Monday, October 20, 2008

Elected Sheriff receiving Governor's border security funds allegedly worked for Gulf Cartel

Yet another elected Texas Sheriff has been ousted on corruption charges, this time Starr County Reymundo Guerra who was allegedly helping the Gulf Cartel smuggle drugs through his county. He resiged today.

Guerra joins former Brownsville Sheriff Conrado Cantu and several sheriffs caught up in commissary-related bribery schemes in the annals of disgraced, corrupt elected law enforcement officials lately hounded out of office. Reported the Brownsville Herald ("Starr Sheriff indicted in Gulf Cartel case," Oct. 14):

Guerra's imminent arrest had been telegraphed for weeks - ever since FBI agents searched his home and office in Rio Grande City on Sept. 4. Court documents later linked the raids to an ongoing probe into a smuggling ring led by Jose Carlos Hinojosa, 31, of Roma.

U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey touted the investigation later that month as one piece of a nationwide crackdown on Gulf Cartel operatives and their associates that had resulted in more than 175 arrests

So far, 14 men and women - mostly from Starr County and the Mexican city of Miguel Alemán - have been indicted in the Hinojosa case.

But despite the chatter that surrounded the sheriff, his fate remained unclear until the FBI returned to his office Tuesday morning and placed him under arrest.

"I'm shocked that this happened, because every indication that I had was that the sheriff's department was running smoothly, the best way I have seen in a long time,"
Sheriff Guerra was one of the members of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition that lobbied Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislature to pony up more than $100 million in "Operation Linebacker" block grants to be distributed equally among the Sheriffs to use as they saw fit. We already knew the initiative wasn't being coordinated with other law enforcement efforts on the border. Now it appears some of that grant money was directly under control of a crooked cop working for the Gulf cartel. Ouch!

The Lege should cut their losses and decline to reauthorize those block grants in the 81st session - who knows what's happening with that money, but we know it wasn't doing much good toward reducing smuggling in Starr County!


Anonymous said...

Whoo Hoo.. There's Texas justice for you...

You cannot blame them though, the Justice Department has been full of underhanded deals for many many years.

Anonymous said...

The ENTIRE Valley is corrupt. They demand corruption as a simple way of business here. Sadly, there is no big surprise here.

Anonymous said...

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