Posted: Jan 25, 2012 5:37 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2012 5:40 PM
HIDALGO COUNTY - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino says the PRM, or Partido Revolucionario Mexicano, may be the most dangerous prison gang operating in Hidalgo County. The gang is already 126 members strong and linked to the shooting of a Hidalgo County deputy last year.
The PRM started a little more than 20 years ago in a Texas prison. The sheriff says the gang runs by a strict military command; 14,000 members go between the United States and Mexico. The Hidalgo County sheriff says he wants help tracking members down.
In November 2011 on a rural Hidalgo County road, a member of the PRM opened fire on a Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy. Three bullets hit the deputy in the chest and stomach. The sheriff says the crime signaled the first documented case of spillover violence in Hidalgo County.
"They're a very dangerous gang. They were responsible for the shooting of one of my deputies a couple of months ago, which group was sanctioned by Mexican drug trafficking organizations," says Trevino.
Trevino says the Gulf Cartel hired the PRM to recover a lost load of drugs. After the shooting, the sheriff found 126 members carrying out home invasions, drug sales and other violent crimes up and down the Rio Grande. The gang has deep ties in Mexico.
"They naturally have a connection to the drug trafficking organizations just by the nature of their origins. They're all Mexicans. They're all illegals. That's one of the reasons that the drug trafficking organizations that employ them to search for one of their loads that resulted in a kidnapping and the shooting of one of our deputies," says Trevino.
Just two days ago, deputies arrested Orlando Moreno and Humberto Lopez. The men led authorities on a chase after leaving a home rented by the suspected local leader of the PRM. Fidencio Marez Lara remains at large. Deputies recovered bulletproof vests, a balistics helmet and packing material for drugs.
"That's why we believe that they're probably one of if not the most dangerous criminal gangs operating here in Hidalgo County. And I am telling you we are doing everything we can. We have teamed up with the FBI, and we are actively seeking them out. We're getting proactive, and we'll do anything we can to eliminate them," says Trevino.
The sheriff wants raw information, anything that can help his deputies dismantle the PRM's operations in the Valley. The sheriff says they've been tracking the PRM for years, but after the deputy shooting, they carried out Operation Wounded Star to put pressure on the members.
If you know where to find Fidencio Marez Lara, call 956-668-8477.
Deputies continue looking for two other members of the PRM. Adan de Leon Perales and Jullian Balderas Gallardo are both linked to a capital murder. Trevino says Perales and Balderas helped carry out the crime in Hidalgo County back in 2008.
Nine members kidnapped and then executed one of their own, Jose Guadalupe Garcia, a former federal Mexican judicial officer. He reportedly wanted out of the gang.
Seven members of the PRM have been convicted on the charges. Gallardo and Perales remain on the run.