Note: the uzi most likely Mex govt issue
Seized two vehicles after clashes in Meoqui, also a 'goat horn' and
Uzzi submachine gun
STAFF | September 27, 2011 | 10:57 pm
AK 47 rifle, known popularly as "goat horn", an Israeli Uzzi
submachine gun, several magazines. chargers: 5 of .223 caliber, 4 of
7.62x39, one of 30-30(?) and a Super 38, two knives (one single edge
and a two-edged), handcuffs and a radio transmitter were found inside
one of the two vehicles insured Meoqui after a clash between elements
of the State Police and suspected assassins. This unit is a gray
Sentra while the second vehicle is a Toyota Rav-4 sand color which
featured multiple gunshot wounds.
The sedan was located on Sicomoro y Rio de San Pedro of the Villas
San Pedro subdivision in the aforementioned municipality while the
truck was found on a dirt road known as 'the bridge of death' on one
side of the federal highway.
In relation to the injured, the State Attorney's Office reported that
it was two police officers who remain in the regional hospital in
Ciudad Delicias, where they were transferred after injured in the clash.
It is noteworthy that minutes before 3 o'clock yesterday a group
ambushed an unit of the state police when they were conducting a raid
in the town of Meoqui, so that the facts reported to the appropriate
authorities in the capital, units State Police and the Mexican Army
moved into the scene.
Note: no spillover here, nope.
Sources: Fatal gunshots on McAllen expressway point to Gulf Cartel
September 27, 2011 8:41 PM
McALLEN — Fatal gunshots volleyed from one vehicle to another along
the expressway early Tuesday morning point to a power struggle within
the Gulf Cartel, sources familiar with the victim said.
McAllen police continue to investigate the apparent murder of Jorge
Zavala, 32, a Mission man slain as a volley of gunfire penetrated his
Ford Expedition about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Zavala and a 22-year-old man fell victim to the gunfire when an
unknown shooter attacked their dark-colored SUV from a Chevrolet
Tahoe with oversized rims as they headed west past the Jackson Road
Investigators believe the shots came from a semi-automatic rifle, but
would not confirm how many struck the victims. The gunfire caused
Zavala to lose control of the vehicle and crash along the expressway.
Police had no motive for the shooting as of Tuesday afternoon. But
two sources familiar with the situation said Zavala had ties to Gulf
Cartel members in Matamoros and Reynosa, which has shown signs of its
own internal power struggle in recent weeks.
Zavala and another man were riding home from the Tex-Mex Lounge strip
club, 2017 Owassa Road, Edinburg, when the shooting occurred, causing
their vehicle to lose control and crash, McAllen police Chief Victor
Zavala died at the scene and the other man was transported to a local
hospital where he was listed in serious condition Tuesday evening.
Police refused to say how many times the victims were shot, but
preliminary autopsy results revealed that Zavala died from multiple
gunshot wounds — not the crash.
A female employee at Tex-Mex said Zavala had been at the bar with a
group of men. The suspected shooters were at the establishment, as
well, but the employee refused to comment any further.
Public records show Zavala has a criminal history that dates to his
youth. Offenses that date back to 1995 include arrests for burglary
of a vehicle, tampering with government records, driving while
intoxicated, theft of property, criminal mischief, failure to
identify a fugitive and evading arrest.
Investigators could not confirm a motive for Zavala's slaying Tuesday
afternoon. But sources familiar with Zavala say his death could be
part of a power struggle within the Gulf Cartel between two groups:
the Rojos and the Metros, which have engaged in several grenade
attacks in Matamoros and Reynosa in recent weeks.
Zavala had been a close associate of Gulf Cartel plaza boss Gregorio
"El Goyo" or "El Metro 2" Sauceda Gamboa, 44, who was arrested by
Mexican Federal Police in April 2009. He died of cancer while behind
bars, one source said.
That connection to the Metros has made headlines in recent weeks,
after a high-profile execution in Reynosa.
Samuel "Metro 3" Flores Borrego, 39, was found assassinated Sept. 2
alongside the body of a high-ranking Tamaulipas state policeman in
the bed of a pickup truck along the Reynosa-Matamoros highway.
A Mexican law enforcement source confirmed and photos showed the Gulf
Cartel kingpin and policeman's bodies stripped to their underwear
after they were severely beaten and shot in the head.
The execution brought the struggle between the Gulf Cartel's two
current enforcement groups to the forefront. Several sources have
said Flores' execution was part of the blood-soaked feud between the
Metros and Rojos.
A local law enforcement investigator unauthorized to speak publicly
said that same power struggle within the Gulf Cartel may explain
The attack on Zavala followed a similar Gulf Cartel hit in
Brownsville last year.
That attack occurred in October 2010, when three Gulf Cartel hit men
drove alongside a gray Dodge pickup truck and opened fire, killing
Omar Castillo Flores and his bodyguard, Jose Guadalupe Lopez.
Castillo was the youngest brother of Alberto "Beto Fabe" Castillo,
who at the time was the Gulf Cartel's plaza boss in Matamoros. His
subordinates carried out the execution after Beto Fabe's younger
brother, Oscar "El Apache" Castillo Flores, took sides with the Gulf
Cartel's rival, the Zetas.
The eldest Castillo's execution cleared the way for El Apache to
carry out a slew of revenge attacks and assassinations throughout
After the Gulf Cartel's enforcers killed most of El Apache's
supporters, he fled with his family to Brownsville, where he was
arrested by federal authorities and sent to prison after pleading
guilty to illegal re-entry.
The Zetas once worked as the Gulf Cartel's enforcement wing prior to
their widely publicized split in early 2010 that has left much of
northeastern Mexico awash in bloody street battles that have left an
unknown number dead.
The turf battle between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel continues. But
what may come of the latest internal struggle within the Gulf remains
to be seen.
Hours after the murder of Zavala, grenade attacks were reported in
Reynosa, Rio Bravo and Ciudad Victoria, while an intense firefight
took place in Matamoros.
Note: still no lack of grenades it would seem.
Grenade attacks throughout Tamaulipas; shootouts reported
September 28, 2011 12:15 PM
One of the most violent days recently in northern Tamaulipas took
place Tuesday as one large firefight broke out in Matamoros, another
firefight took place in Rio Bravo, and various grenade attacks
occurred in Reynosa, Ciudad Victoria and Rio Bravo.
In Matamoros, fighting broke out about 5 p.m. near the intersection
of Cuauhtémoc Avenue and Calle Doce. Soon after, another fight broke
out along Calle Sexta near the intersection with Canales Avenue. The
fighting soon moved to the San Francisco neighborhood, where it
reportedly lasted close to 30 minutes. The fighting allegedly took
place between two groups of gunmen with Mexican authorities arriving
shortly after to make it a three-way fight.
As the fighting continued, gunmen set up road blocks along the city's
main streets to interfere with the deployment of Mexican troops.
Cameron County officials confirmed that Veterans International Bridge
was temporarily closed as a result of the situation in Matamoros.
The Twitter and Facebook account used by the City of Matamoros to
warn about violent incidents didn't issue any alerts. However the
U.S. Consulate in Matamoros issued a warning regarding the firefight.
"A gun battle that occurred on September 27, 2011 between the
approximate hours of 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.," the document stated.
"During that time heavy gunfire was reported in different locations
in Matamoros including the downtown area."
The warning advised U.S. citizens to avoid unnecessary travel within
Tamaulipas authorities issued a new release confirming the grenade
attacks and condemning all forms of violence.
Official figures have not been released regarding the total number of
injured or dead, but officials confirmed two dead in the Rio Bravo
The shootout came Tuesday afternoon about 3 p.m., shortly after a
group of men in an SUV threw a grenade at the Azteca movie theater
along Madero Avenue, seriously injuring one person. Soon after the
first attack, a second grenade was thrown at the Tamaulipas State
Police building along Independence Street; no injuries were reported.
The shootout took place shortly after the two attacks between Mexican
authorities and gunmen.
About an hour later in Reynosa, three different grenade attacks were
reported without any injuries. One of the grenades was thrown at a
nightclub called Dubai along Seventh Street. A second device was
thrown at a hair salon next to Guadalupe Victoria Elementary School
in the Mil Cumbres Dos neighborhood.
The third grenade attack took place in the Casa Bella neighborhood.
The Twitter and Facebook account used by the Reynosa city government
to warn about violent incidents didn't issue any alerts but invited
the public to various cultural activities.
On Monday night, two different grenades went off one in the Gallo De
Oro bar in the Rodriguez neighborhood and another in the Cadillac Bar
in the downtown area. At the Gallo De Oro bar, one man by the name of
Enrique Valdez Martinez was killed by the blast and seven other
patrons were injured.
In the state capital, Ciudad Victoria, two grenades were thrown at a
Federal Electric Commission warehouse along Luis Caballero Avenue,
causing damage to electronic equipment inside.
Note: will have to see if trend of very light sentences continues.
Straw purchasing ringleader convicted
September 27, 2011 10:31 PM
McALLEN — A federal jury found a McAllen resident guilty of leading a
weapons purchasing and smuggling ring.
Manuel Tijerina Herrera, 48, owner of El Tiburon restaurant in
McAllen was convicted Monday afternoon after a three-day trial before
Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.
In 2008, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives investigated four codefendants from Hidalgo County in
their early 20s who claimed to have bought firearms for themselves,
according to court records. But in fact, they'd bought them for
Tijerina, who had paid them $150 each after the weapons had been
delivered to his restaurant, records show.
Two years later, 19-year-old Jesse Gonzalez of San Juan purchased a
Bushmaster AR-15; agents followed Gonzalez to another business owned
by Tijerina, where Gonzalez put the rifle in Tijerina's truck. Agents
then saw Tijerina's son go with Gonzalez to Tijerina's home to stash
the weapon. At the house, agents seized the rifle and a 9 mm Beretta
with a barrel threaded to fit a silencer.
Tijerina was convicted on three charges of aiding and abetting the
making of false statements on an ATF form, conspiracy to make false
statements on an ATF form, and possession of a non-registered
silencer. Tijerina was arrested Friday for a pretrial violation and
will remain in custody until his sentencing Dec. 29.
Of Tijerina's codefendants — Aaron Aleman, 21, Priscilla Treviño, 21,
Gustavo Aleman, 22, and Schubby Ramirez, 21 — all but Ramirez have
Ildefonso Ortiz covers law enforcement and general assignments for
The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4437.