Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Reforma article
[Article subject: Weapon Smuggling, Los Zetas
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]
The criminal organisation of Los Zetas had a Municipal Functionary of Coahuila as one of their best sources of night vision goggles, magazines for assault rifles, scopes and ammunition.
Oliver Bres Carranza, who was Boss of special programmes, Directorate of Planning, Zoning and Public Works of the Municipality of Piedras Negras is currently serving a prison sentence in Texas for smuggling weapons to the criminal group.
An investigation by the Department of Internal Security, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), of the United States located Bres as an intermediary of Celso Martinez Perez "El Celso", operator of Omar Trevino Morales "El Z-42", to acquire weapons on the frontier of Coahuila.
The investigation indicates that the former official was mainly an accomplice of Erik Alan Garza, a Texan of 28 years old, who used the home of his mother in an Eagle Pass Mall to collect weapons and send them to Mexico.
Bres Carranza and Garza coordinated the purchase of much of these articles, from a Gun Shop in Eagle Pass, Texas. The investigation revealed that one of the times that Garza and Bres Carranza obtained these articles, they gave these articles to members of Los Zetas Cartel, says the record DR12-CR-960 of the Federal Court of the Western District of Texas.
Bres was detained on 6th of June 2013 and in October following he was declared guilty of the charge of firearm contraband, and on 19th of March of 2014 was condemned to 51 months in prison and three years of probation.
For the US agencies and Prosecutors office, it took more than two years building the case with Bres and their involvement in the transfer of weapons to Los Zetas.
The investigations started with a simple review to the accounts of a sale of weapons in Vermont, five years ago.
The clue: an invoice
Richard Grafkowski, an agent of Homeland Security Investigation, HSI, carried out tax checks on the shops selling arms. After five years, when he was revising the sales of Dragonfly Outfitters LLC, a company from Williston, Vermont, with a company name of Scope and More, he found an invoice that piqued his curiosity.
The invoice date of 19th of July 2010, had a name of Robert Hasbun Jr. and it accounted for the purchase of 10 night vision goggles and a pair of thermal goggles, for $31,606. Hasbun had his own gun shop on the border with Mexico.
For Homeland Security, the date was sufficient to intervene legally on the server of the company internet and access to its emails.
An email revealed that on the 19th of July of 2010 Hasbun, asked the sales manager of Scopes and More to send the order of goggles and glasses to the companies local Master Parcel Service, in the commercial centre of Las Aguiles, in Eagle Pass, Texas.
From this moment, the HSI following up on emails from Hasbun Jr., his brother Christian who both received email from a Hotmail address, from Mexico, ordering armaments.
As of January 18th 2011 the HSI knew that Hunting Group LLC, a company of Roberto Hasbun Jr., was going to deliver 4500 magazines for assault rifles to the warehouse of Hesles Gun and Knife, in Eagle Pass, the city opposite Piedras Negras.
On the same day, agents of HSI staked out the establishment of Hesles and observed the arrival of a Ford 150, grey colored, a youngster that later would be identified as Erik alan Garza.
Who made the orders to their suppliers, from the Hotmail address, was Oliver Bres Carranza, official of the Directorate of planning, town planning and public works of Piedras Negras.
Original article in Spanish at Reforma (may require subscription)