Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

US Feds Arrest Tamps State Police Commander, Has Ties to CDG

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 |

Jared Taylor for The Monitor

McALLEN — Federal authorities arrested a Tamaulipas State Police commander and cousin of the state's former governor on federal drug charges filed in the District of Columbia.
Gilberto Lerma Plata
Gilberto Lerma Plata, 50, was arrested as he attempted to cross the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge late Friday night, a former federal agent confirmed Tuesday.  Lerma, who has U.S. citizenship, is not formally tied to any Mexican drug cartel in a federal indictment unsealed Monday. But he reportedly has had ties to the Gulf Cartel at least since 2002, when a Mexican newspaper quoted Mexican intelligence reports that stated he provided criminals with information on police movements.
Lerma had been serving as the Tamaulipas State Police commander in Miguel Alemán, across the Rio Grande from Roma, upon his arrest, the former agent said. Lerma previously served in the same capacity in Reynosa.
(Manuel Cavazos below)
Lerma is the cousin of former Tamaulipas governor Manuel Cavazos Lerma, an Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, politician who served from 1993 to 1999 and candidate for senator from Tamaulipas in Mexico's upcoming federal elections.
Lerma joined the Tamaulipas State Police after his cousin was first elected governor in the state.
An indictment unsealed Monday accuses Lerma of conspiring to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana between Mexico and the United States since 2006.
Agents arrested Lerma as he attempted to cross into the United States to visit his family, which lives in the Rio Grande Valley, the former agent said.
“This is very surprising,” he said of Lerma’s arrest. “I’m hoping it’s not true.”
The indictment was filed under seal in federal court in the District of Columbia in May 2011. In the document, prosecutors state they will seek at least $1 million in drug proceeds that Lerma allegedly collected.

Lerma remains in federal custody. He is set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby at a hearing in federal court in McAllen on Thursday.
The case was investigated by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration based in Houston.
Rubén Darío Ríos López, a spokesman with the Tamaulipas attorney general's office, said he had no information about Lerma's arrest.
Spokeswomen for the Justice Department and DEA would not shed further details on the case beyond what already has been unveiled in federal court.
Noe Garza Jr., the Brownsville-based attorney representing Lerma, declined to comment.
A 2002 report in El Universal newspaper said named Lerma as a Gulf Cartel member who used his police ties to provide information on police movements against the cartel. The report outlined how Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the former Gulf Cartel leader now serving a federal prison sentence in the U.S., had direct contact with commanders of state and federal law enforcement in many of Tamaulipas’ major municipalities.
Lerma's arrest comes less than two months after another person linked to a former Tamaulipas governor has been the focus of a federal investigation in the United States.
Federal authorities arrested Antonio Peña Arguelles in February in Laredo. In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in San Antonio, Peña is accused of funneling cash from the Zetas drug cartel to former Tamaulipas governor Tomas Yarrington, a PRI member who served from 1999 to 2004.
Yarrington has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing or ties to drug cartels.
But two arrests involving men with close ties to former Tamaulipas governors — and high-profile members of the PRI — may raise suspicion of possible political motivation regarding the timing of the arrests.
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor of government at the University of Texas-Brownsville who focuses on Mexican politics, said some may see the arrests as politically motivated.
But Correa-Cabrera said she does not necessarily believe the recent arrests are an effort by the U.S. government to shine a favorable light on the National Action Party.
The PAN has held onto Mexico’s presidency since 2000, when it ended seven decades of continuous rule by the PRI. Ahead of the upcoming election, the party of President Felipe Calderón is trailing the PRI in national polls.
She pointed to PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto’s public assertion that he would not shy away from keeping military troops deployed to patrol cities with corrupt police.
“It will have electoral consequences and electoral motivation,” Correa-Cabrea said. “However, I’m not sure the U.S. government is doing this in order to support the PAN in the election.
“The basic interest of the U.S. in Mexico is border security — it’s securing the border. The U.S. does not have any other type of political motivation in Mexico.”

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19 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish that the USA did have POLITICAL MOTIVES and was trying to keep the PRI out of the Presidency, but there again it looks like a lot of Mexicans support PRI, what that means about Mexicans? jury still out! Mexicans like the drug Money and will not give it up, ignorant,you bet, but it is what it is!

"lito"brito said...

well now we know who our govt (USA) is siding with ..the filthy Z..

i wish ..just one time we were on the right side...

looks like the US govt is gonna back nieto for pres

Anonymous said...

"lito"brito said...
"well now we know who our govt (USA) is siding with ..the filthy Z"
I have read some of your post's on here,and i actually thought you were not a complete idiot.
But that statement right there proves me wrong.
So the US,is in bed with the Z ?
Do you realize how pathetic and ridiculous that sounds.Are they making deals with The Lazca,40,The 50,Omar?Does it sink in yet?
Armchair tacticians,who never done any crime in their life,or violence,but they are experts?

Anonymous said...

fuck corruption in all levels.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see them cracking down on these animals. They are the cause of what is happening in Mexico, without their help the bad guys would be nothing!
This is not political, although the PRI would like you to believe so.

Anonymous said...

even i know CDS sleeps with the US and I dont know much but I do know that the Sinaloa traffics info to US which pound for pound is the most profitable of all items in regards to illegal smuggling along MEX/US border that is how they will outlast ole Felipe

CartelDeWero

Anonymous said...

"Armchair tacticians,who never done any crime in their life,or violence,but they are experts?"

LOL...

Thats true!!! Everyone here thinks they're gonna get a call from homeland security and offered a job. Or like the cartels are gonna get their feelings hurt because someone here called them "scumbags" and "evil"...

LOL...

Anonymous said...

The cartels own or influence the mexican media. So of course the people support PRI. PRI is the cartel party and the media agrees.

I my humble opinion. Granted I am not talking 100% of the media is controlled. You don't have to have 100% control, you only need to control just as much as you need.

Anonymous said...

Your comment assumes you have to choose one side or the other. Besides, there might just be more then one side, right? :-)

Anonymous said...

You look at Giberto and Manny's Face and then
Try and Tell Me that their Crooked and are in
with the Cartels??? No Way, their just a couple of Honest politicos and State Cops, making an honest living "Matamoros Style"!!! Like it don't happen in the States..!! Ya Right!!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally 100% agree with that.

The problem is that statement does not bring the question of just how much corruption is on any specific level and what those levels just might be.

Usually (or at least often) people on here just lump everyone of a level together. Or they just lump everyone. Meaning the ATF is corrupt(a possible level) or the entire USA is corrupt (the government). Some will go as far as that all levels of government and all of its people are corrupt.

To me all of this is a view of ignorance brought on by a human quality of feeling some how everything is black and white.

I think it's up to individuals in any level who have no power or anyone up to positions of power who can be greedy and will line their pockets because they live in a world where we humans feel such pressures of being wealthy that we often stab each other in the backs for this greed.

The people who are corrupt in positions of power often cross over into other levels and spread their influence there.

I could go on but people don't think deep enough.

~Peace

Anonymous said...

@1:23 What are you talking about? No one here thinks they'll be approached by Homeland Security and offered a job just because they comment on BB. Get real. Who would want it anyway? And 80% of media is owned- Bye-Bye - phones ringing MSNBC is on the line with that job offer.

Anonymous said...

This is the best comment here. And the only one telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

Drug cartels are nothing but modern day bootleggers.

If "drugs" were legal in the USA, there would be no drug cartels and no killings. Mexican government corruption would be benign and unimportant.

This "drug war" is destroying Mexico in more ways than Mexicans can now actualize.

Anonymous said...

Like the great George Carlin said:
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of them are stupider then that"

~Peace

Anonymous said...

These people should be executed for treason. Imagine they send government employees to their death, their own people then act innocent. what kind of people are they. And this is black and white. they are animals

Anonymous said...

A state commander might make $50,000 a year. A governor might make oh, $125,000 a year (just a guess). But both can make $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 if they play ball. And if they don't, they probably will die. Now given the opportunity, what would you do? I know what I would do. And look at the lifestyles of the governors across Mexico. Are they surviving on $125,000 peanuts? No, none of them. They all work for cartels just as the senators, generals, mayors and police chiefs do. It's time for the PRI to come back to restore cartel peace and reinvest in Mexico's business and tourism. This gimmick war is war old.

Anonymous said...

Faltan mas comandantes por caer

Anonymous said...

It happens....peer pressure gives in to obvious logical conclusions and laws affecting the drug trade are modified and scrapped. Someone just might offer you a job in the trade and then what would you do? Stay in Jail????

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