2 plead guilty to smuggling ammunition to Mexico
January 31, 2012 5:22 PM
The Brownsville Herald
BROWNSVILLE — Two men pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court for
smuggling about 3,000 rounds of ammunition to Mexico, U.S. Attorney
Kenneth Magidson announced.
Guillermo Enrique Villarreal, 37, of Brownsville, and Leoncio
Sanchez, a U.S. citizen living in Matamoros, admitted to exporting
the ammunition without a license. They appeared before U.S. District
Judge Andrew S. Hanen.
Between October and December, the men bought nearly 10,000 rounds of
ammunition at Academy stores throughout Cameron and Hidalgo counties,
court documents state. They would then hide the ammunition in a
vehicle to smuggle into Mexico.
Homeland Security special agents arrested the men Dec. 12 after
watching them purchase ammunition at various sporting goods stores
and conceal it in a vehicle, according to court documents.
Both Villarreal and Sanchez have been in custody, where they will
remain pending their sentencing hearing, set for May 7. They face up
to 20 years' imprisonment, followed by a maximum of three years of
supervised release in addition to a fine of up to $1 million.
Note: Rocks can still inflict serious to fatal injuries.
Agent fires gun during border fence skirmish; man may have been hit
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 11:26 am
| Updated: 11:37 am, Tue Jan 31, 2012.
By Jonathan Clark
Nogales International Nogales International |
Authorities say a Border Patrol agent fired at rock-throwers early
Monday while breaking up a drug-smuggling incident at the border
fence in Nogales, possibly injuring at least one person in the process.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:15 a.m. at a spot below the
Hudgins Street turnaround on the east side of Nogales.
In a statement, the Border Patrol said an agent fired his/her service
weapon while responding to a drug-smuggling attempt. The agency said
it had received reports that at least one person may have been
injured, and promised that it would cooperate fully with the ensuing
Nogales Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham said he was told that the agent
fired in self-defense after being shelled with rocks.
A spokeswoman for the FBI's Phoenix Division confirmed that her
office is investigating the incident as an assault on a federal
officer, but offered no details other than the approximate time and
general location of the shooting.
"Due to the on-going nature of the investigation, we will be unable
to provide any other details at this time," said Jennifer Giannola,
public affairs specialist for the Phoenix Division.
Meanwhile, police in Nogales, Sonora told Radio XENY that they
interviewed a man being treated for gunshot wounds to the abdomen and
left forearm at the city's Centro Medico hospital. The man reportedly
said he was walking down the street in the Buenos Aires neighborhood
Monday morning when he heard a gunshot and felt a bullet hit him. He
allegedly denied knowledge of any drug-smuggling attempt.
Buenos Aires is the neighborhood across the fence from where Monday's
The shooting happened in the same area where a Border Patrol agent
fatally shot 17-year-old Ramses Barron Torres early on Jan. 5, 2011.
That shooting, which reportedly came in response to another drug-
smuggling and rock-throwing incident, remains under investigation.
Also on Monday morning, a 42-year-old man was shot and killed on the
west side of Nogales, Sonora, approximately two miles south of the
Mariposa Port of Entry.
The Sonora State Investigative Police, or PEI, said in a statement
that Fernando Canez Borquez was shot at approximately 8 a.m. as he
arrived at his home on Calle Atenas in the Colonia Mediterraneo. He
died at the scene, the statement said, after being shot "various"
times in different parts of his body.
Canez had pulled up to his house and was getting out of his car when
several men armed with pistols got out of a sedan and opened fire.
Four 9-millimeter cartridges were reportedly found at the scene, but
the suspects managed to flee before the police arrived.
Cesar Barron of Radio XENY contributed reporting.
Note: the American doper contributes for a change.
NPD officers seize $400K cash load on interstate
NPD hopes that this cash, once formally forfeited, will help it build
a new police station.
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:17 am
NPD officers seize $400K cash load on interstate Nogales
International Nogales International | 5 comments
Officers from the Nogales Police Department arrested two men and
seized $400,000 in suspected drug-smuggling proceeds on Friday as
part of the departent's efforts to crack down on border-related crime
along Interstate 19.
NPD said its officers working as part of the I-19 Southern Border
Alliance stopped a suspicious vehicle for a traffic violation. After
an NPD dog alerted to possible contraband, the offers located and
seized the cash.
Two suspects, Carlos Antonio Arredondo-Rosas, born in 1974 and
Gabriel Lopez-Iriarte, born in 1976, were also arrested. Both are
residents of Nogales, Sonora.
The vehicle was impounded and the cash was seized for forfeiture
proceedings. The Arizona Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the
case, NPD said.
"The interdiction program initiated by Chief of Police Jeffrey
Kirkham through the Arizona Attorney General's Office has been
impacting smuggling operations with suspects using compartmented
vehicles," an NPD news release said.
"The Nogales Police Department will continue to work to secure
Arizona's border and work closely with local, state and federal law
enforcement to combine resources impacting illegal operations in and
around Nogales, Ariz."
NPD said the seized cash, once formally forfeited, will help it to
build a new police facility without significantly impacting local
Update: Leyzaola says New Juárez Cartel responsible for attacks on
by Juan Antonio Rodriguez / El Paso Times
Posted: 01/30/2012 09:46:47 PM MST
A shootout in Jurez just south of the Zaragoza bridge left three
suspects dead... (El Paso Times)
JUAREZ -- Juárez police Chief Julián Leyzaola said Monday that Johnny
"El Tin Tan" Morales González, a member of the New Juárez Cartel, is
responsible for recent attacks on the city's police force.
Those attacks included Monday's shootout just south of the Zaragoza
Bridge that left three suspects dead, three police officers wounded
and three suspects under arrest.
Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía said the purpose of releasing Morales'
identity was to encourage citizens to report any information about
Morales' whereabouts to local authorities.
Also, Murguia said city officials have managed to pinpoint nine
criminal cells that might be behind the attacks against police
officers. He did not elaborate.
During Monday's attack, the suspects opened fire and threw a grenade
at police officers who were filling their cars at a gas station,
officials said. The grenade did not detonate.
"They (the suspects) showed up as kamikazes against our officers,"
Murguía said. "Our officers managed to spare their own lives." As a
precautionary measure, Juárez police officers are now under orders to
stay at several hotels, with around-the-clock surveillance.
It will cost city taxpayers around $1.54 million to house and protect
Murguía said some public projects would be canceled to cover expenses.
"I have no choice," Murguía said. "Due to several attacks against
Juárez police officers, where some of them have died, they have been
sheltered in several motels." Police officers have been directed to
wear plain clothes when their shifts end and carry their weapons home.
Monday's shootout follows a fatal trend against police officers here
that has left eight of them slain so far this year. "Juárez
officers are still doing their jobs, at the expense of their own
lives, to serve and protect the community," Murguía said.
"Those (officers) who are afraid to die in the line of duty must quit
the police force,² he said. "We don't need them." Murguía encouraged
Juárez's citizens to report any crime in order to deter such activity.
"It is crucial to point out that criminals might hide from the
police," Murguía said. "But they (the criminals) can't flee from the
citizens." Murguía took office in October 2010. Since then, 63 Juárez
police officers have been slain, according to figures provided by
officials and news archives. Shots fired during Monday's ambush could
be heard at international bridge tollbooths.
Three suspects, all in their mid-20s, were found on the ground with
fatal head wounds, according to the Chihuahua Attorney General's office.
Late Monday, Juárez police arrested three additional suspects. They
have been identified as José Samuel López Luévano, 19, the driver of
one vehicle reportedly used in the shootout; Martín Pacheco Galindo,
22; and Silvia Adriana Loya Mendoza, 22, wife of one of the slain
Among the items Juárez police seized included three U.S. passports,
two of which had similar photos but different names, a police
spokesperson said. Police also seized three visas, two Mexican
identifications, several weapons and drugs, and narco banners.
On Saturday, a Juárez police officer was slain. That happened after
Leyzaola said last Friday recent threats against police officers have
been coming from the New Juárez Cartel.
González, whom Leyzaola is pinpointing as the group¹s ring leader, is
a former member of the Los Aztecas gang.
Drug violence experts believe the New Juárez Cartel is a spinoff of
the Juárez Cartel after that organization suffered heavy losses
within its leadership in 2011.
During the shootout, officers pursued the suspects, who fled the
scene in a Ford Explorer vehicle, and killed them.
Several streets were closed to traffic as officers chased the
suspects. All three wounded officers were taken to local hospitals
and are expected to recover.
Police seized 250 bullet casings as well as two rifles, two handguns,
and a fragmentation grenade with its trigger device activated,
Chihuahua state prosecutors said.
Authorities also took custody of a navy blue 2002 Ford Explorer that
was reported as stolen last Tuesday, and a white Lumina found at a
hotel parking lot, officials said.
Murguía, in a speech delivered at a local school Monday, said
Juarez's citizens should be proud of their police force. "The main
thing here is to recover the peace that is so yearned for in this
city," he said.
Attacks against Juárez police officers come after finding about 10
banners last Wednesday, reportedly signed by New Juárez Cartel
members, scattered across the city.
Those messages, addressed to Leyzaola, threatened to kill one police
officer per day and force Leyzaola to step down. Murguía dismissed
"Leyzaola is not going to quit," Murguía said. "I would rather step
down before Leyzaola does, and that is not going to happen since I am
an elected official." On Saturday morning, a Juárez police officer
was shot to death near Cártamo and Garambullo streets in the Granjero
Julián Armando Juárez Baena, 35, was found riddled with bullets next
to a red pickup.
Forensics specialists recovered several casings from AK-47 and AR-15
rifles, state prosecutors said.
On Friday morning, two Juárez police officers, a man and a woman,
were gunned down en route to work.
Last Wednesday, two other officers were shot to death at the end of
their shifts, while another officer was slain earlier that day.
Juan Antonio Rodríguez may be reached at email@example.com;
Times reporters Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera and Marisela Ortega Lozano
contributed to this story.
Previous 2 p.m.
A shootout in Juárez just south of the Zaragoza bridge left three
suspects dead, three police officers wounded and one suspect in
custody Monday morning, Juárez officials said.
The shootout happened at Ramón Rayón Street and Manuel J. Clouthier
Ave., a couple of miles from the Zaragoza bridge, when an undisclosed
number of Juárez police officers stopped at a gas station to fill
their cars, a Juárez police spokesperson said.
The attack against police forces in Juárez happened after a Juárez
cop was slain Saturday, leaving eight Juárez police officers killed
Meanwhile, Juárez police officers were sheltered for their own safety
in undisclosed motels around the city, officials said Monday.
During the shootout, officers pursued and caught up with three
suspects who fled the scene in a Ford Explorer, killing them, Juárez
police said in a press release.
A fourth suspect was captured and arrested after he was hiding inside
a nearby hotel.
Several streets were shut down as officers chased the suspects. The
three wounded officers were taken to local hospitals and are expected
to recover, officials said.
Police seized two rifles, two handguns, and a fragmentation grenade.
Authorities also took custody of a blue Ford Explorer and white
Lumina found at a hotel parking lot, officials said.
No motive for the attack has been found.
In a speech delivered to people at a local school Monday, Juárez
Mayor Héctor Murguía said Juárez's citizens should be proud of their
police force. "The main thing here is to recover the peace (that is)
so yearned for in this city," Murguía said.
These attacks against Juárez police officers follow a discovery of
about 10 banners last Wednesday, reportedly signed by members of the
So-called New Juárez Cartel, splattered in several locations around
Those messages, addressed to Juárez Police Chief Julián Leyzaola,
threatened to kill a police officer on a daily basis to force
Leyzaola to resign.
Saturday morning, a Juárez police officer was shot to death near
Cártamo and Garambullo streets, at Granjero neighborhood. The slain
officer, Julián Armando Juárez Baena, 35, was riddled with bullets
next to a red pickup. Forensics specialists recovered several
casings from AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, state prosecutors said.
On Friday morning, two Juárez police officers, a man and a woman,
were gunned down in their way to work, officials said.
On Wednesday, two other officers were shot to death at the end of
their shifts, while another officer was slain earlier.
Juárez officials sheltered Juárez police officers in undisclosed
motels around the city Monday, with surveillance around the clock,
for their own safety, Juárez authorities said in a press release.
Juan Antonio Rodríguez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Times reporter Marisela Ortega Lozano contributed to this report.