Conroy: Ex-DEA El Paso Chief Slams U.S. Attorney
Conroy: Ex-DEA El Paso Chief Slams U.S. Attorney Sutton Over Murders Govt Could Have Prevented
July 5, 2005
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The DEA's former El Paso chief, Sandalio Gonzalez, is demanding a congressional investigation into the "House of Death" case, in which a DEA/Customs informant allegedly participated in a series of tortures and murders at a house in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. A series of Texas officials, leading up to United States Attorney Johnny Sutton, appear to have helped cover up the murders and their own responsibilities in them, both in the interests of their careers and in the interest of closing a drug trafficking case.
Today in the Narco News bulletin, Bill Conroy, in the latest installment of his continuing coverage of this case, looks this new phase in Sandalio Gonzalez's battle to reveal the truth. He also looks at Attorney Sutton's background, showing him to be a man with close ties to both President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Conroy reports on several stunning revelations on the cover-up, including evidence of irregular money transfers to Lalo (the informant) as well as customs supervisors telling employees not to cooperate with investigations into the matter:
"...The first hints of the informant's role in the murders in Juárez hit the media in the spring of 2004, and the cover-up went into full swing, according to sources. The problem is that the informant Lalo had leverage because of what he knew. He was demanding more money, sources indicate.
"That's what allegedly led one of Lalo's ICE handlers, a high-level supervisor in El Paso, sometime between March and June of 2004, to put a payment through to him using a dead informant's 'source number,' which is a number assigned to all confidential sources in order to keep their identity concealed."
"And then, in August of 2004, for some reason that is not completely clear, the informant Lalo was escorted by federal agents from San Antonio back to El Paso. While in El Paso, Lalo arranged to pick up some money he claimed he was owed by some unknown third party.
"Lalo, though, didn't go himself to pick up the money at the drop site – a Whataburger fast-food restaurant in El Paso. Instead, he sent an acquaintance, Abraham Guzman, a 27-year-old father of a two-week old baby. Unfortunately for Guzman, the drop site was a set-up, and he was shot dead after thugs mistook him for the informant Lalo.
"In the wake of the shooting, according to law enforcement sources, a high-level ICE supervisor in El Paso allegedly sent out the word to members of his staff that no one was to cooperate with any investigation into the informant's role in the murders, or they would face discipline. Ironically, that supervisor has since been promoted, sources indicate."
Conroy's report has many more details on these and other developments. Read it here:
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The Narco News Bulletin