that Dutton has been in contact with his office.

"These are very serious allegations that should be investigated by law enforcement," Ferrell said. "There are too many details and specifics to just ignore them. The threats against them (Dutton and Gonzales) also should be investigated."

29 comments:

  1. There are alot of shady things going on in border towns, and both the federal and state government are doing nothing about..
    Perry is probably one of the worst, when it comes to foreign policy, candidates the GOP has to offer.
    He did nothing about the border problem, what will happen when he has to deal with groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Georgia Rebels, and the new government in Libia, Egypt, and Tunisia? to name a few.
    I am sorry but he lacks the capacity to run a country, at least in the foreign policy aspect, which is one of the most important roles the president handles.

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  2. The US Gobernment is also a Sell-out. What a surprise lol

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  3. I have been saying it all the time, but people here are telling me this are just a few incidents and that U.S is not like Mexico, well how do you think Mexican corruption started in Mexico. People are people and people can be bought with money, drugs and good looking women.

    San Diego is just as corrupted as El Paso, gang members here are driving Cadillacs, Mercedes, Hummers, Lincolns and other luxury cars and they don't even have a job.

    A friend of mine who was a drug smuggler told me about the police corruption 4 years ago before he got arrested by non corrupted cops, and the problem is that the U.S have disbanded the anti-corruption task force in many cities thinking that U.S is not like Mexico.

    In Mexico we say " El Dinero Ase Vailar Al Perro " or Money Will Make The Dog Dance

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  4. The Mexicans just love it when some US corruption is uncovered. They think it makes the hated gringos the same as them which makes their corruption alright.

    Perry says the "theory" of evolution "has some gaps in it." Typical politician trying not to offend anybody. He'd better dance around that one in Texas. A bunch of pissed off southern baptists could end your career.

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  5. That's right Texcoco. The US is just as corrupt as Mexico. Except for the US cops that are not corrupt and the justice system that actually works most of the time.

    You get a lot of enjoyment from researching examples of US corruption and that's fine, that's good because it provides balance to a situation most people like to see in black/white terms.

    Constantly comparing the two countries is not good because it leads to a winner vs loser mentality and that benefits no one.

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  6. Just to clarify I do love it when corruption is uncovered because corrupted cops will go to jail not because I hate gringos, you gringos think you are immune to corruption when in reality you are not, week after week people are getting arrested for corruption in U.S.

    We don't live in a perfect bubble in the U.S, it is better but not perfect.

    I hate corruption in Mexico or in the U.S and just for you to know I live in the U.S so why will I be happy about corruption on the U.S.

    Corrupted people all over the world can go to hell for all I care, I don't benefit from them so fuck them.

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  7. US might be "like" mexico, but i use the word like loosely. You could also easily say the US is much different than mexico. When it comes to corruption, Mexico is so much worse its really not a worthwhile comparison. When Transparency International ranks corruption they put America closer to France & the UK. They put Mexico somewhere around Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

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  8. @ September 19, 2011 2:11 PM I do appreciate your comment I do search examples about corruption on the U.S but I don't enjoy U.S corruption, I do live in the United States.

    I don't compare the two countries and I don't have the winner looser mentality because, I do think U.S and Mexico are partners in fight against crime.

    Believe it or not I'm happy with the U.S help to Mexico and I'm comfortable with the CIA, FBI, ICE, and DEA on Mexican territory.

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  9. @ September 19, 2011 1:59 PM The Mexicans just love it when some US corruption is uncovered. They think it makes the hated gringos the same as them which makes their corruption alright.

    I don't know why you think the Mexicans hate gringos. We don't hate gringos we just don't like the ones who think the live in a perfect bubble and criticize us Mexicans for the problems we are facing.
    United States is not immune to corruption and believe it or not more Mexicans are affected by corruption than the ones who benefit from it.

    We don't think corruption is alright.

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  10. epfbi been dirty a long, long time.

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  11. Hey, get one thing straight. We are not gringos. Gringos are white people, not Mexican-Americans. I doubt there's any white people posting here. They're concerned too but overall they rather discuss this with their own kind and not with us liberal brownies in this most liberal and brown of all blogs. I bet there are more drug dealers, cartel wannabes, and corrupt officials here than any decent white people. Whatever we say or read here will never make any difference in this Drug War and that's a shame because that simply says we have no political power and that our outcries go unheard. So next time before you say gringo, make sure you know who you are referring to. I personally am glad cops and politicians are getting caught on both sides. It's about fucking time. I wanna see truck loads of cops being either fired or sent to jail for the obvious collusion with these homos across.

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  12. The difference between Mexico and the US comes down to one thing only, there are laws that come with severe punishments.
    Separation of Powers is a beautiful thing, presidents have gotten impeached, senators have had to left their seats etc.... When the Judicial has the power to over turn a law that the Legislative past, or the Executive can veto a law that the Legislative wants to pass, we have power that is distributed everywhere.. Ex. Abortion (stupid subject, but a good point to discuss), the main reason the SCOTUS allowed it was based on freedom, a state cannot limit the amounts of kids a woman wants to have... If they say you can stop abortions, what stops the states from passing laws that say "you cannot have more than 2 kids"? (I don't want to start a discussion about abortion, using it as a point only) The SCOTUS doesn't want to give States full power to do whatever they want. We don't have that in Mexico, we have senators that can take bribes, judges that send innocents to prison and let drug dealers walk.
    The US Constitution is a thing of beauty.. This is coming from a Mexican American who lived in Mexico for ten years and moved to the US for education... I am by no means some Ultra Redneck Patriot, but at the same time I see the good's and bad's in an objective point of view.

    Mexico needs to understand that its main problem is not drugs, but a system that has failed. A system where knowing someone powerful will get you hired or even worse, use that influence to kill your enemies. Los ricos tienen todo mientras los pores cada ves tienen menos. Nothing pisses me off than watching Calderon blaming the US, yes we know that US Citizens love drugs, but that is not the end all of all the problems. The citizens of Mexico, just like the ones from Egypt (know of this bc i was there 3 years ago, studying its government, sadly I found a lot of similarities between Mexico and Egypt), are in desperate need of change. They need a government that creates jobs, a government that does not oppress its people, a government that hires educated people not family members, a government that doesn't steal land from the poor and then resells it at a higher price (happened in most beaches in Mexico) to international companies.
    I am sorry i went on this rant, but I just get a feeling that everyone is missing the big picture. Which is "Mexico government 'both PRI and PAN' has failed, and these are the consequences".... When I was in Egypt, I got to talk to some professors from the American University in Cairo. They all said "we need a change, we need opportunities, we live in a country where you can have an engineering degree but you won't get a job, both private or govt, bc you don't have the connections." This quote reminded me of Mexico. I have educated family members in Mexico that are unemployed bc they do not have the connections, even for private jobs you need connections. Nepotism is not a crime in Mexico, it is a way of life......

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  13. American corruption in Mexico! When talking about Mexican-American corruption think about President Vicente Fox, his dad and grandfather were from Cincinnati, Ohio, and have relatives in Texas, very close to the border.

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  14. I hate Gringos. I won't lie about it. They're all racist and ignorant. I love this shit. Keep exposing these fucking corrupt fucks. Funny when you guys get nailed... You start pointing fingers to Mexicans.

    Proud Mexican American living in Seattle, WA. Waiting for a call from a TJ cartel for some work. Wish me luck.

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  15. September 19, 2011 9:43 PM You most be a Frank Dux so good luck and be careful you never know when you will have the FBI on your ass.

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  16. >> In Mexico we say " El Dinero Ase Vailar Al Perro " or Money Will Make The Dog Dance

    Correct spelling:

    El dinero hace bailar al perro

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  17. @9:43 - Maybe cartel work is all yet can because you write like shit. If you can't find a job in Seattle that pays better than the measly 1100 dlls a month that sicarios are paid you really have problems. And, proud Mexicans don't work for cartels because they ruin the great country of Mexico.

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  18. Mexican Americans,Mexican Mexicans, Anglo Mexicans?? They are all imprinted with Mexican culture, no matter what they are called or who they work for,Mexican culture = CORRUPTION.

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  19. @9:43
    Que idiota eres. Por gente como tu generalizan como delincuentes a todos los mexicanos que venimos a trabajar honestamente.
    Espero que muy pronto te agarre la justicia y ya dejes de estar de holgazan!!!

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  20. @9:23
    Another ignorant racist comment, generalizing like if all mexicans were corrupt!!!
    Money,power and fame can corrupt some people, not all. In every goverment in the world, there are people that are corrupt, even in sports like mlb, nba, fifa there is corruption!!! And even if you don't believe it, most of us mexicans are honest working people!!!

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  21. @10:57 read the latest BB post. That's a whole room full of corrupt Mexican cops. That punk commander threatens them and just stand there.

    Yeah ok boss no problem you can count on us.

    If that happened in Seattle the fucker would have been dead before he finished the sentence.

    Texcoco maybe you should talk to 9:43. He hates gringos and he is ready and willing to betray Mexico and the US.

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  22. Not everyone that reads BB is Mexican-American, nor are we all racist. I am a white male college student in the US. I regularly read this blog along with some others to keep myself informed. Please understand not all gringos are racist/hate Mexicans. Thank you BB for providing this site and my thoughts and prayers have been and will be for the people of Mexico.

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  23. @September 19, 2011 1:46 PM

    "In Mexico we say " El Dinero Ase Vailar Al Perro " or Money Will Make The Dog Dance"

    No amigo, se dice, "Con dinero baila el perro", which loosely translates to "with money the dog dances".

    Matamoros, Tamps. Boy

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  24. I too am white and live in a Mexico border town with my husband so please do not assume that all gringos are racist. I regularly read BB to keep up with what is going on in our region cuz as it has been said many times the papers & news dnt report the problems. Having lived in both countries I can see that they both have their problems but I can say that after having lived in Mexico it wld b very hard for me to go back to the US. The Mexican ppl are wonderful & even with all the corruption, crime & cartels they dnt give up and they keep on living. I hope that eventually the Mexican ppl will overcome all this and once again become a peaceful country. The problem I see with the US is that they are so concerned with all the other countries & trying to fix their problems (Iraq & Afghanistan) that they haven't looked in their own backyard. They worry bout kids starving in Africa but what about the kids starving here in Mexico?

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  25. September 20, 2011 7:49 AM Thanks for the spelling correction.

    September 20, 2011 1:28 PM Thanks for the correction.

    September 20, 2011 11:34 AM Don't worry about 9:43 the FBI is already on his ass, he just doesn't know it.

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  26. Raceisism is BS its not the point, Mexico security, or the lack of it is the point. Every State takes power and rights away from its citizens,in return the State enforces these rights and powers in a orderly way for the citizens, Mexico has failed Miserably, at almost every level, education,public works,law enforcement,judicial,prisons,nationalized oil, HELL you name it, SO WHEN ARE THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO GOING TO DEMAND PERFORMANCE ???

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  27. September 20, 2011 7:02 PM Racism is BS its not the point, Mexico security, or the lack of it is the point.

    Actually the point of this article allege corruption in El Paso or corruption in the U.S.

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  28. i believe it all..from what i have seen along the river around Rio grande and falcon...there is no way the police are not involved

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  29. @September 20, 2011 1:28 PM Glad to read that there are a true people concerned for issues in the neighborhood. Dont get me wrong, I care for other countries problems, but the media give the line to follow about the news. Drugs cartels is a problem that USA doesnt want to expose in your country. Yea, we have cartels, do you think you dont have cartels in USA? Of course, just they are so organized that know they are rich people well stablished and related with politicians, thats why they dont make noise and they roots are really deep and strong. Now Los Angeles Times reported information about the "Wide Receiver Operation", during 2006 and 2007. Why does States want to send weapon to Mexico cartels? I let you guess

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