Around 8:30 PM on Monday, December 22, 36 year old Irma Esparza Rivera was shot to death on Ocampo street, across the street from the bus station, in Ciudad Acuña. Witnesses report a vehicle passing by shot at her as she was outside the restaurant. She was hit by four bullets in her body and managed to make it into the building, where she died. Moments later, a 25 year old male was shot to death in Capistrano colonia. La Jornada reports that, according to state officials, both individuals were immigrant smugglers.
That same night, based upon an anonymous tip, Marines searched a location on Calle 17, in the Ampliación Morelos colonia of Saltillo, located on the eastern side of the city, near the Sierra of Zapalinamé. There they found five burned bodies that were buried in two clandestine graves located within yards of each other. Though no connection was reported, it is worth mentioning that on December 18 a body was found buried at a residence in the Jardines Coloniales colonia of Saltillo. Members of a Gulf Cartel kidnapping cell were arrested in connection with that finding.
On Tuesday, December 23, the Group of Specialed Arms and Tactics (Grupo de Armas y Tácticas Especiale, known as GATES), while on routine patrol, noticed a speeding Chevrolet Silverado with Texas license plates on the Manuel Pérez Treviño bypass in the Guillén colonia of Piedras Negras. As they attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver attempted to flee, but the police were able to stop the vehicle on República boulevard in the Tecnológico colonia. Upon inspecting the vehicle, the police found an AK-47 which was loaded with an ammunition clip containing twenty-four rounds, three other ammunition clips with thirty rounds, as well as packets of cocaine and marijuana. The driver of the vehicle, 33 year old Salvador Ríos Núñez, a Mexican citizen living in the Guadalupe subdivision of Piedras Negras who also holds United States citizenship and owns a home in Eagle Pass, Texas, was arrested and confessed to being a financial operator for Los Zetas.