Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Snitch tells of spying on Zetas

Saturday, January 28, 2012 |

Posted in Borderland Beat Forum by Texcoco

By Jason Buch
San Antonio Express News

A Zetas gang member who became an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration testified Thursday how he helped authorities thwart attempted killings by the cartel, including a plan to use grenades to fight off police in Laredo, all the while keeping his snitching secret.

Testifying under the false name of Rocky Juarez, the informant told how he provided his DEA handlers with real-time updates on the Zetas and the gang's operations.

Later, when he was ordered to rent a safe house in Laredo for a Zetas sicario crew, the DEA was able to install cameras and microphones in the house to monitor their movements.

It was dangerous work for the informant, who on more than one occasion was held at gunpoint during meetings across the border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where the DEA couldn't protect him.

Juarez took the stand Thursday in the ongoing trial of Gerardo Castillo Chavez, who's accused of taking part in killings and assaults in 2006 as part of a drug conspiracy.

Jurors and federal District Judge Micaela Alvarez heard for the first time from a witness who placed Castillo Chavez at the scene of one of the crimes he's accused of.

But it was the informant's testimony of the Zetas' inner workings and the extent to which the DEA has infiltrated the cartel that provided the day's most riveting testimony.

Juarez, who worked first on the trafficking end of the Zetas' operations and later on the muscle end, had unprecedented access to Zetas leaders, testified J.J. Gomez, an investigator for the Webb County district attorney who's attached to a DEA task force.

“Basically, all of the (federal) agencies were in need of him,” Gomez said.

Juarez provided information that broke up attempted killings by the Zetas, and led to the arrests of the two hit men planning the Laredo grenade attack.

He described an incident in 2003, before he began working for the DEA and was in charge of bribing Nuevo Laredo police officers for the Zetas, in which he was severely beaten.

Miguel “El 40” Treviño Morales, now believed to be the Zetas' second-in-command, and his brother Omar “El 42” Treviño Morales thought the informant was working for another cartel and kidnapped him, he testified.

He told jurors how the brothers put a plastic bag over his head and hit him in the stomach. Even after Miguel Treviño Morales said he was satisfied, his brother kept going, the informant testified.

Enraged, the informant said, he got his hands on a baseball bat and hit Omar Treviño Morales. Dozens of Zetas stormed into the room and handcuffed him, the informant said.

“There were 30 guys in line,” he said. “They broke two baseball bats, broke me to pieces.”

Omar Treviño Morales stood over the informant, pulling back the slide on his pistol to show the bullet that would kill him, he testified, when another Zeta boss named Ivan “El Taliban” Caballero Velasquez intervened.

“Taliban came in and said, ‘Do me a favor and don't kill Rocky, because if you kill him, you're going to die on top of him,'” the informant said.

It took the informant almost six months to recover from his injuries. After, he moved to the U.S., where he went to work on the drug transportation end of the Zetas' business. He became a paid source for the DEA in 2004, after his brother was arrested.

In 2006, he was handed over to Gomez, one of two agents in charge of Operation Prophecy, an investigation targeting Miguel Treviño Morales.

The informant fed agents information in early 2006 about an attempt to cross almost 1,000 pounds of pot on the Rio Grande and about a stash house where the Zetas kept cocaine. DEA officials would call in other agencies to make busts, Gomez said, to keep their fingerprints off the operation.

“When we get information like that, we utilize a state or local agency to conduct the seizure, for (the traffickers) to not find out the DEA is involved,” he said.

When the informant's supervisor, Ernesto “Nune” Carreon Vasquez was promoted to oversee the Zetas' sicarios, or hit men, the DEA was able to break up attempted killings, Gomez testified.

However, the big prize came in April 2006 when the informant was ordered to rent the safe house, which the DEA filled with surveillance equipment.

It was home to a crew of hit men run by Gabriel Cardona, 25.

Cardona's crew, made up of U.S. citizens, was one of the most dangerous in Laredo, responsible for six killings in 2005 and 2006, according to testimony and court records.

By keeping the crew and informant under constant surveillance, which Gomez said took dozens of people from state, local and federal agencies, they thwarted their attempted hits and eventually arrested Cardona and several of his crew.

Cardona's now serving 80 years in state prison and has been sentenced to life without parole in federal prison.

Prosecutors say Castillo Chavez, the defendant in this week's trial, was with Cardona and other Zetas when they killed Jesus Maria “Chuy” Resendez, 36, and his nephew Mariano Resendez, 15.

They also allege that Castillo Chavez took part in attacks on Chuy Resendez's older brother Julio Cesar Resendez and another nephew, Gerardo Ramos, as part of the drug conspiracy, weapons and racketeering charges he faces.

Julio Cesar Resendez took the stand and almost immediately pointed to Castillo Chavez, saying he remembered the defendant from a pair of March 2006 shootings when Ramos was hit nearly 20 times and Resendez was shot in the foot.

“This dude that's right there,” Resendez said through an interpreter. “I just remember this dude right there.”

But defense attorneys were quick to point out that when he testified two years ago, Resendez didn't identify Castillo Chavez and that he initially told police someone else was involved.

Defense attorney Roberto Balli went on to accuse Resendez and his brother of being members of the Texas Syndicate prison gang, which the witness denied.

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32 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Lets see what happens to el talivan after z40 sees what happened to the snitch he protected

Anonymous said...

Very good article

Anonymous said...

A paid informant?Do any of you believe he actually even met Z40,or Taliban?Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me.Sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie script.All these things,testimony just like this,ups the ante on Z40,all the bullshit goes to make the reward bigger and him a bigger bogeyman.Of course 40 not a good guy,but that is the world he work in,with the snitch working in that world to.Paid informants?Is there anything lower than that.

Anonymous said...

Great article

Anonymous said...

There was a Rocky Juarez who lived in Nevada he worked as a broker and scammed hundreds of thousands from people is this the same guy? His never had to pay for scamming money from people by selling houses using other peoples social

Anonymous said...

5:36 ..

You do know that the trevino brothers themselves are snitches right? They have D.E.A and ice handlers out of Laredo. Its a wink and a nod kept secret everyone in border protection in that area knows about.

Anonymous said...

Why does the media refer to people that testify against the cartel or any kind of organized crime as "snitches". I understand why the cartels would call them snitches. I don't get why the media does.

Anonymous said...

This article is bullshit if he would have hit 42 nothing would have saved him at that moment

Anonymous said...

D.E.A. Is fucking garbage and this story doesn't do shit for anyone. They usually let seizures and arrests go to local enforcment, so they don't find out DEA is involved? Yeah think that cat was just shot in the bag and buried with all 8 of its other lives in a grave pit. Point is DEA has been bullshit since its inception, its not an intelligence or even a tactical unit. They just go from one low level street punk and hope this one glimpse of hope leads to a bust. To having every Zeta bitch wife & supporters head on my fucking wall like the animals they are. Spare the cowards, soomeone must live to pass on the story not to fuck with R.F.S.

Mexico Monarch Fabius Maximus.

Anonymous said...

"Of course 40 not a good guy,but that is the world he work in,with the snitch working in that world to.Paid informants?Is there anything lower than that." You in the cartel? You must be, if you think a(very deserved) paid informant getting these scumbags arrested and preventing murders and drugs is the lowest thing you've heard of.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the personal that this story is bs and how u.s goverment is a joke. And they say that mexico goverment is corrupt and not the us.

Anonymous said...

This a good story except for this.

Enraged he got his hands on a baseball bat and hit Omar Treviño Morales.
“They broke two baseball bats, broke me to pieces.”
Omar Treviño Morales stood over the informant, pulling back the slide on his pistol to show the bullet that would kill him, he testified, when another Zeta boss named Ivan “El Taliban” Caballero Velasquez intervened.

That was fantasy.

Anonymous said...

This snitch should be a national hero.!!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if the informant's (not "snitch") story is true or false, if he's a hero or a zero, any news of Zetas (or any member of another Cartel) falling to the hands of law enforcement is good news to me and to every justice loving individual...

Anonymous said...

Look Ma! they bustin a crack house full of women!

Anonymous said...

There is a lot more law abiding,never done anything wrong in their lives readers on here,than i thought.If you work in this kind of world,there is nothing lower than a snitch.Imagine someone living next door to you,calling the police on your ass every time they could smell ganga,someone at work snitching to the boss,cause you came in late,and they do exactly the same thing.You all know what we mean.Do you people think Sammy Gravano got a good deal?The dirty little fuckin mutt.I dont give a fuck about the cartels,and who you people cheer on.A snitch is a snitch,someone you work with,gets you caught or a friend caught.Do you people even know that the police are the worst liars of anyone.Lazy,arrogant,cowardly,we need police,ok i understand that,but why do they all have to mutts.Man you people live in a different world to me.

Anonymous said...

Fucking DEA is one of the cartels! I'd like to kill every one of those motherfuckers along with the Zetas they protect. FUCKING DIE, DEA!

Tv Miller said...

The ignorance in this, is the failure to circumvent with deliberateness. Why give rise to lethargic clandestine attacks when brute, sweeping control over regions would be absolute resolution? Cloak and dagger is fine for evil villains but an entire nation swept up in violence, I doubt a CIA/DEA op will subdue the next 1,000 murders. We don't need snitches to coddle from their previous ills, we need sincere military junta.

Anonymous said...

@5:19 yeah the US govt is corrupt, it's a joke, it's just as bad OR WORSE than Mexico. That's why millions of Mexicans abandon their own country to live and work in the US. When they earn US citizenship they act like they won the fucking lottery. That's why millions of citizens of every other country in the fucking world will do ANYTHING just to gain entry to the US and they will lie, cheat and steal to stay in the US.

You and your country and your mother and your family are pieces of dogshit. Eat shit and die.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:36 do you know anything or do you just say stupid things for fun? You must be mentally retarded.

Anonymous said...

Only 1000 lbs of weed? They probably move much, much more than that. Rocky (if he really exists), and his entire family are walking dead people since the zetas play for keeps.

Anonymous said...

The informant is a fucking lier man, Joaquín Gallegos got beat up on camera with a bats and then he got killed, there is no way that someone will break a bat on you and you will be able to move after that. here you can see the video of Joaquín Gallegos torture and execution.

http://www.notaroja.mundonarco.com/2012/01/video-en-donde-la-linea-de-juarez.html

Anonymous said...

Cause even the damn media knows wat an informant really is.... A "SNITCH".. Puro pinche relajes!

Anonymous said...

Somebody is going to be punished...

Anonymous said...

@11:58

I've seen Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds break a baseball bat over their thigh or knee. It seems possible if this informant guy was fully buffed. These guys do a nickel in the state joint and there's nothing to do but push iron. Some of 'em come out pretty tough and hard.

I don't care what the guy's motives are as long as he helps bring down some bad guys. Any one of these assholes would snitch off their granny if it served their purpose of the moment. There is nothing gallant or noble about narcos.

So you hate the DEA and think they are crooked, well, take a fucking number all you punks that love to hate the DEA and the FBI because they don't play by the rules. They play by their rules - just like you.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much turn out there will be for jury duty when the Zetas and other cartels start putting the heat on people who are serving on the jury???

Anonymous said...

Does people here believe its the truth about rocky ? Does it sound like somebody in laredo?

Anonymous said...

Hell No!

Anonymous said...

They killed someone in laredo. And they saw 3 persons with ski mask running. Do you think zetas are in laredo or do you think he was killed by a prison gang?

Anonymous said...

you need to have somebody in the inside to control jury panel, Duh

Anonymous said...

you think jury intimidation is impossible in any south Texas shithole? from Brownsville to Laredo?..duh

Anonymous said...

DEA under its director Michelle Leonhart and deputy director Thomas Harrigan is in its worst period. Both have had mediocre careers at best and are total lightweights. Go to youtube and punch in Michelle Leonhart and see the video when she testified before a congressional committee regarding marijuana. She was more than pathetic.

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