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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Padre Island beheaded body, a Mexican cartel and the border agent facing charges

Posted by DD republished from The Center for Investigative Reporting

DD; Borderland Beat reported on this story in November 2015 posted by Texcoco de Mora.   After months of investigation, as part of a joint year long project between the Texas Tribune and the Center for Investigative Reporting, this story focuses on law enforcement corruption and gives much more detail on the South Padre Island decapitation story.


SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – It looked like a crab trap floating in the calm waters of Laguna Madre, just off South Padre Island. At least, that’s what the man who spotted it while boating with his two daughters would tell police.

But when he poked the floating mass with a pole, he discovered otherwise. He dialed 911 and told the South Padre Island Police Department what he’d found: “a headless body floating in the bay.”
Blood still was dripping from the neck when Cameron County Sheriff’s Deputy Ulises Martinez arrived, he later would report. It looked to him like the head “had been cut off with one swift motion with a fine, sharp cutting instrument.”

The grisly discovery came at a busy time on the island. It was March 16, 2015, the frenzied start of Texas Week, when thousands of spring-breaking college students descend on Padre to guzzle from beer bongs and get rowdy. Maybe one drank too much, fell in the water and collided with the wrong end of a propeller-driven barge?

That was an early theory, but Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, with more than a half-century in law enforcement, sensed something more sinister.“We’re just across the border from Matamoros,” he said. Investigators couldn’t find the man’s head, and there were other suspicious cuts on the body. Mexican drug cartel payback often comes at the end of a fine, sharp cutting instrument, Lucio observed.

“It’s just kind of the way that they handle people,” he said. “They take revenge that way.”
Luckily, the body still had hands. Using a portable fingerprint reader from U.S. Homeland Security 

Investigations, police quickly matched the prints to Jose Francisco Palacios Paz.

Cameron County authorities allege that a criminal enterprise centered on drug trafficking was partially run out of Veteran’s Tire Shop in Edinburg, Texas. They also say it’s where Jose Francisco Palacios Paz was killed.Credit: Douglas Young for The Texas Tribune
 Before he was found naked and decapitated days after his 33rd birthday, Palacios – “Franky” to his friends – worked at Veteran’s Tire Shop in Edinburg, one county over. In no time, authorities came to suspect that tire repair wasn’t the only thing going on there. It’s where they think Franky – about to rat out a drug trafficking operation with links to the powerful Mexican Gulf Cartel – met his end.

Over the ensuing weeks, the investigation led authorities on a meandering journey through the Gulf Cartel’s internal bloodletting, featuring tales of a supposed double-crossing cartel hitman, a U.S.-born narco-turned-folk legend and a major mafia capo nicknamed “Commander Pussy” now locked up in a federal prison in Beaumont. And by last summer, they had arrested four of Franky’s tire shop associates on murder and drug trafficking charges.

With fall trials expected, authorities say they have turned up the familiar markings of mafia muscle and hardball tactics that experts have come to associate with 21st-century cartel warfare – complete with a severed head supposedly secreted off to Mexico to prove a snitch was dead.

All of which would sound familiar to anyone versed in Gulf Cartel etiquette, had it not been for one late-breaking and quite unexpected development: the alleged involvement and eventual arrest of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Allegations of a drug trafficking ring

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna confers with his attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, after his arraignment. Prosecutors are preparing to argue that Luna was an integral part of a cartel-connected drug trafficking ring that Jose Francisco Palacios Paz was going to expose.  Photo.Credit: Douglas Young for The Texas Tribune

 Joel Luna, a six-year Border Patrol veteran, was supposed to protect the country from drug trafficking and spillover violence. If the indictments are to be believed, he participated in it instead.

Dirty cops and dirty Border Patrol agents are nothing new. More than 130 officers employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been caught in alleged acts of mission-compromising corruption – often by letting drugs, undocumented immigrants or both into the country – over the past decade. While that’s a tiny fraction of the total number of agents, report after report has suggested the known cases may be the tip of the iceberg.

Still, even hardened South Texas lawmen long accustomed to cartel violence were surprised by Luna’s indictment for murder — a cartel-inspired beheading no less. How did a decorated Iraq War veteran sworn to protect the U.S. border end up in an orange jumpsuit potentially facing life in prison?

Cameron County authorities have a simple theory: Luna and his two brothers, Fernando and Eduardo, operated a criminal enterprise centered on drug trafficking, partially run out of Veteran’s Tire Shop. Franky Palacios was killed because he knew too much, they say.

All three of the Luna men, plus two others who worked at the tire shop, each have been charged on four counts, including capital murder and drug trafficking. All five defendants have pleaded not guilty and asked for jury trials in Cameron County. All are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“The Luna brothers were involved in a drug trafficking organization, and Franky was going to rat them out,” said Gus Garza, a Cameron County assistant district attorney and lead prosecutor on the case. “We believe that’s what led to his demise and to his beheading.”

Joel Luna’s South Texas lawyer, Carlos A. Garcia, said his client had nothing to do with Franky’s death and had no involvement in the drug trafficking business prosecutors are pinning on his brothers. Nor have prosecutors ever alleged that Joel was at the tire shop on the day of the murder, Garcia stressed.

“This is a case of guilt by association – or rather guilt because of his relationship to the people who were arrested (first),” Garcia said. “We believe this is a clear case of ‘you’ve got the wrong guy.’ ”

Lawyers for the other four defendants, including Joel Luna’s brothers, did not return repeated phone calls from The Texas Tribune.

Fernando Luna co-owns Veteran’s Tire Shop in Edinburg, Texas. DNA testing of stains on the walls of the tire shop office matched the blood of Jose Francisco Palacios Paz, whose headless body had been found floating off South Padre Island.Credit: Cameron County Sheriff’s Office
 It didn’t take long for investigators to place Franky at Veteran’s Tire Shop the afternoon before he apparently was killed. The Honduran national had worked there for several years and often slept on a couch in the front office.
Investigators traced him there after finding a missing person report filed on March 14 by his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Martha Sanchez, who said she hadn’t heard from Franky since Tuesday, March 10, six days before he was found. The silence was “not like him,” she told police.

Although records and interviews indicate they fought a lot, sometimes quite violently, when sheriff’s deputies told her that they’d found Franky’s headless body floating in the bay, Sanchez threw herself on the bed and began crying, according to court records.
Franky, Franky. Why?” she asked.

For weeks, homicide detectives, including an investigator from the Texas Rangers, attempted to answer that question.

According to court records, Sanchez’s 13-year-old son told investigators that he saw “stacks of dollars brought from Reynosa, Mexico” and had seen “marijuana inside (PlayStation) games at the tire shop.” The teenager also said Franky had told him “that he was a Gulf Cartel member and that they would chop off heads.” Another girlfriend said he had boasted of smuggling immigrants into Texas.

When investigators showed up at Veteran’s Tire Shop the day after the body was found, they identified at least three people who worked there: Aaron Rodriguez Medellin, 23, whom everyone called “El Guero;” Nestor Manuel Leal, 19; and Eduardo Luna, 25. The shop was co-owned by Fernando Luna, 35 – Eduardo Luna’s older brother.

The Luna brothers’ cellphones yielded clues and mysteries that, over time, would help investigators flesh out the story of Franky’s murder.

Text messages in Spanish were sent the day before Franky went missing from Fernando’s phone to Eduardo’s phone, and they alerted police to a possible motive.

“This Franky is a fucking traitor,” one of them read. Another warned that “at any moment he is going to snitch on you,” court affidavits indicate. A third, possibly garbled and using improper syntax, said Franky “is going around saying and your brother sells drugs.” The identity of the brother isn’t specified.

It’s not clear whether Fernando Luna wrote the messages or merely forwarded them to his brother.
Other clues would take longer to piece together. Why did Eduardo have photos on his phone of newspaper stories describing the 2014 capture of a man who used to be a high-ranking Gulf Cartel member known as Comandante Panochitas, or “Commander Pussy?”

Investigators also were puzzled that stored on Eduardo’s phone was a picture of an unusual gun — a “highly engraved” .38-caliber Super pistol, inscribed with the word “Pajaro,” or “bird,” on the handle, sources close to the probe said.

Surveillance camera videos from the tire business weren’t much help. There were recordings from March 9, 2015, and March 11, 2015. But everything from March 10 — the day Franky went missing — was gone.

Franky’s cellphone records, obtained by investigators, proved more useful: They showed many ingoing and outgoing calls on March 10 – especially with co-worker Medellin, who called Franky numerous times that day, a source close to the investigation said. But Franky’s phone appears to have gone dead at 4:27 p.m.

Hours after Franky quit using his phone, cellular phone records – including tower pings – indicated that Eduardo Luna and Nestor Manuel Leal drove to Port Isabel, just across the causeway from South Padre Island, and called Fernando Luna multiple times during the drive.

By early May, DNA testing of stains on the walls of the tire shop office turned out to match Franky’s blood.

A little more than a month later, on June 24, 2015, Eduardo Luna, Nestor Manuel Leal and Aaron Rodriguez Medellin were arrested at the tire shop. Fernando Luna wasn’t there but was found the same day crossing the border from Mexico into the United States. An agent at the port of entry in Hidalgo County, arrest warrant in hand, recognized him in a white Chevrolet pickup.

Another man also was in the truck — Joel Luna. Until then, investigators hadn’t known there was a third Luna brother, much less what he did for a living.

Bigger dreams for Joel Luna

Joel Luna (right) and his brother Fernando attend a cousin’s quinceañera. Joel Luna mostly grew up in Reynosa, Mexico, and was about 12 when his parents sent him to live with family in Hidalgo County, Texas. Photo credit: Courtesy of Josefina Palomo

 Why the two Luna brothers were traveling from Mexico into the United States that June day sits atop a pile of unanswered questions about Joel Luna and his alleged connection to the brutal death of Franky Palacios.

Even the circumstances of Joel Luna’s birth are a matter of dispute. He has a U.S. birth certificate indicating he was born in San Juan, Texas, on May 20, 1985, which would have been found during his initial vetting process with the Border Patrol. But authorities recently discovered a Mexican birth certificate for him, issued in Reynosa, Mexico, three years after his birth was reported in the United States. The discovery prompted authorities to place a detainer on Luna at the Cameron County jail, meaning if he is ever set to be released from custody, federal agents can hold him for possible deportation.

His lawyer and family members say that Joel was born in Texas and that — like many kids who grew up along the border — his parents later obtained a Mexican birth certificate to meet school admission requirements.

Joel’s mother, Concepcion Rodriguez, is a housewife. His dad was a cook. Both are from Reynosa, where Eduardo and Fernando were born. Rodriguez had bigger dreams for Joel — and for the whole family by extension, according to Rodriguez’s sister, Josefina Palomo. She wanted him to be born in Texas.

“Back then, you could get (U.S. residency) papers through little children,” Palomo said, so her sister gave birth to him in San Juan.

Joel mostly grew up in Reynosa, at least through elementary school — and after that on weekend visits. His cousin Maria Lepe called him a “very honest kid” who did his best to care for an ailing, diabetic father.

Joel was about 12 when his parents sent him to live with Palomo in Hidalgo County, where he stayed for less than two years before moving again with associates of his father, his aunt said.

Joel was drawn to ROTC, and in high school, commanders took him under their wings, giving him rides back and forth to class, Palomo recalled. It surprised no one in his family when he joined the Army after graduating from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School. He served in Iraq and earned a number of honors, including the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge.

Dulce and Joels wedding
Joel’s achievements were a source of pride for the extended family. He’d gone farther than his brothers in school. Honorably discharged from the Army in 2008, he entered on duty with the U.S. Border Patrol in 2009 and in a few years was working at a highway checkpoint an hour north of the border in Hebbronville. Joel never forgot about his family in Mexico, helping care for his father until he died in 2011.

In spring 2013, investigators later would learn, Joel’s brothers and their families apparently had to flee Mexico in a hurry. 

They came to him for help and a place to live – and he obliged, sources close to the investigation say.
Early 2013 was a tumultuous time in the patch of northern Mexico that Joel Luna’s two brothers called home.

Drug lords were locked in a fierce internal battle for control of the major smuggling corridors in Tamaulipas, which borders Texas from Brownsville to Laredo. A major wing of the Gulf Cartel – more a loose confederation than a united front by then – was falling apart.

Gunfights erupted in broad daylight. Grenades were tossed. Battles raged for hours on end.
“The army and police largely have been bystanders. Residents cower in their homes or in stores, waiting for the next outburst,” a reporter from McClatchy newspapers wrote in a dispatch from Reynosa on March 28.

Records used to seize the Luna family’s property in Hidalgo County suggest that Eduardo Luna was anything but a bystander to the violence. In a court affidavit, he is referred to as a Gulf Cartel “comandante” – a commander – associated with an infamous U.S.-bred narco named Mario Alberto Peña.
Born in Rio Grande City, Peña – known as “El Popo” – rose up from a Texas street gang to become a Gulf Cartel commander feared on both sides of the border. He reportedly was killed in Mexico on March 19, 2013.

Mario Peña tribute videos

Since his death, El Popo has become a sort of gangster folk legend. Multiple rap videos online pay tribute to Peña, who fled to Mexico after being charged in late 2011 with the attempted murder of three people in Starr County. Two of the videos purport to tell the story of his death at the hands of a former ally who supposedly double crossed him and shot him in the back. U.S. authorities later confirmed Peña’s death.

More than two years later, Peña’s sister would claim that Eduardo Luna was the double-crosser who shot and killed her brother.

After Eduardo Luna’s mugshot flashed across TV screens in South Texas in connection to Franky Palacio’s murder, Jessica Peña told U.S. detectives that she had met him several years before in a Tamaulipas border town across from Rio Grande City. She knew him as Eduardo Perez Rodriguez, which authorities believe is another name for Eduardo Luna Rodriguez, the full name of Joel’s baby brother, sources close to the investigation say.

Jessica Peña told investigators that Eduardo “shot her brother in the back several times to steal two million dollars from the Gulf Cartel that her brother was guarding,” according to affidavits cited as evidence that cartel money was used to purchase homes in the United States. She said Eduardo “fled to the U.S. after killing her brother sometime around March 19, 2013.”

There’s no way to independently verify Jessica Peña’s claims, and she declined to be interviewed by The Texas Tribune. Eduardo Luna’s lawyer did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment.
Eduardo Luna is one of five men charged with the murder of Jose Francisco Palacios Paz. His two brothers, Fernando and Joel, also are among the five charged.Credit: Cameron County Sheriff’s Office

Jessica Peña offered up two other details that led investigators to believe Eduardo was connected to the Gulf Cartel and its internecine warfare in 2013.

First, she told authorities that a man named Juan Saenz-Tamez, a former high-ranking Gulf Cartel capo known as “Commander Pussy,” helped recover her brother’s body. Saenz-Tamez, whose lawyer did not return phone calls, now is serving a 30-year sentence in a federal prison in Beaumont after pleading guilty to laundering $100 million while moving a half-ton of cocaine and 90 tons of marijuana through the United States.

Investigators hadn’t known what to make of the news stories about Saenz-Tamez they found on Eduardo’s cellphone after Franky was killed. Jessica Peña’s information hinted that Eduardo might have been paying attention to the fallout from her brother’s murder.

A second piece of information was even more intriguing. Jessica Peña told police that Eduardo’s nickname was “El Pajaro,” or “The Bird.” Investigators had seen that name before, in pictures on Eduardo’s cellphone, inscribed on an unusual gun.

About the time that Mario Peña was gunned down across the river from his hometown in Texas, multiple accounts indicate that the Luna family was forced to get out of Mexico quickly.

According to Josefina Palomo, the Luna brothers’ aunt, some manner of urgent threat was made against the family in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, during a baby shower the Luna family was holding for the upcoming birth of Fernando Luna’s third child.

Palomo said she still doesn’t know exactly what happened, but the family fled, and her sister — the Luna brothers’ mother — has not returned to Mexico since.

“My sister said they had to had to run out of there,” she said. “It was, ‘Get out! Get out!’ And they left the tables and gifts and everything.”

“She can’t go back there,” Palomo told the Tribune. “She’s scared.”

Following the money in Texas
This handgun, stamped with the Spanish word “pajaro,” or “bird,” was found in a safe that Cameron County authorities say belonged to Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna. Authorities believe the gun may be the one used to kill Jose Francisco Palacios Paz.Credit: Dina Arevalo/Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Joel Luna apparently was so worried about the incident that he alerted his Border Patrol supervisors in Texas. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation say that in March 2013, Joel told the agency that he’d been warned his family in Mexico was in danger unless he helped move drugs for the Gulf Cartel. Murder investigators would report two years later that “information discovered inside Joel Luna’s personnel file where he worked” are now part of the government’s case against him.

The Tribune requested Luna’s urgent memo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection under a Freedom of Information Act request, but the agency blocked its release, citing law enforcement and privacy reasons. The agency also declined to answer any questions about the memo and what actions it might have taken in response, if any.

Once the family fled to Texas, the extended Luna family settled near McAllen. Fernando and Eduardo Luna lived with Joel at first, sources close to the investigation say, and court records indicate they later moved into separate houses near his home.

What his bosses did or did not know about Joel Luna’s family situation in 2013 isn’t clear. After he was found in that white Chevy pickup with his brother Fernando — by then a murder suspect — investigators assembled a Luna family tree and began looking into their backgrounds and activities.

A major break in the case came when they learned of a financial transaction under the name of Roxana Ruvalcaba, the half sister of Joel’s wife, Dulce. Ruvalcaba had deposited $42,000 in cash at a South Texas bank in May 2013 – a transaction made at the request, she told investigators, of Joel Luna. The money was used, she said, to buy a house in San Juan.

That house on Sendero Street in San Juan, bought in June 2013, later would be seized by Cameron County on the grounds that it was “purchased with money which are proceeds of a drug trafficking organization comprised of the three Luna brothers, Fernando, Joel, and Eduardo.” Court records indicate Eduardo Luna’s wife lived in the home.

Authorities would make the same argument to seize another Luna family home a few miles away. Records show it was bought in May 2013 by Concepcion Rodriguez, the Luna brothers’ mother. Fernando Luna’s wife lived there; she has since been deported to Mexico, court records show.
Ruvalcaba opened up another, more productive vein for investigators when she told authorities about a big black safe Joel Luna recently had moved into the house of her mother — Joel’s mother-in-law — in San Juan.

Ruvalcaba’s husband, Carlos, worked at Sam’s Club and had seen Joel and Eduardo Luna buy the safe there. Roxana Ruvalcaba told police that she believed Joel “had a large amount of bulk United States currency” inside the safe.

This AR-15 rifle, stamped with the U.S. Border Patrol logo, was recovered from Joel Luna’s house.Credit: Cameron County Sheriff’s Office

On Nov. 4, 2015, investigators arrived at the home of Joel Luna’s mother-in-law, Maricela Villanueva, with a search warrant. Inside they found “a large black steel ‘SENTRY’ SAFE,” court records show. Villanueva told investigators that it belonged to Joel Luna.

Luna was there and denied knowledge of the safe. In a statement recorded on police dash cam video, he told detectives “that the safe did not belong to him and that he had never seen it before in his life.” Investigators called his denial deceptive because three other people pegged him as the owner of the safe, records say.

Inside, authorities found a trove of documents and contraband, including Joel Luna’s commemorative Border Patrol badge, his work station password, documents related to his credit union account and medical excuse paperwork.

They also discovered $89,000 in cash, more than a kilogram of cocaine, 17 grams of meth, a scale, measuring spoons and “a ledger documenting the sales of narcotics and firearms and ammunition,” his arrest warrant says. To date, authorities have not charged any of the defendants with arms trafficking.

One of two guns found in the safe drew immediate attention. It was a 1911-style .38-caliber Super pistol – a model frequently associated with cartel assassins – gold plated, highly engraved and stamped with “Cartel del Golfo” on one side and the likeness of St. Judas on the other.

The word “Pajaro” was embossed on the handle. It was the pistol pictured on Eduardo’s phone, bearing Eduardo’s supposed nickname. Authorities believe it may be the gun used to kill Franky.

Case raises questions about Border Patrol

Attorney Carlos A. Garcia speaks to the media after an arraignment hearing for his client, Joel Luna, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and drug trafficking charges. “We believe this is a clear case of ‘you’ve got the wrong guy,’ ” Garcia said.Credit: Douglas Young for The Texas Tribune
A trial eventually will examine whether Joel Luna was involved in his brothers’ supposed drug trafficking and the death of Franky Palacios. The U.S. Border Patrol issued a statement after his arrest saying Luna would be placed on administrative leave. His lawyer said he is not being paid.

But when a Border Patrol agent winds up in jail awaiting trial on murder charges, it raises a few questions. Why didn’t federal authorities find his conflicting birth certificates? The nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency long has been dogged with questions about loose vetting procedures during and after hiring.

How did the agency allow one of its own to stay on the job months after his two brothers were arrested for murder and more than two years after he alerted them to a Gulf Cartel threat against his family? Why didn’t the $42,000 bank deposit by his wife’s half sister — now said to be drug money — set off any alarms?

The Border Patrol referred all questions about Luna’s case to the the U.S. attorney’s office in Houston, where spokeswoman Angela Dodge declined to comment.

Generally speaking, the Border Patrol doesn’t include checks of any foreign databases, including criminal records or birth certificates, said agency spokesman Carlos Diaz. During the hiring process and every five years, the agency looks at financial information, such as “unexplained affluence,” but he didn’t say how deep into family members the checks go.

Imposing at 6 feet, 4 inches and prone to passionate outbursts about evidence gaps and government overreach, attorney Carlos A. Garcia says Cameron County’s case against his client rests on circumstantial evidence at best, along with the unfair inference that Joel Luna must have been up to no good if his brothers were.

Garcia acknowledges there are cellphone calls between Joel and his brothers around the time Franky allegedly was killed at the tire shop. But phone calls to family members are “no evidence of guilt,” he said.

And in Joel Luna’s arrest warrant, authorities say co-defendant Nestor Manuel Leal told police during interrogations that he, Franky, Aaron Rodriguez Medellin and Joel’s two brothers were “involved with narcotics trafficking activities by … the Gulf Cartel” – but those records don’t mention the middle Luna brother.

“I represent Mr. Luna, Joel Luna,” Garcia said. “What his brothers may have been involved in or did or didn’t do have nothing to do with his behavior or what he is accused of in this case.”

The safe and its contents are harder to explain, Garcia conceded. But he notes that the safe itself “wasn’t found in my client’s possession” and that the government has the burden to prove it was Joel’s.

But what about the Border Patrol badge? The evidence that Joel Luna bought the safe with brother Eduardo in tow? The personal documents sitting alongside a big bag of cocaine and piles of cash? And then there’s the “Pajaro” gun – possibly the murder weapon. What was that doing in there?

“I agree that when it’s presented that way, it gives one pause to think about, ‘those two things don’t go together,’ ” Garcia said. “This cartel pistol with the bad guy’s name on it should not be with the badge of a border patrolman, you’re right. … Those things don’t belong together. But those things being together don’t make someone part of a killing. They don’t make them part of a criminal organization. That in and of itself is not evidence of any criminal act.”

Gus Garza, the lead prosecutor, declined to go into the evidence blow-by-blow but expressed confidence in the indictments. Prosecutors are preparing to argue that Joel Luna was an integral part of a criminal enterprise, a cartel-connected drug trafficking ring that Franky Palacios was going to expose – and the enterprise struck first.

As far as Garza is concerned, the alleged criminal act of one Border Patrol agent doesn’t tar the entire agency. But the fact that investigators are connecting a federal official sworn to secure the border to a Mexican cartel hit job – executed on U.S. soil – worries him a great deal.

“Of all the cases I’ve prosecuted, murder case, etc., this represents a step higher,” Garza said. “I’ve seen and I continue to see a move, an effort, to bring the culture of violence from across the river to South Texas. … The message is, ‘Don’t squeal. Don’t finger anyone. Don’t identify anyone, or you are going to get beheaded.’ “


  1. Of the 130 border agents caught, how many are of Mexican descent?

    1. Here we go again.....

    2. why does this even matter?
      what i can assure you is that they we're ALL working for the U.S.Border Patrol... that is the only FACT that matters!!!

    3. 100%. 100%. 100%.

    4. About 2/3 to 3/4 of all border patrol agents along the Mexican border are "Mexican American and or Hispanic with other nationalities" not MEXICAN. There is a difference! My point is however that the proper question should be "what percentage of the 130 border patrol agents caught helping drug dealers are of Hispanic and or Mexican decent according to their enlistment numbers?" What percentage are other races according to their enlistment numbers also?

    5. I don't know of this matters but it's a fact that there are more corrupt border patrol and customs in the Brownsville corridors than any in Texas perhaps the usa. Look it up before you say nah.

    6. You cant point a simple fact such as that out?

    7. The govt needs to hire agents who speak Spanish. Most Anglos do not. Chicanos who speak Spanish at home apply for these jobs. Sadly many BP agents here in AZ are on the payroll of CDS. Sincerely, Curtis Allen Olson.

    8. Of all the black people killed by law enforcement, how many (law enforcement) are of Mexican descent?

  2. all of them and it doesn't matter.

  3. 10:20 the answer is 129
    Mexicans should be kept out of law enforcement.
    --to protect them from corruption, not because of racism.
    according to me, maybe they could work Internal Affairs only and be lie detectored every day, but franky-ly, others would still be corrupt because of all that money, like hidalgo co. sheriff lupito Treviño who also corrupted his own son, I am sure both are free now enjoying their pensions and savings on the US...
    Good luck with the rest of the "iceberg"

    1. I usually skip over your nonsense comments always distinguishable with the two dash marks. But what in the hell does their heritage have to do with their moral compass. You sound like trump ridiculing the American judge of mexican heritage. Ridiculous.

    2. I totally agree 12:58. What a total idiotic comment from 6:41.

    3. @6:41 there are over 5000 plus border patrol agents along the Mexico border of which 2/3 or more are Hispanic decent not just Mexican and you talk shit that they are all corruptable because 130 got caught doing shit??? Not to mention thousand more police officers of Hispanic decent in cities along the U.S. Mexico border making the border area of the country one of the safest areas in the U.S. and you call Hispanic Mexicans corruptable. Educate yourself before you talk!

    4. 12:58 your opinion is based on your hurt butt feelings...
      --my comments are based on facts easily found anywhere on the net, I don't express what I "believe" but on healthy doses of fact checking mixed with experience and a lot of cynicism, and believe me, some people know it and post my comments on BB against their own convictions, because of there is a bit of integrity there too...

  4. All of us
    Plus more pending

  5. 10:20 PM. Dumbest comment ever.

    Your daddy must be locked up in Texas.. right?

  6. Los carteles del golfo son muy pistoleros bandidos

  7. "I've continued to see a culture of violence along the border not to squel, snitch or say nothing in south Texas." What a load of crap! La Eme in So Cal has had that culture in effect there for the last 20 to 30 years probably. "Snitches get stiches" was coined in the big cities of the U.S. like NY, Philly and Chicago!
    This guy beheaded was involved in cartel/illegal activity so his former partners executed him just like the Eme and Latin Kings even Bloods and Crips in the U.S. would have done for BETRAYING-keyword- them!
    This killing was not done simply to intimidate civilians not involved in the drug trade to stay quiet!
    Guys like Garza are Donald Trumps fuel in the states causing hate against people comming from the south of the U.S. border! They talk shit out of their mouths unintentionally (or intentionally), simply to make their jobs seem so much more important or even dangerous but causes the effect I, just mentioned!!!

    1. Very true bro....

    2. You should patent "snitches get stitches" quick, before somebody steals the idea and makes billions of dollarzzz...
      I give the world the gift of snitching, because the snitched on become bitches in prison, where they should be, nobody owes them an "Omerta" or a promise of silent protection that criminals give each other but never do honor...

    3. 9:39 serio
      real talk right here

  8. Wow! Amazing story! It would make an awesome movie!

  9. It's funny how chapo Guzman lost all power, his mom is scared

  10. Good read, thanks. Hey, "commander pussy" LMAO! That one surely takes the cake.

  11. What do you expect it's a border town. There is thousands of those untold stories from Texas to Tijuana.. All for the money

  12. I live 10 minutes from where this idiots was found and no one's gives a shit about this guys the shit going on in Mexico and bb is making stories about irrelevant murders cmon.

    1. There is a bigger picture here than just whether your neighbors that 10 minutes away from where the body was found "give a shit". The story in intended to draw attention to L/E corruption at the border.

      As my introduction to the story would have told you if you had read it;

      "Our partner, The Texas Tribune, is taking a yearlong look at the issues of border security and immigration. This part of the project focuses on U.S. law enforcement corruption, which has undermined efforts to secure the border"

    2. Complacency or possibly feeling like you can't do anything about your hood? For those of us living a world apart from slaughterhouse hell it is an informative read.

      I understand 'live by the sword, die by the sword' amongst those willingly involved in the criminal world.

      The disturbing aspect of this story is lowlife Franky Sanchez exposing a child to crime as if it's normal family life:

      "Sanchez’s 13-year-old son told investigators that he saw “stacks of dollars...and marijuana inside (PlayStation) games at the tire shop...[and that Franky said] he was a Gulf Cartel member and that they would chop off heads.”

      Canadian girl

    3. The border got more holes in it than a fishnet and in the 956 there are plenty of stories like this.It makes for an interesting read if your from outside the border area my point is there many things happening on a daily basis of more importance like the war in guerrero the war in southern tamaulipas the sinaloa cartel is taking hits left and right.

    4. 7:00
      I seen fishnets, on some "De La Hoya" Mexican from Jalisco...

    5. The fact that a BP Federal agent is indicted for murder and evidence points at him also of likely being associated with or even a member of Mexican drug cartel is worthy of a close up look with competent reporting and that is what i am reading. In Mexico if he pays up maybe he walks here he pays his scumbag attorney who talks a good game but sounds like his client is out of luck and lawyer makes big money although if proven guilty he goes away for a looooong time despite his attorneys false promises and a strong defense. Not looking good for a federal employee that may have gotten greedy and now he may be locked up for 10-life...?

    6. What kind of greedy person is a federal law enforcement officer making GOOD pay for life, and stores in his safe his official weapons, id, dirty money, and HOT GUNS?
      Todo un señor pendejo, that who, and who defends his ass?
      A mouthpiece lawyer, probably dirtier than his client and his BP officers union...

  13. Crooked like my teeth

  14. Popo the word in miguel aleman back then was he got involved with some girl that was married perro quien sabe 78582

    1. 2:15pm why did you include that zip code for?

    2. @al popo. Lo mataron por el cambio de poder... El guero xw lo mando matar por la espalda..El popo era de guerra. Era muy cabron para pelear - por eso lo traicionaro. Era de gente de bravo te recuerda

    3. That zip is out of Rio Grande City where Mario el popo lived. Word around town was that he kidnapped a zeta and took him back south to Camargo where the zeta escaped and shot Mario in the back.

  15. A mi se me antoja una caguama bien helada.

  16. who is the old guy in the first picture

    1. sheriff lucio..cameron county

  17. It's not the Border Patrols fault that they can't remove the dirty's federal government rules and regulations and union bull shit that allows this shit to happen...incompetent policy makers and stupid managers are what enable this...customs is even worse...CBP is this huge joke

    1. Government employees need to have no unions, and no life time "jobs", maybe 5 years and out, with whatever work experience they acquired they should be able to start a good life somewhere else instead of packing the special interests in bureaucratic ranks with promises of a privileged life for eternity...

  18. This is the kind of basura that gives Mexicans a bad name

    1. 7:20 Not really, 130 million mexicans in mexico are not all cartel members or Border Patrol officers, and about 50 million mexican descent or immigrants legal or illegal living on the US are not represented by any amount of corrupt government employees on either country...
      --By the same token, 300 million Americans are not all corrupt or government employees or "rogue agents and criminals"...

  19. "CHIVIS" We need a time lapse since the Start of war on Cartels until now so we can see what has change in the Cartel war....

    1. Chivis, i'm sorry, forget about the coffee, but come back pleaseeee! I'm begging on my knees...💋 💋 💋 ♡

  20. Mario Peña was killed by Mario Pelons people. He was killed when Mario Pelon betrayed El comandante Gringo, after that Mario Pelon ordered anybody with ties to el Gringo to be kill. People within the CDG knew Mario Peña was a runner/messenger working under one of el Gringos lieutenant.

  21. WRONG..... Im an American with Mexican decent first generation United States Citizen, served my country in the Army as well and continue to serve in a different role. Per capita ther is more hispanics of Mexican decent on the southwestern border hence the high number of agents on the force. There is more good agents than bad.... Like there is more white Anglo agents on the norther border with Canada than hispanics due to the fact that peolpe migrate back to their home towns. Until a couple of years ago every new hire would get stationed on the southwestern border and away from his hometown. That helped with the potential corruption of agents. One problem arose from this imagine you get sent to Ajo, Arizona, or Alpine, Texas...... Douglas, Naco, and or Nogales...... Who in there right mind wants to live in those small tiny, no clinic, no hospital, no grocerie store towns not to mention every one knows who you are and your family. You live within the smuggling comunity your kids go to school with the smugglers kids.......... Bla bla bla get the picture.... Now this does not come by race or ethnic origin,,,, corupt agents will be corupt for many reasons money, power, greed, sex, you name it. I continue to serve and belive you me as i tell my sons if you ever smuggle aliens and or drugs you better never mention your father and you better forget that i your father exist i am dead for you if you go that route.... For they have no excuse why not to make it in this country, for they are born here and english was their first language and have axcess to every thing.... Books ipads ipods computers internet..... House mom and dad grandparents ....... Good house enviornment.... No excuse ......... Unlike your ancestors that live in san luis potosi or tamaulipas..... They dont make excuses but life is harsh in those areas work is cheap cost of living is expensive.... In san luis potosi at a gas station the attendant earns 500.00 pesos a week.... About 40.00 dollars a week.... Nothing gets thrown away left overs are eaten up.... A bag of dog food costs 20 dollars in SAMS the same identical bag name brand bag of dog food in SAMS in mexico costs 500.00 pesos makes no sense but it does thanks NAFTA..... Just my opinion and or rant.... And my take on Mexican American corruption and why or why not.... Dont do it.... Nothing but tough love for my children and my soon to be step son in mexico....i tell him no tiene escusa de nada tienes todo tabla, play station, internet todo cell...ropa de marka ... Tenis de marca... Casa.... I bas a estudiar .. I will wright a book one day ....... By the way im a die hard republican and have conservative views, belive in the right to bear arms, and will vote Trump.... No and he wont cick me out for my mexican heritage nor will he send my parents back...... My sisters and parents are good americans they celebrate 4 of july like no ones buisness, to include Thanksgiving, My mama makes a killer turkey recipe handed down from my aunty..... With all the fixins,,,, i love my culture and my heritage so dont tread in it.... Its not the culture or the hispanic in us that is bad its the individual person that goes bad or gets corrupted..... Le duela a quien le duela.... And may god help us all with the police shooting in dallas texas.... Rest in peace and stop commiting crimes if you dont want to do the time.... All lives matter..... ALL.....

    1. @905 no pues wow!!. You should run for office John Rambo.. just kidding. Thanks for your service..

    2. Nice!...I have those same views and thoughts. I am of Hispanic descent. Grandparents (a year before they passed) worked long and hard to become American citizens. It was their dream and it became true. So no excuses, if you work hard and uses the resources this country has to offer you can achieve anything...

    3. WOW, I am a mojao, never got papers or a good job, but I have put 4 kids through 'collidge', they worked hard, and have their loans to pay, but they got it made.

  22. Is there any credibility to the 3rd Chapo escape rumors?

  23. El chapo escaped 3rd time trending on Twitter

  24. Why kill him that way? Stupid ass move from those texans, straight burn it like that.

  25. Is it true Chapo escaped?

  26. Chapo has escaped!

    1. Hahaha! Some idiot started a rumor on twitter that Chapo had escaped again! All False!
      It would be better for him to stay in prison however for not only are La Linea and Aztecas in Juarez after his ass, now another rumor is that Quintero is after his ass in Chihuahua also backed up by the Beltranez!
      If he where to leave the Juarez prison without the 300 sicario escorts his bullshit corridos always fantasize about he will literally loose his head over this.
      And I doubt Sinaloa has that kind of muscle in Juarez anymore now to protect Chaputos ass!

    2. Oh my God, I knew it, chapo escaped again, but how?

  27. Of topic there's a rumor hasn't been confirmed yet but that the u.s government thinks chapo either escaped or let loose because the PRI government doesn't let the u.s government see el chapo

    1. El sol perdido said:
      "el chapo es mio, y nadie me lo va a quitar"
      Y ya no se deja ver, será que ya se lo llevó?

  28. We need a main board story on the ongoing CDN-Vieja Escuela war; in the past 10 days Grupo Bravo dismembered the parents of El Borrado, CDN dismembered a Vieja Escuela sicario in response, and finally Grupo Bravo tossed grenades into a Nuevo Laredo nightclub in an attempt to execute a CDN comandante

  29. Cdg is back to being the good guys and help the pueblo matamoros still cleaning up secuestradores y extorcionistas.vieja escuela gente del senor cortez01.Back to drug trafficking being the principles.are z and golfos back to being 1 or are both of their old school factions at war with new school?please input..

    1. The matamoros faction of the cdg is not going to make up in a little bit what they have done to matamoros.Sorry dude Fuck all the sons of bitches.they were weak and greedy and the ain't worth a piece of dog shit.and who the Fuck is this cortez a Fucking outcast from reynosa.

  30. gringo mike villlarreal was also 78582 . When they mike they killed alot of people gringo has cousins that also got killed meme olivares , mingo olivares they all worked together they all got killed popo worked for its a fucking mess down here its gotten better or we thing since no news reports on miguel aleman nor camargo and not only them but alot of fatter fish went missing allway happens when there is a change at the top no one trusts anybody they were all friends guess they following cardenas mata amigos thing but the wifes of these guys they just find another guy that works like gringos girl darcy g also from 78582 no she with la petunia in miguel aleman pero quien sabe 78582

    1. @9:36

      Really!!! I also heard that his side chick also hooked up with a Reynosa plaza boss not too long after Gringo was killed.

    2. Fuck up how these bitches don't even mourn you before they move on to the next narco. Shows that all they care about is someone to continue to provide for them to live the lavish lifestyle.

    3. 1:16 that may mean you was worthless as a man and as a person, buyers beware, you don't always get all you thought you wuzz buying, like the love, the heart, the mind, there is not enough money that can really buy all that, try los adelitos.

    4. Hey! Even Tony Montana was not immune to the high prize ho that getz with you just "because both of you were there" the cocaine and the money...
      --what can a lousy mexican ganguero expect, Mother theresa?

  31. umm a good read and an important message sent to the world with his trial.every man be it tyre examiner or judge who takes a drink or a doc sells their soul and don't even for police or teachers they are the lowest of the low. to take a drink.them I don't forgive.people should educate there children not to take a drink.once a drink is taken you can never go back you are owned by the giver.

    1. I take drinks from a lot of people, even undercover US Narcs trying to frame me, and i have not become anybody's beech yet, I think when you take un pase, or money, then you are in trouble.

  32. Never buy coke in reynosa. Nothing but cut up Poison! Useless. Just makes you nervous. Maybe 5% pure.

    1. 10:54 5% pure shit, the rest is just shit, but if you don't buy, that can only mean you are a pinchi Chapulin buying from somebody else, and the prospects are NO GOOD for you and your family and your cat and your dog, you bought for life the first time you bought, just keep buying and don't give me any lip.

  33. Really?6:43-Is it really like that for the buyers?You mean consumer has no choice?Is that why those guys in Juarez were executed for quitting?You got to be joking?So if they quit they still have to keep buying or else....Holy shit!Never heard of that.If that is the case then pure baby powder could be bought.That really really sucks.I certainly wouldn't chose to be an addict in that country.Maybe folks should just cross from TJ and buy in San Diego.Save a whole lot of grief.Boy that's sure a huge incentive to not do drugs in Mexico then any parental preaching here.

  34. I wonder if this what happened to the family of 8 in pike county ohio ?


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