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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    TX: Officials: 3 arrested in cartel informant killing

    Officials: 3 arrested in cartel informant killing
    By ALICIA A. CALDWELL (AP) – 1 hour ago

    EL PASO, Texas — Three men were arrested Monday night in the shooting death of a U.S. drug informant in front of his home this spring, authorities said.

    Police did not release the identities of the men, details of their arrest or the exact charges they face in the May 15 death of Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, a Juarez drug cartel lieutenant who was working for U.S. officials as a confidential informant. It is believed to be the first killing of a ranking cartel member on American soil.

    Gonzalez, a 37-year-old legal immigrant, was gunned down in front of his home on a quiet cul-de-sac in an expensive neighborhood. Neighbors say they didn't hear a car on the street or any argument before the shooting.

    Police first publicly identified Gonzalez as a cartel official nearly three weeks after his death.

    Last month, two federal law enforcement officials and a local official confirmed to The Associated Press that Gonzalez had been telling U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement officials about cartel activities before his death. One of those officials said federal authorities were monitoring Gonzalez's activities and whereabouts.

    El Paso police Chief Greg Allen, who lives behind Gonzalez and heard the shots from his backyard, told the AP that no local authorities were told about Gonzalez's role in the cartel or his work with ICE until after his killing.

    In a statement to the AP, ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa said the agency does not "discuss nor comment on issues regarding confidential informants."

    Powerful Mexican drug cartels have set up organizations in more than 230 U.S. cities and cartel-affiliated hit men have delivered violent, sometimes deadly discipline against low-level, American-based drug dealers. But police and experts who study Mexico's drug war have suggested that Gonzalez is the first ranking cartel member to be killed inside the U.S.

    Police previously have said the killing may have been payback for Gonzalez's cooperation with ICE. He was shot eight times at close range. At least three of the bullets may have passed through him, striking a nearby parked car and the stucco of a neighboring house.

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  2. #2

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    US soldier charged in Mexican cartel killing

    EL PASO, Texas – A Fort Bliss soldier and two other men have been charged in the shooting death of a mid-level Mexican drug cartel member who was also a U.S. informant.

    El Paso, Texas, police said Tuesday that the soldier, 18-year-old Michael Jackson Apodaca, 30-year-old Ruben Rodriguez Dorado and 17-year-old Christopher Duran have been charged with capital murder in the May 15 slaying of Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana.

    Gonzalez, a lieutenant in the Juarez cartel who multiple government officials told The Associated Press was a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant, was shot eight times outside his El Paso home.

    Police say the military handed over Apodaca to them on Monday, when the other two men were also arrested.

    A Fort Bliss spokeswoman did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.

    (This version CORRECTS the second reference to Gonzalez to use his preferred last name.)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090811/ap_ ... _informant

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Police: Drug informant was killed by informant
    By ALICIA A. CALDWELL (AP) – 3 hours ago

    EL PASO, Texas — A man accused of hiring a U.S. Army soldier and another man to kill a Mexican drug cartel lieutenant who was cooperating with U.S. authorities was himself a government informant, police said Tuesday.

    Ruben Rodriguez Dorado hired Pfc. Michael Jackson Apodaca, 18, and Christopher Duran, 17, to help kill Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, El Paso police said Tuesday in charging documents against them. The three were arrested Monday and charged with capital murder in the May 15 slaying of Gonzalez, who was shot eight times outside his pricey El Paso home.

    A warrant has been issued for a fourth man, 33-year-old Jesus Aguayo Salas, on a capital murder charge. Investigators said Aguayo, also a ranking cartel official in Mexico, ordered and paid for the hit.

    Rodriguez, like Gonzalez, was an informant working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said.

    Gonzalez was living in El Paso on a visa given to him by the ICE, Allen said. He is believed to be the first ranking cartel member killed in the U.S.

    In a written statement, ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa declined to comment on the case.

    "As a matter of policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not confirm or deny identification of confidential sources of information," she said.

    Apodaca, Duran and Rodriguez were each being held on $1 million bond. It was not immediately clear if Apodaca or Duran had lawyers. Online court documents didn't list attorneys for them, and police said they didn't know.

    Rodriguez's lawyer, Russell M. Aboud did not respond to a phone message Tuesday.

    Apodaca, who was stationed at nearby Fort Bliss, told investigators he was paid to kill Gonzalez, according to police. Duran said he drove the getaway car, police said.

    Allen said Apodaca and Duran were paid "quite a robust amount of money ... under $10,000, in that area."

    According to the charging documents, the Juarez cartel wanted Gonzalez killed because they believed he was a government informant or had changed his allegiance to a rival cartel, and had provided information to authorities that led to the arrest of a more senior cartel member.

    Gonzalez's associates first became suspicious of him after cartel lieutenant Pedro "El Tigre" (The Tiger) Aranas Sanchez was arrested in 2008 and a cartel storage facility was raided by Mexican authorities, El Paso police Lt. Alfred Lowe said.

    Gonzalez was in fact an informant for ICE, Allen said Tuesday. He started working for the agency sometime after fleeing Mexico and trying to cut ties with the cartel in 2008, though investigators believe he resumed his duties as a supervisor for smuggling operations after being confronted by cartel officials.

    Investigators said Rodriguez told them Monday that like Gonzalez, he was a midlevel member of the cartel, which he referred to as the "Compania." He said his job was to coordinate surveillance by "following intended victims up until their execution in Mexico," and that he had been ordered to track down Gonzalez, according to the charging documents.

    Gonzalez, who apparently ran a freight company from his two-story home, knew Rodriguez was looking for him and told a witness he would be killed if Rodriguez found him, police said.

    Lowe said ICE officials knew Gonzalez was wanted by the cartel when they gave him the visa that allowed him to live in El Paso.

    The night of the killing, Rodriguez, Apodaca and Duran tracked down Gonzalez at a relative's home in nearby Canutillo, followed him home and killed him, investigators said. A witness reported hearing an argument in Spanish just before the shooting, police said.

    Apodaca, a native of El Paso, enlisted in September and was assigned to the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. A Fort Bliss spokeswoman, Jean Offutt, declined to discuss the specifics of Apodaca's case.

    Investigators said Rodriguez recruited a small group of El Paso men to work for him.

    "He was the older guy, he provided the alcohol, the party locations," Lowe said. "And he recruited these people to do his bidding."

    Apodaca, Duran, Rodriguez and a 16-year-old boy were arrested about a week-and-a-half after the Gonzalez killing and charged with trying to steal a truckload of televisions from an El Paso dealership, Cazador Logistics. Those charges are pending.

    Sheriff's deputies said the four tried to hook a 53-foot trailer containing the TVs onto a sport utility vehicle but were unsuccessful and fled. They were arrested later east of the city.

    The 16-year-old's name was withheld because he was treated as a juvenile.

    It was not immediately clear how the other three pleaded in that case.

    Lowe said after that arrest, investigators linked the trio together though one of Rodriguez's relatives.

    The shooting and the involvement of two ICE informants has strained relations among authorities in El Paso.

    Allen, the police chief, said he has twice met with ICE officials to complain about the lack of cooperation and information about potentially dangerous informants living in El Paso. Allen lives in the neighborhood where Gonzalez was killed and heard the shots from his backyard.

    "The protocols are antiquated," Allen said of information sharing between federal and local agencies. "We want to see some changes ... so we're all working from the same page."

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