Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, December 17, 2016

U.S. Consulate Killings: El Paso judge kicks out press, seals cartel case

Sent in; thank you BB follower   from El Paso Times

A federal judge kicked out the news media Thursday from an El Paso sentencing hearing for a
defendant in a Mexican drug cartel-related case.

The hearing was for Martin Daniel Castillo Rascon, who was among 13 alleged high-level drug cartel members and associates extradited from Mexico last year following a meeting between U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Mexico Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez.

The extradited group included reputed kingpin Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal and three suspected Barrio Azteca gang members charged in connection with the killings of three people linked to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo removed an El Paso Times reporter from the hearing without providing a reason after granting a defense lawyer's motion to seal the case.

The Times was the only news outlet in the courtroom.

Montalvo could not be reached for comment. An official in his court said that Montalvo would not have time to talk to the Times and, even if he did, he would not comment on any cases.

Castillo, who was wearing a green inmate jumpsuit, was facing several drug-trafficking charges in connection with an alleged drug ring that operated from Jan. 1, 2001, to June 3, 2013.

Castillo, who also is known as "Flaco," is facing one count each of conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute; attempt and conspiracy to import or export marijuana; attempt and conspiracy to import or export cocaine; sell, distribute or dispense marijuana; and aiding and abetting the importation of marijuana.

Castillo was arrested by the FBI in San Antonio following his extradition from Mexico, according to court documents.

Court records do not state which charges Castillo pleaded guilty to or what sentence, if any, he received Thursday.

As Castillo's case was called to be heard by Montalvo, defense lawyer Eduardo Solis noticed a reporter in the courtroom and asked for the judge to order all news media to leave and to seal the case.

Montalvo granted the motion and removed the reporter from the courtroom.

No explanation was given as to why the defense asked for the motion or on Montalvo's decision.

According to the count documents, Castillo and co-defendant Marco Antonio Heredia-Cisneros were arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to import and distribute more than "1,000 kilograms of mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana."

In August 2013, Heredia-Cisneros was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found marijuana packages hidden in a car crossing the border at the Zaragoza Bridge, according to a criminal complaint.

Heredia-Cisneros told Homeland Security Investigations agents that he was driving the car to a restaurant on Zaragoza Road in the Lower Valley, the complaint stated. He told HSI agents that it was his third time smuggling marijuana into the United States in the car.

Heredia-Cisneros, who is a Mexican citizen, later that year pleaded guilty to importing marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced by Montalvo to a year plus a day in prison on Feb. 21, 2014.

Court records show that a document regarding Heredia-Cisneros sentencing is sealed.


  1. Sealed just like chapo's going to be cuz of all the snitching he's going to do..

    1. chapo is feds informant for long time already

  2. So Cisneros is/has been out for a while now? Am I missing something? Why focus on the guy with a 1 year sentence? La Barbie is in the states?

    1. Ya whats going on with la barbie? When is the trial? Cant wait for that movie with charlie h

  3. Cooperating witness . They all do it otherwise they would arrest very few . "Honor and Respect" and I love all those old godfather quotes "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" . Shit ! Here the one that fits this one better that the Mexicans like to quote ( few know where it came from ) "Its not personal just business" . That's what they told a member before they killed him . Recon the the people he talks on will take it personal ?

  4. Is la Barbie movie coming out? Anybody!

    1. Yeah its being produced by Mattel so dont even trip

    2. Lol!

      Makes one wonder what the merchandising would look like.

    3. 3:49 Looks like not biological correct, again.

  5. Out of context but el aquiles y la Rana are born n raised Tijuanenses.. Ojala y le partan en su madre a los del CAF Y CJNG.. Tijuana para los Tijuanenses ✌🔫

  6. It's not unknown that the US government allows special treatment or disclosure of agreements for individuals. What's bothersome is allowing individuals to keep their millions , properties etc for testimony. Knowing these same individuals are responsible for poisoning and a part of this violence. Case in point ( the Twins from Chicago). Where is justice in these type of agreements. Government itself is to blame for not stopping this iffy bartering program. All should be accountable and forfeited. Would you not agree. 14 yrs and millions upon release. I can say that was a sweet deal. Inept Government keep up the good work.

  7. its impressive that anything related to CDJ is relatively obscure in today's cybersociety...the way it should be


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