Skip to comments.The House of Death
Posted on 07/12/2016 1:44:11 AM PDT by Ray76
(2006) The US media have virtually ignored this story. The Observer is the first newspaper to have spoken to Janet Padilla, and this is the first narrative account to appear in print.
The House Of Death suddenly seemed set to become a major national scandal. On 24 February, Sandy Gonzalez, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA office in El Paso wrote to his Ice counterpart, John Gaudioso.
'I am writing to express to you my frustration and outrage at the mishandling of investigation that has resulted in unnecessary loss of human life,' he began, 'and endangered the lives of special agents of the DEA and their immediate families. There is no excuse for the events that culminated during the evening of 14 January... and I have no choice but to hold you responsible.' ICE, Gonzalez wrote, had gone to 'extreme lengths' to protect an informant who was, in reality, a 'homicidal maniac'
But ICE and its allies in the DoJ were covering up their actions, helped by the US media - aside from the Dallas Morning News, not one major newspaper or TV network has covered the story. The first signs came in the response to Gonzalez's letter to Gaudioso - not from Ice, but from Johnny Sutton.
He reacted not to the discovery of corpses at Calle Parsonieros, but with concern Gonzalez might talk to the media. He communicated his fears to a senior official in Washington - Catherine O'Neil, director of the DoJ's Organised Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Describing Gonzalez's letter as 'inflammatory,' she passed on Sutton's fears to the then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and to Karen Tandy, the head of the DEA, another Texan lawyer.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Gonzalez’s letter to Gaudioso - http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/ICE_Letter.pdf
Karen Tandy’s response to Gonzalez’s letter (note James Comey) - http://web.archive.org/web/20070316194024/http://www.cnsnews.com/PDF/2007/memo2.pdf
Testimony of Michelle Leonhart, DEA Deputy Administrator - http://narcosphere.narconews.com/userfiles/70/Gonzalez1.ecl.pdf
Q Now, the administrator, of course, is currently Karen Tandy, is that correct?
A That’s correct.
Q And you’ve been her deputy administrator?
A That’s correct.
Q So yours and Karen Tandy’s is the current administration for the DEA at that top level?
Q Now, the jury’s heard a little bit about this event in the — this horrific event in Ciudad Juarez. Did this event occur during your administration and Karen Tandy’s administration?
A Yes, it did.
Q Okay. Did you have a role in attempting to uncover — and let me, just for a moment so that everyone can see, this is the El Paso field division where that red pin is, is that correct?
Q Okay. And Ciudad Juarez would be right down here, not far from El Paso, is that correct?
A That’s correct.
Q Okay. Now, did you at some point in time get some information about events in Ciudad Juarez?
Q And please tell the jury what your role became when you attempted to determine what was happening there?
A Because I’m the deputy administrator, when there are critical incidents or serious matters, I’m briefed very often by the chief of operations. And it was brought to my attention that we had an agent and his family pulled over by a Mexican police officer and some other individuals, and I was also advised that we believed that those people had been to his home earlier.
Q Okay. Did you begin to learn of other information and events down there as time went forward or went on?
A Yes, because a car stopped in Mexico of our agents and his family and this visit to his house was pretty irregular and concerning, I was kept apprised for the next day or two on other events that started to be uncovered.
Q And those other events which we haven’t gone into in any great detail here, but they were horrible events.
Q Now, did you at some point learn that the customs service was in some fashion handling an informant that may have been involved in some of those incidents or aware of some of those incidents?
Q Did you — and, by the way, the DEA is not part of customs, is that correct?
A That’s correct.
Q Totally separate agencies?
A Like two different companies.
Q Okay. You can’t discipline customs employees, you can’t promote customs employees, you can’t get involved in custom employee matters, is that correct?
A That’s correct.
Q Okay. But when you learn of what was going on, did you go to customs, your equal in customs, and bring to their attention what was going on down there?
A Yes, I did.
Q And did they deny what was going on?
A I told them what I had found out. He said that that’s not the story that he had. He didn’t seem to express the same concern that we had, tried to explain that this is, you know, life or death situation. We had a family and an agent at risk. We needed to get to the bottom of this. And we stressed — I stressed that we needed to get together, and we offered to give him a briefing on everything we had learned and urged him to come to our office to meet with me and the chief of operations.
Q And when you say he, you are referring to someone within the customs service.
A It would be my counterpart at the customs service or ICE, the number two person for that agency.
Q Okay. So were you doing all you could to enlist the involvement and raise the concerns of this other agency, the customs service, about this event?
A Yes, not only at my level, but also at the chief of operations level.
Q Okay. Now, did there come a time in which the Office of the Attorney General, in fact, the Attorney General of the United States himself, wanted to know what was going on with this matter?
Q And was there a plan in place with the acknowledged approval of the attorney general on how to handle the investigation of what events occurred in Ciudad Juarez?
A Yes. We notified the attorney general of the United States and the deputy attorney general of the United States of what we had learned and the events and our concerns. We told him that we had talked to customs and let them know what we had found out.
<- - - break - - ->
The Attorney General was John Ashcroft. The Deputy Attorney General was James Comey, now with the FBI.
House of Death Timeline (CNSNews.com)
This is a timeline of the key events in the U.S. multi-agency operation launched against a major narcotics cartel in Juarez, Mexico.
Early 2002 : U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) initiates “Operation Sky High,” a multi-agency bilateral investigation with Mexican federal authorities targeting the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes narcotics cartel. In the U.S., the operation includes the DEA, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Jan. 2003: U.S. government begins paying Mexican national Guillermo Ramirez Peyro to be a confidential informant and spy on the Fuentes cartel in the Mexican border town of Juarez.
June 28, 2003: Ramirez is arrested for trying to smuggle 100 pounds of marijuana into the United States. ICE insists on keeping him as an informant as long as he is “closely monitored.”
Aug. 5, 2003: Ramirez allegedly participates in torture and murder of Mexican lawyer Fernando Reyes Aguado in Juarez.
Aug. 5, 2003: ICE informs Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden about Ramirez’s alleged involvement in the Reyes murder.
Aug. 2003 : DEA officials suggest the investigation be shut down, and cartel members be immediately arrested. Justice Department and ICE opt to continue the probe.
Jan. 14, 2004: In Juarez, DEA agent Homer McBrayer and family stopped by Mexican policemen and cartel gunmen. An attempt to abduct the DEA agent and his family is averted when another DEA agent and Mexican state police arrive.
Jan. 15, 2004: Fuentes cartel kingpin Heriberto Santillan-Tabares is arrested in the U.S. on a December 2003 indictment on drug charges and murder.
Jan. 23, 2004: Law enforcement search of a home in Juarez turns up the buried remains of victims.
Jan. 28-29, 2004: Fielden interviews informant Ramirez, and finds out - for the first time, according to her affidavit - about murders that occurred after Aug. 5, 2003 and in which Ramirez was allegedly involved. Said in an affidavit she learned for the first time that the total number of murders was 13.
Feb. 10-19, 2004: Joint ICE-DEA team reviews investigation, interviewing 44 people - but not Ramirez.
Feb. 24, 2004: Senior DEA agent Sandalio Gonzalez sends letter to ICE counterpart criticizing ICE for its handling of the case.
Mar. 5, 2004: DEA Administrator Karen Tandy sends e-mail to ICE and Department of Justice officials, apologizing for Gonzalez’s “inexcusable” letter, and saying agencies should not comment to the press about the case.
Apr. 19, 2005: Santillan-Tabares is jailed for 25 years on narcotics conviction, after Sutton strikes a deal to drop murder charges in exchange for guilty plea.
Aug. 2005: Immigration judge rules that Ramirez would face credible threat to his life if he was deported to Mexico and grants approval for him to remain in the U.S. (An appeals court later overturns the ruling, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is considering the matter.)
Sept. 2006: Families members of five people allegedly murdered by the cartel file a federal wrongful death lawsuit in Texas against the government, alleging the mishandling of the investigation allowed the murders to occur.
(Sources: U.S. government documents, court records)
All during bush administration
Does anyone know how to write anymore? How many paragraphs to find out what happened?
If you want to know the details read the background link. In fact readers should read that first and then read this article, that way readers will understand that brutal murders by a paid informant were allowed to continue - with the full knowledge of Ashcroft and Comey.
Thanks; I wasn’t blaming you - just the Guardian which thinks it is such a superior paper but can’t get a few facts into the top paragraph.
I can’t figure it out either, but it is obviously Bush’s fault.
Oh. No worries. I excerpted severely in order to bring in the interesting parts.
Looks like it...
From around February-March 2004 on Ashcroft was laid up in the hospital and Comey was in charge.
First part of 2004 Ashcroft was suffering from acute pancreatitis.
All of this reminds me a little off the recent movie “Sicario”.
With all of the brutality, dishonesty, subplots and complete disregard for the law...it left one wondering who the good guys were.
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