Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Son of former Webb County Judge caught paying off cartel snitch

Though I've spent less time pursuing it in recent years, I remain fascinated with the question of "Who are the Big American Drug Bosses?" We hear a lot about mass killings nearly weekly in northern Mexico, but less frequently discussed is the issue of what cartel infrastructure looks like on the American side? What are the mechanics of how it works and how might organized crime gangs be disrupted on US soil beyond simply mass arrests of their customers?

With those questions in mind, I was interested to read at the Dallas News Crime Blog, Jason Trahan has the story of criminal defense attorney Andy Ramos, the son of a former Webb County Judge, who pled guilty to bribed a witness in a cartel-related criminal case. The story sounds like a Tex-Mex version of The Wire:
A Laredo attorney will be sentenced July 5 in Dallas after pleading guilty last week to a charge of interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

Attorney Alonzo Ramos faces a maximum of five years in prison. He was released on bond, and the court has restricted his travel to Texas, documents show.

Ramos admits that he visited a drug trafficker, listed in court documents only as "L.T.," in a Louisiana prison in 2008 "to make sure that L.T. was not cooperating with the authorities," court documents show. The inmate alerted authorities, who began investigating.

Ramos told L.T. that he had $48,000 at his home in Laredo and could give it to one of L.T.'s relatives to buy his silence. The prison meeting was recorded, according to court documents. Days later, Ramos met L.T.'s relative in Laredo and handed over the money, which authorities seized.
Reading the documents appended at the end of Trahan's post, it appears Ramos' every interaction with the informant in question was recorded. Media reports haven't confirmed which cartel he was supposedly working for, but if somebody in Laredo searched in the courthouse to identify who he's represented , it might not be difficult to figure out. His bar card number is 00797279, if some diligent local researcher wanted to check; I tried the District Clerk's site online, but it only lets you search back 60 days, and anyway you'd need to look at the complete court files to see any revealing detail. One guesses this wasn't his first interaction with an employer who'd entrust him with such a task.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This one more reason to legalize drugs and supply addicts with daily amounts. Crime would fall drastically overnight. Most property crimes are related to drug use. About 90% of the inmates in Texas prisons are drug related. I am damn tired of paying to lock the addicts up and for the massive police action to control drug use. Follow the money folks! Take the profit out of drugs and you will take drug use down to historic lows. If you have drug handouts to addicts you will make drugs not cool. Only losers show up for their dope at the government window will become the mind set of young people.