Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

U.S., Mexico team up for murder trial

Thursday, January 26, 2012 |

By Gary Martin/San Antonio Express News
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/state/article/U-S-Mexico-team-up-for-murder-trial-2691871.php#photo-2167083


Soldiers escorted Julian Zapata Espinoza (third from left) during a presentation of detainees for the media in Mexico City eight days after Jaime Zapata was killed last February.Photo: Associated Press, Miguel Tovar / AP


WASHINGTON — A federal judge signaled Wednesday that he would allow Mexico and U.S. prosecutors to team up in the trial of a Mexican drug cartel member accused of killing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata.

It was the first time that Julian Zapata Espinoza, known as “El Piolín” or “Tweety Bird,” has appeared in U.S. court since he was arraigned in December.

U.S. Chief Judge Royce Lamberth warned that even though he would waive provisions for a speedy trial because of its complex nature, prosecutors from both governments would need to move expeditiously regardless of sovereignty issues.

“We can send them right back to their sovereignty if they do not want to cooperate with us,” Lamberth said.

Justice Department lawyer Michael DiLorenzo asked the judge to designate the case complex and give more time to the prosecution to receive ballistics reports, crime scene reports and documents from agencies in Mexico where the crime occurred.

Lamberth said he would likely rule in favor of the request over the objections by court-appointed defense lawyer Ron Earnest.Zapata Espinoza, sporting a goatee and close-cropped hair, was in the courtroom wearing an orange District of Columbia jail jumpsuit.

He remained motionless during the proceedings.

“He's a little surprised. He's disoriented. He's not familiar with the American system of justice,” Earnest said.

Lamberth set another hearing date of April 25. A trial in the case is not expected until later this year.

A federal grand jury in Washington returned a sealed indictment last April charging Zapata Espinoza with the murder of Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE special agent Victor Avila.

Zapata Espinoza also is charged with murder and attempted murder of internationally protected persons and using a firearm during the crimes.

The indictments were opened when Zapata Espinoza was extradited from Mexico in December to face the charges in U.S. district court.

He is being held without bail.

Agent Zapata, 32, of Brownsville was gunned down Feb. 15.

Zapata and Avila were consultants working with the Mexican government and traveling between Mexico City and Monterrey, near San Luis Potosí, when they were ambushed by a group of armed men.

Mexican and U.S. officials said the ambush was carried out by Los Zetas, one of the major criminal drug cartels operating in Mexico.

Ballistics and crime scene reports, as well as analysis, is part of the information Justice Department lawyers want to see before the next hearing.

“We continue to work with our partners south of the border to obtain additional documents,” DiLorenzo told the judge.

Zapata Espinoza has confessed to the shooting death of agent Zapata to Mexican authorities.

The National Defense Secretariat of Mexico said five other Los Zetas cartel members also were arrested in connection with the ambush.

Earnest said that even with indictments, he expects Zapata Espinoza to be tried alone on the charges he faces.

The death of Zapata and the attempted killing of Avila became an international incident that was discussed between President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón during a state visit last year.

Calderón and Mexican officials worked with the Justice Department, FBI, ICE, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other U.S. agencies on the investigation.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, officials estimate that as many as 47,000 people have been killed in the drug wars since Calderón ordered a crackdown nearly six years ago.

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41 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Give him the death penalty

Anonymous said...

Put this pice of shit in the underground max and throw away the key, no good rotten scum of the earth!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting...both U.S. & Mexico teaming together for this trial. This situation generates a lot of additional questions...

"Tweety Bird" will soon get familiar with the U.S. Justice system & depending on where he is tried & convicted he “WILL NOT” be escaping a U.S. prison as he could in Mexico. Also some U.S. states have the death penalty...

. said...

When the U.S.A. Cracks The Whip, Mexico Responds.

Anonymous said...

He will get a reduction in pay and a demotion in rank.

Anonymous said...

@1:11 am, Mexico only extradites criminals if the US agrees not to seek the death penalty, so hes looking at a life sentence. In my opinion Mexico needs to change that stupid law and seek the death penalty them selfs for all these low life scum. Make there ass think twice about commiting all these terrible crimes agaist society, goverment and if they wan't to off them selfs that's just fine by me and I think most people would agree with that.

Anonymous said...

Look for the story about Rocky Juarez informant or snitch. Its very good

Anonymous said...

Electric chair

Anonymous said...

He won't be getting death in the federal system. This is all for show. We know he is going to jail. All it does is point out the incompetence of the Mexican government, as if murdering an American is much more serious than murdering a Mexican. Mexicans deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Release him to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

A federal Prison or a Mexican Prison....We might be doing him a favor lol

Anonymous said...

Of course, he's the guy! With Mexican Sherlock Holmes investigative techniques and torture, Tweety Bird sang a full confession. He also tweeted where Jimmy Hoffa's body is buried!
tweet! tweet!

Anonymous said...

"scapegoat". this guy probably wasnt even there. in mexico it is common for the rich to pay the poor to take there place in prison, they pay them some money so they can feed their family or maybe they just told him "do it or die or will call all ur family." and the real killer is still in mexico running the game. but who cares if he did it or not as long as mexico sent the US a patsy so we can look like we always get our man. what a joke.

Anonymous said...

yeah put this Pice of shit underground idiot

Anonymous said...

they make a good team one traffics the other snorts

Anonymous said...

In the southern state of Oaxaca,"El Mosco"is captured,he is believed to be the second most important operater for the Beltran Leyva Cartel or CPS."El Buda" the most important operater in that state for that organization is still out there.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that they would give him the death penalty. Mexico does not have have the death penalty and will not extradite someone if prosecutors were going to pursue the death penalty. Besides a lifetime in solitary confinment sounds like a worse penalty anyway. Lock him up and throw away the key. One zeta free is one too many. Hope they get them all! Puro zacatecas durango y sinaloa!!!

Siskiyou_Kid said...

It's well known that Mexico won't extradite to the United States, unless the death penalty is taken off the table.

Still, the sentence will likely be in the hundreds of years in a Supermax federal prison.

Anonymous said...

January 27, 2012 7:33 AM As far as I know a Mexican extradited from Mexico can not do more than 30 years.

Anonymous said...

i expect my local news to report next to nothing but i am surprised that BB is reporting less and less cartel news. question is why?
houston texas mass burglaries of gun stores 300 stolen.
cartel kidnap crew traveling from one texas ranch to another with long rifles bullet proof vests and hand-grenades on rout to committing a kidnapping and to top it all off the guy they were after wasn't home so they took his cousin who has never been seen since.
ranchers switching from side arms to long arms due to the escalation of violence toward ranchers and landowners. and on and on...

Anonymous said...

Chivis can you do an article on the people arrested in San Diego? I might know 4 or 5. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

January 27, 2012 7:58 PM Also all the drug bust happening in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Shooting in nuevo laredo they killed zetas and el kemado

Anonymous said...

Grammar police pussy stfu

Anonymous said...

36 zetas killed by military in nuevo laredo today

J said...

I want to see the indictments and criminal complaints for the San Diego Mexican Mafia crackdown, if anyone has access to pacer or one of those court doc sites, help us out.

To the person who said they might know them, this is the best information I found, with all the names, but it doesn't give a very good picture of the organization, I hate that the media does such a trivial job reporting this stuff. It's just there and then it's gone. heres the link

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Euhs4cNzEIAJ:www.atf.gov/press/releases/2012/01/0112512-two-mexican-mafia-members-and-117-san-diego-county-street-gang-members.pdf+Operation+Carnailismo+atf&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

If doesn't work, google 'Operation Carnalismo atf', it's the first one.

Anonymous said...

even though they have no death penalty the good ol estados unidos mexicanos is so corrupt that for a few pesos this guy can be shot on the side of a road during a transport if he ever gets court in mexico. Fam of zapata should start a collection to waste this piece of shit

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the spillover violence gets reported as cartel or gangbangers, im sure alot of the street shootings in the states can be tied to drug buisness from mex, the little cholos fightin for a little piece of turf can probably be traced to the drug package of origan I.e. zeta, sinaloa, golfo. The war is already in our front yards

Anonymous said...

Your not in Mexico anymore lowlife. American justice will ensure you never experience freedom again. Rot in jail!

Anonymous said...

BB should do a report on the Mexican mafia and gang members arrested in San Diego, it hasn't been reported but I know this group of people were link to the Arellanos and to La Familia Michoacana, thats were they will buy their crystal meth and they will bring it across the border in sand rails and on a 27 foot boat, if anyone want it to sell drugs the will have to buy from them or else they will get you arrested. I decided not to work for them because they were involved in credit card fraud identity theft and many other crimes, I was working on my own and they didn't like it. They set me up, I was arrested, immigration confiscated my green card and I was deported. After my arrest they went to my house and stole all the silver, gold, diamonds, expensive watches, expensive clothing, shoes and my electronics.
I'm happy to see is them getting fucked now.

Anonymous said...

That is not true, I have a second cousin doing 429 years.

Anonymous said...

January 28, 2012 4:41 AM Understand this, if you are a Mexican national and you get arrested in the U.S. they can give you as many years as they want, and they can even give you the death penalty. But if you are a Mexican national extradited from Mexico, you can not get more than 30 years and you can not get the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

@J thank you for the link, the people I was looking for were working for Salvador Colabella, they were bringing Meth from Tijuana to San Diego and other places like L.A, Las Vegas, and Seattle Washington. I read the list and they are not there, for sure now they will move up in the ladder.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! It was hell in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas yesterday afternoon. The Mexican Soldiers and Marines did an outstanding job at the Colonia Viveros neighborhood. More than 30 zetas were killed by the Armed Forces, thank God none of our soldiers got killed or wounded. There was ground combat with the support of attack helicopters. Kudos to the Mexican Military! God bless them!

Anonymous said...

This scumbag is just another "Stupid Wannabe" who was told by his Z Boss's if you don't turn yourself in and take the heat for this B.S. w'ell kill everyone in your family and your dog!
Same thing happened with tha BS back in the 90's when the Cardinal got wacked by the AFO at
the Guardalhara Airport. They told those Logan
punks from San Diego, someones gotta pay and it
gonna be us baby!

Anonymous said...

Anyway .. mexico wont extradite them if they gonna press for death penalty ..idiot

Anonymous said...

It's laughable to even imagine that these uneducated scoundrels think they can tango with the long arm of the US law. Put your machisimo aside next time you come across a US Agent unless of course you want to end up dead or in an 8x10.

Anonymous said...

@ January 28, 2012 3:21 AM .Sometimes its hard to be a one man band,the more money,the more problems,especially in this game.I would keep it low,no cars,no gold,nothing like that.Jealousy will get you murked,or your house popped.Anyway,dude stay down,and fuck them jealous haters,at least you get off your ass to do it.You and i know it aint easy.Fools who know nothing about it,believe what the tv and police tell them.Its easy money?Fuck outta here.

Anonymous said...

GULF V. ZETAS
The sources said the Gulf Cartel has received significant reinforcements from an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel — a strike group known as Cartel Gente Nueva de Jalisco.Despite having been enemies in the past, the two sides joined forces to fight the Zetas. The sources said that with the Gulf Cartel bolstered by the reinforcements, the fight with the Zetas will be renewed.The sources said, members of the two cartels fought side by side last week as they stopped a Zeta incursion on the highway leading to Valle Hermoso in the area known as Las Norias. More than 30 Zetas were killed, sources said. Mexican authorities have not released any information regarding the alleged confrontation and didn’t return calls for comment. Mostrar más.

Also shootouts in Nuevo Laredo, why nobody says anithing about this.

Anonymous said...

January 28, 2012 11:04 AM

Look at the Photo real close, there aint no Murrican piggies in the background.

Anonymous said...

@ anon January 28, 2012 10:02 AM,Yo,key-board warrior,I bet you would've just snitched on everything & everyone!It takes balls to turn yourself in & get tortured...perhaps not the smartest of moves,but plenty of balls!As for bashing Logan...wow,youre really brave behind that computer...pinche cobarde!

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