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Sheriff Links Murder to Meth Deal

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Posted: Dec 31, 2012 4:34 PM

Updated: Dec 31, 2012 5:03 PM

HIDALGO COUNTY - Officials have charged two suspects with murder in the shooting death of a man Friday north of Mission.

Vicente Espinoza Fabian and Juan Carlos Gonzalez Morin went before a judge Monday, Hidalgo County Sheriff Department officials said. The men are accused of killing Marco Antonio Reyes Moreno. A deputy constable found the victim slumped over in his pickup truck. He had been shot once in the head.

A third suspect, Victor Marin Cruz, is facing charges of tempering with evidence. He is accused of trying to torch the getaway vehicle. Investigators also found 2 pounds of methamphetamine buried in Marin's backyard.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said the drugs were the motive behind the killing. He said the victim brokered a drug deal between the suspects and a cartel in Reynosa.

Trevino said the suspects decided to steal the drugs rather than answer to their bosses.

Trevino said his department is keeping an eye on meth busts in the Rio Grande Valley.

The sheriff said the precursor chemicals to make methamphetamine are becoming harder to get. He said Mexican drug cartels have stepped in to cover the increase in demand for the drug.

Trevino worries that cartels may use old tactics leading to an increase in meth use in the Valley. He said drug organizations often pay smugglers with drugs. The smugglers then sell those drugs to street-level dealers. He said such tactics could be the catalyst for a spike in the use of meth in the region.

"The same thing that was happening with cocaine maybe happening with methamphetamine and heroin," Trevino said.

"We've seen very little of it. I've got a feeling that at some point, it's going to explode and we have to get ready for this," he said.

Trevino said meth is not yet a problem in the region.

Officials said the 2 pounds confiscated in the murder investigation could fetch up to $100,000 once it's cut and sold up north.

Topics: vicente espinoza fabian, juan carlos gonzalez morin

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