Posted: 23 Apr 2016 08:24 PM PDT
Posted by DD . Some material republished from Dallas Morning News and BB archives here, here, and here.and here
With the trial of two of the defendants charged with "interstate stalking" and "conspiracy" in the
murder of Southlake cartel attorney Jesus Jose Guerrrero Chapa scheduled to start this week on Monday, April 25, we should have the answers to many questions. The identity of the hit-men has not been released nor have they been apprehended, though they may be included in 3 other people charged in a sealed indictment. It remains sealed because the three are considered fugitives and releasing the info in the indictment would hamper the ongoing investigation.
The trial will probably last a month or more if all or most of the witnesses listed on both sides are called to testify (and allowed by the trial judge to testify) and will likely reveal a lot of juicy details we have not seen before.
Thanks to an exhaustive investigation conducted by the Dallas Morning News we can get a look at what to excpect to come out in the trial, plus some material that will likely not be allowed to be presented at the trial.
The prosecution will have a very solid case against the two defendants based on electronic data in the form of emails and GPS trafficking devices to prove the stalking charge. To prove their involvement in a conspiracy for murder, they will probably use the 3rd defendant, the son of one of the defendants on trial and a nephew of the other to testify on who ordered the hit, and their involvement at the scene of the murder.
That defendant, JesúsGerardo Ledezma Campano Jr., 32, (as reported on BB on April 21), pleaded guilty at a secret hearing in March in a plea agreement.
The defense will try to demonize Guerrero Chapa with a litany of his crimes and sins. While that is not technically a defense it is a common practice in criminal cases. Play on the emotions. The victim deserved what he got. Albert Einstein wrote "A person would rather have one good satisfying emotion than a dozen facts. "Reason against passion! The latter always wins if there is any struggle at all". .
Chapa's autopsy showed cocaine in his system. In his cell phone investigators found this photo showing workers examining damaged packaging on what appears to be bales of marijuana
The defense witness list of 60 or so names gives an indication ot the strategy to show Chapa was deeply involved in cartel affairs as a high ranking leader and not a nice person.
In their attempt to prove that Guerrero Chapa actually controlled the Gulf cartel, defense lawyers plan to call the syndicate’s former boss, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, out of a U.S. prison cell to testify. The drug kingpin’s plea deal with the United States helped spark a drug war that has killed thousands in Mexico, according to information obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
Also included on Ledezma Cepeda’s witness list are Guerrero Chapa’s wife, sister and sister-in-law.
An IRS agent is on the list to talk about a murder that was in retaliation for Guerrero Chapa’s killing.
This past Wednesday Attorneys for Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes — one of three men facing life in prison in Chapa’s death — asked a judge at a hearing to delay the trial so they could look for the woman, who has apparently gone missing from her North Texas home.
“The government is trying to distance themselves from Mr. Chapa’s bad acts,” defense attorney Robert H. Rogers said. “This is a woman who believes he kidnapped her husband and two sons and had them killed. … I’d like to produce her for trial.”
Guerrero Chapa — whom federal investigators called the Gulf cartel leader’s right-hand man — may have had the woman’s family killed because they could incriminate him, Rogers said.
Assistant U.S. attorney Joshua Burgess dismissed much of the tale. “There’s no evidence Juan Guerrero Chapa had any role in this kidnapping,” he told the judge.
But the woman did show up at Guerrero Chapa’s door after her family went missing, the prosecutor said.
“She went to him for help,” he said. “He was unwilling to help” and had people follow the woman after she left his property.
U.S. District Judge Terry Means didn’t sound interested. Even if the woman could be found, he said, her story was unlikely to affect how Guerrero Chapa died.
So the judge refused to delay the trial, which will start Monday and could last more than a month
Then Judge Meade may have given an indication that the defense may have a problem getting all they want to present into evidence;
Means warned attorneys that “we’re not going to go down a rabbit trail.”
“This is not going to be turned into a trial of the U.S. government or Mr. Chapa,” the judge said.
MOTIVE; REVENGE NOT GREED
From the Dallas Morning News Story by Alfredo Corchado and Kevin Krause (From DD; outstanding reporting)
"The surveillance men described their roles to investigators after their arrests. They said the hit was not ordered by calculating drug lords for business reasons. Rather, they said, it was ordered by a bitterly angry son hellbent on avenging the death of his father.
On both sides of the border, Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa crafted a public image of success and wealth as a legitimate lawyer and businessman.
Little is publicly known about Guerrero Chapa’s early life in Mexico. He grew up in a middle-class family in the town of China, about 60 miles northeast of Monterrey. He owned a gas station in Nuevo León.
It’s unclear when Guerrero Chapa became involved in drug trafficking, but by 2001, he had drawn the attention of U.S. agents.
By then, Guerrero Chapa owned a ranch in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, where he raised chickens, pigs, horses and exotic Charolais bulls. His about.me page said he owned a company that supplied Charolais breeders, and he was known to donate meat from his farm to local restaurants. He also donated money to local churches, the website said
Guerrero Chapa and his family members in the U.S. owned about 20 businesses between McAllen and South Florida, including tire and oil change shops, according to the defendants. Mexican newspapers reported that he also had investments in casinos in the U.S. and Mexico. Guerrero Chapa and his brother formed a South Texas gaming company in 2010, state corporation records show.
His wife and sister owned several businesses in the Southlake area.
As Guerrero Chapa and his family prospered in North Texas, a plot to kill him took shape.
The story, laid out by the surveillance men after their arrest, begins around 2000 at Guerrero Chapa’s ranch in Guanajuato.
After Cárdenas threatened the U.S. agents at gunpoint in Matamoros, he hid out at the ranch, Guerrero Chapa’s Gulf cartel associate said.
A low-level police officer known as a madrina got word that Cárdenas was there. The officer told Guerrero Chapa he would keep quiet if he were paid. When Guerrero Chapa told Cárdenas about the extortion attempt, his boss said he would take care of it.
The madrina was never heard from again.
But his son was. The madrina’s son, Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, is better known as “El Gato,” or “The Cat.” He told people he would seek revenge against his father’s killer, Guerrero Chapa’s cartel associate said.
“Problem is he [Gato] always thought Juan knew where the body was buried, or what happened to the body,” the associate said.
Gato, a former San Pedro Garza Garcia police officer and now a high-ranking member of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, hired two men in 2011 to find and track Guerrero Chapa, according to information The News obtained.
Gato never mentioned Guerrero Chapa by name, the son told investigators. Gato instructed him to refer to the cartel attorney by a name that is offensive to homosexuals.
“Gato never wants to say the name of Juan,” the son said. “And if we call him Juan, he gets angry.”
Guerrero Chapa’s Gulf cartel associate said he warned his friend about Gato, but Guerrero Chapa responded he had nothing to do with the death and didn’t seem worried.
After Guerrero Chapa’s murder, a U.S. federal law enforcement bulletin said Gato had reportedly ordered it.
In Grapevine, father and son were able to find Guerrero Chapa’s vehicle at the DFW Lakes Hilton by following his sister-in-law. They took photos of it and placed a tracker underneath it. That led them to Guerrero Chapa’s home in Southlake.
They also put a tracking device on Guerrero Chapa’s Mercedes, which only he drove.
They set up game cameras — the kind used by hunters to track prey — near Guerrero Chapa’s driveway to capture cars coming and going. The cameras and others placed elsewhere in the neighborhood were camouflaged in green paint and had night vision and motion sensors. They were controlled remotely and programmed to send photos to the father’s cellphone in real time.
In the suspects’ emails, investigators found photos of people outside Guerrero Chapa’s home as well as his vehicles. One email had seven photos of him walking and getting into his Mercedes.
“You guys did great work,” a U.S. agent told them during questioning. “I have to say that we were all impressed with how sophisticated you guys are
The father and son said they met the hit men several times but didn’t know their names. One was a captain in the Mexican Army. The other was known as “Clorox.” They have not been publicly identified.
At least three others have been charged in sealed indictments in Dallas in connection with the case and remain fugitives
The day of the murder, Gato told the father to remain in the shopping center where he and his son had followed Guerrero Chapa.
They were told the tracker wasn’t working and that they had to put eyes on Chapa. But it wasn’t true. The tracker was working.
They were suspicious. This wasn’t the way other jobs had gone.
Gato wanted confirmation of Guerrero Chapa’s death. And so they had to serve as spotters.
The son said his father told him to turn off his phone before the murder. From their parked car, the father watched Guerrero Chapa’s movements with binoculars.
He said his father had to make sure it was Guerrero Chapa before the hit.
The father turned off the tracker in his vehicle about 20 minutes before the murder, according to a federal search warrant.
The son said his father told him to buy some coffees so they didn’t look suspicious. When the son returned, his dad was panicked, saying: “They killed him! Let’s go, let’s go!”
“We weren’t expecting him to be hit there,” the son said. “We were expecting to get shot too.”
They quickly left.
U.S. agents did not believe that the duo didn’t know the hit was going down there.
After the murder, Gato wanted them to leave the U.S. and never return.
In Mexico, Gato took the two on a hunting trip. He gave Ledezma Cepeda a BMW and his son a Ford Bronco to show his appreciation, his son said.
He also told them Guerrero Chapa had killed his father about 10 years earlier.
When they were arrested at the border, the two had three trackers in their car, according to court records. A DEA agent asked the father about the device.
“We know people have asked you to locate people in various parts of this country,” he said. “If there is someone else who is in danger in this country, you need to tell us.”
The father said no one was in danger. He said he and his son tried to cross into the U.S. to shop for clothes. (DD. In violation of The "Cat"s orders for them to never return to US)
“I’m a dead man,” the father told U.S. agents.
His son told the agents his father had lied to him about the job and that he would tell them everything that happened for a deal that included protection for his family, The News has learned.
He has made a plea deal with the government and is scheduled to be sentenced in August, court records show.
The son said even if he had known Guerrero Chapa would be killed, he would still have gone through with it. Otherwise, he and his family would be in danger.
“There’s no choice,” the son said. “You can’t hide from these people … you do what they tell you or you die.
“And you don’t die as a lethal injection … they rip you apart in pieces alive.”
TOMORROW; "The Deadly Deal" A drug kingpin’s plea with the U.S. triggered years of bloodshed reaching all the way to Southlake
A note from Dallas Morning News Editor:
The News reviewed hundreds of confidential law enforcement records in the reporting of this story. We also interviewed former and current U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and government officials. In addition, we spoke with confidential informants and former members of the Gulf cartel and Zetas, including two high-level associates of Osiel Cárdenas Guillén.
: pointer; display: block; height: 24px; position: absolute; width: 24px;">
Posted: 23 Apr 2016 07:11 PM PDT
Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia, second in command in the Mexican cartel Los Cuinis, was arrested in Uruguay with 10 other members of that organization, as it was reported by the local daily news El Pais.
Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia, whose name appears in the PanamaPapers, is brother of the leader of the criminal group, Abigael González Valencia, arrested on February 28 in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
According to the information, González Valencia gave a statement in the South American Organized Crime court yesterday, for money laundering in Uruguay by buying real estate in Punta del Este.
Gerardo Gonzalez Valencia is wanted by the United States for drug trafficking, El País said.
"Sources on this case indicated to El Pais that the detainee was under investigation since 2015 by judge Adriana de los Santos specialized in organized crime, and by the Directorate General for the Repression of Illicit Drug Trafficking after it was found that he had acquired several properties in El Este through various corporations link to the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca "he says.
The Uruguayan news say that the publication of the investigation of the Panama Papers, forced De los Santos judge and the Directorate General for the Repression of Illicit Drug Trafficking to advance on the operation to arrest the traffickers to prevent them from leaving the country.
In recent days Gerardo Gonzalez had left his residence in Punta del Este and settled in Montevideo, sources have told El Pais.
As part of the investigation of the #PanamaPapers, Proceso reported that among the Mossack Fonseca firm's clients, the "elite" of drug trafficking in western Mexico are included, through Gerardo González Valencia.
Designated by the US and Mexican governments as part of the illegal business, Gerardo Gonzalez is relative and partner of three major cartels: Los Valencia, Los Cuinis and Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), these cartels originated in Michoacan and Jalisco and deploy millions of dollars on international activities.
For the US government there is no doubt, the Cuinis cartel, is the Mexican drug trafficking organization with more economic power around the world, even well above the Sinaloa Cartel.
"I know it sounds incredible, but Los Cuinis are the world's richest drug traffickers," a senior official of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) previously told Proceso.
US authorities accept that it is impossible to determine the amounts of money earned by Los Cuinis and its leader, but they have commented that there most be billions of dollars annually.
Los Cuinis "are almost the absolute owners of European and Asian drug markets," according to analysis and intelligence investigation from several US federal agencies, which placed this criminal group as "associated" with Cartel de Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) , a big difference of the Mexican authorities versions, who identifying them as the same mafia.
"Los Cuini and his brothers (five) are the richest because they are drug traffickers who sell more cocaine and methamphetamines in Europe and European authorities have not succeeded in confiscating almost no money or drugs. In other words their profits are close to one hundred percent, "DEA official said.
Amid the war against drug trafficking unleashed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, "The Cuini" and his brother in law Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, "El Mencho" (leader of Cartel de Jalisco), allied with South American drug traffickers to get cocaine in bulk to Europe, while the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez, Los Zetas, La Familia Michoacana and others vied with blood and gun fire routes to the United States, according to documents.
"Los Cuini" and "El Mencho" understood that "there was more risk of loss in every way if they try to compete with other cartels for the US market," said an official source to the newspaper La Prensa de Mexico.
The Sinaloa Cartel is the most powerful and feared Mexican organization on the planet. However, Cuinis are richer because they did not compete with "El Mayo" Zambada or with "El Chapo" Guzman for the US market and with very little effort, took over the European and Asian markets. "Los Cuinis", unlike other Mexican cartels "are not violent, to avoid attracting attention and are almost impenetrable in its command structure."
In recent days, the US government announced sanctions against seven Mexican companies, which they considered as fronts for money laundering to these organizations.
The Treasury Department, through the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), confiscated property and froze bank accounts under the US jurisdiction, which belong to the sanctioned companies.
Boreal Agriculture, Agricultural Tavo, Organic Agricultural Development, Agricultural Development Sayula Green, Step Latinamedica, Tourism Advisory and Administrative Status are the seven Mexican companies that OFAC identified as money laundering fronts for Los Cuinis and its leader Abigael González Valencia.
Based on the Kingpin Act, the Treasury Department designated González Valencia and the Organization of Cuinis as relevant drug traffickers.
According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Los Cuinis make more money than any other drug cartel in Mexico, cocaine and marijuana for export to Europe, where they earn euro currency.