Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Texas Gas Drilling: New Energy Roads Help Narcos Bypass Border Stops

Monday, July 16, 2012 |

Borderland Beat

Gas drilling is a boom for traffickers too....Paz, Chivis

The road where the drugs were found was one of many that have been leased to energy companies.
/ U.S. Border Patrol
Energy companies boring into the depths of South Texas in the multibillion-dollar hunt for natural gas and oil are opening a growing fissure in U.S.-Mexico border security as they build hundreds of miles of private back roads and an uncharted pipeline to America for drug traffickers.
Hefty roads running through once-remote ranchlands now enable loaded-down tractor-trailers and pickups to avoid Border Patrol highway checkpoints that have long been the last line of defense for stopping all traffic headed farther into the United States.
Traffickers are seeking to use the southwest-most stretches of the massive Eagle Ford shale formation, which stretches from Mexico all the way to East Texas, to their advantage by trying to corrupt truck drivers, contractors and gate personnel. Authorities also speculate that they are trying to make "cloned" copies of legitimate trucks and use contractor-like vehicles to avoid standing out among fleets of oil-field service vehicles working for energy companies. In some cases, vehicles have been stolen and believed to have been used by smugglers.
"They are using those roads to transport drugs, guns, ammo, you name it," said Albert DeLeon, chief deputy of the Dimmit County sheriff's office.
White House warned
The South Texas High Intensity Drug Traffic Area, a coalition of state and federal law enforcement agencies, sent a threat assessment to the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House in June warning that the shale boom is enabling traffickers to bypass so-called choke points, where the Border Patrol has traditionally been able to stop and question all traffic on highways leading from the border region.
"Our biggest concern is how law enforcement is going to attack the threat. We cannot move Border Patrol checkpoints into those positions," said Tony Garcia, director for the South Texas HIDTA. "It is pretty much up to your imagination what they could be moving through there. ... It is a bit of a dicey situation for us to deal with. We are putting our heads together."
For energy companies, the roads are critical to moving heavy drilling and related equipment in and out of the ranchlands where the work is done.
"Once they get past the checkpoints, they are pretty much free," said Javier Pena, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Houston division, which includes San Antonio and reaches to the Mexican border.
"It is very much on our radar," Pena said of smugglers. "We have been gearing up for it."
He declined to discuss the use of sensors, cameras or other tactics to monitor possible narcotics routes. Authorities also suspect that gate guards, drivers or other workers might succumb to bribes.
"There will be employees who think they can make a quick thousand or 15 or 20 thousand (dollars)," Pena said. "Once money is involved, someone will always go for it."



Traffickers avoid highway check points by usig leased energy roads
Drugs intercepted
On a weekday morning in early March, 18,665 pounds of marijuana were caught being smuggled aboard two trucks, one a flatbed, the other a tanker truck driving through the Briscoe Ranch on a road that circumvents a Border Patrol checkpoint.
They were on a private road leased to energy companies and carrying what looked like supplies typically used in oil field operations but were instead loaded with marijuana. The two trucks yielded the most pot ever caught in one day by the Border Patrol's Del Rio Sector.
One of the truck drivers, who was not an employee of the energy industry, later admitted to agents that he was to be paid $7,500 to deliver the load, according to an affidavit at the federal courthouse in Del Rio.
Other big South Texas catches came in July last year when Border Patrol agents stopped a bogus oil field truck carrying 1,373 pounds of marijuana, and in June when they found 3,529 pounds of the drug stashed in a truck driven by an energy company worker.
Robert Fuentes, agent in charge of the Border Patrol station in Carrizo Springs, said agents are working to educate energy companies and employees on possible encounters with drug traffickers or undocumented immigrants.
"They are our eyes and ears out there," he said. "They are in the middle of no place."
Deb Hastings, executive vice president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, serves on a council that advises Texas' governor on ways to coordinate the needs of the private sector with those of security.
"Safety and security are top priorities for oil and gas operators in Texas," Hastings said in a prepared statement.
But the explosion of activity also has brought new economic prosperity.
"It has been incredible, hundreds of jobs have been created," said Webb County Judge Danny Valdez, whose county spans 3,360 square miles and borders three Mexican states. "As a county, we depend on these revenues, we welcome it."
At the same time, he conceded that law enforcement in his county is already stretched.
 
"Webb County is a vast land," he said. "We need to find a way to work together."
Source: Houston Chron

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19 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess you guys just showed us why the zeta cartel is still fighting so strong. These are their stomping grounds. I hate to say it but previous posts may be right about cds becoming extinct. Good bye chinolas it's chapos fault for calling so much attention and trying to chew more than he can swallow

Anonymous said...

Hahaha welcome to texas!!

Anonymous said...

It's called Google Earth. Buy the seevice and you can access weekly satalite pictures and even request certain images. I'm going to assume these guys figured this out already and are at least as smart as my five year old.

Anonymous said...

Briscoe Ranch is located in Carrizo Springs/Laredo not Del Rio.

Anonymous said...

You see cartels always evolve meaning you will never stop it but fighting the cartels is better than not doing anything.

Anonymous said...

Deep south texas is notorious for big load of marijuana especially in starr county. Cloned vehicle isnt anything new these guys come up with crazy ideas to try to be a step ahead of law enforcement, but they are always ready to battle whatever comes thier way. Those trailers got caught awhile back cause the drivers fucked up.

Anonymous said...

Poor zeta its not the zetas brining drugs thru Laredo . It's CDS . Zetas are dying of hunger ask anyone in Laredo also no One wants to buy their wet pot

Anonymous said...

Leave it to big oil to fuck us once again...

Anonymous said...

$$$$$$$$$$

Elizabeth Todd Burns said...

Here is video tour of ExxonMobil's security at the entrance to the paved roads on our ranch that go around both the Falfurrias and Hebbronville checkpoints...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsXT__NoTEk

Anonymous said...

They always goin to fine a way pass the drug like they say we are goin to build a fence to stap illegal immagrants and what happen we still coming inn

Anonymous said...

breaking news. supplying the zetas!
krgv news
Concerned Store Owner Looking for Public's Help in Gun Theft Case


Posted: Jul 16, 2012 6:10 PM

Updated: Jul 16, 2012 6:35 PM

MISSION - A Mission store owner is concerned for the community after thieves stole two dozen weapons.

"We have 24 handguns, one long gun out there, in the wrong hands," said the store owner, who didn't want to show his face on camera.

Police released surveillance footage from the Southwest Hay and Feed.

"They seemed like they knew what they were doing. They knew what they wanted," said...

The group appears well coordinated and determined. After trying unsuccessfully to get in through the roof and an office window, they turned to a commercial truck parked on the property. The group cleared a path and the driver tore through the outer barn door.

Once inside the warehouse, a fifth suspect jumped into a pickup truck. They rammed another door, triggering the burglar alarm.

The cameras didn't capture the moment all five thieves fled with a small arsenal of weapons.

The store owner said his guns can be replaced, but a sense of security isn't as easy to get back.

"It's not just a story. This is a real need for the public to come forward and help us out in solving this case in order to safeguard everybody. Because we are for safety and we are for the community," said the store owner.

The store owner and police are hoping the video will provide leads in the investigation.

Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said the weapons are already in a state and national database for stolen weapons. Valley bridges are on alert, as are police officers.
http://www.krgv.com/news/concerned-store-owner-looking-for-public-s-help-in-gun-theft-case

Anonymous said...

ETB you are the bomb! when i see all kinds of posters here on BB it is rare that you see anyone doing anything more than lip service.
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
It was born in Burke's speech of 23 April 1770, "Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents," delivered to the House of Commons.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely No reason this is taking place. The U.S. government has the means and the responsibility to put a stop to this. As soon as we get rid of Holder and Napaletono, and Get an administration in office who believes the Border should be defended, this will stop. We have a trained military and national guard who are returning home and need jobs. It is time to use them along with all the technology and fire power available to stop this invasion. The American people are finally becoming aware of the danger on our borders. The Media and the Government has been silent for too long about this problem. It will not happen over night but It Will Stop. America is Not Mexico, the people will Not tolerate this invasion for long.

Anonymous said...

Recently, someone I know was chased down doing 100 miles per hour in the middle of no where. My point is, that people are too affraid to say anything. We need military. The guy who got chased down quit his job. It wasn't worth the risk. And let's not forget to mention people who have been shot & their rig welders stolen.

Anonymous said...

The lady is right, but boy can she talk! I don't think she even stopped to take a breathing break.

Anonymous said...

Fucking Zetas are lacras... They are suppose to be Narcos stick to dealing drugs and leave the people alone. Do the pueblo a favor and kill each other

Anonymous said...

Theres the Nueces strip, and theres another narco crossing road from san jose ranch to indio Tx they use the energy company private oil rigs road to carrizo avoiding imigration check point, theres another narco crossing in laredo the camino del real old san antonio road.

visit said...

Helpful information, thanks for sharing such a great post!

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