Building A Drug Case


Feds: Rancher tells of cartel inroads in S. Texas
February 13, 2011 1:00 AM
By JARED TAYLOR

FALFURRIAS — For years, Jose Maria Carbajal Jr. moved thousands of pounds of marijuana through his Brooks County ranch, authorities allege.
Carbajal’s workers used all-terrain vehicles and other means to move loads around Falfurrias for the better part of a decade, according to court documents.
All the while, authorities say, informants inside Carbajal’s smuggling operation allowed federal investigators to unravel the inner workings of the network and build a case against its key players.
Authorities said investigators finally arrested Carbajal last month when he told an informant two members of the Zetas drug cartel traveled to his ranch.
According to authorities, Carbajal claimed he showed the cartel enforcers where two Brooks County sheriff’s deputies lived, apparent kidnapping targets after authorities intercepted 1,100 pounds of the Zetas’ marijuana.
Those two officers are Brooks County Chief Deputy Benny Martinez and Deputy Mo Saavedra, authorities say.
Battling drug smugglers, whether they’re based in the U.S. or Mexico, is part of the job for Martinez.
“He also mentioned my family,