May 16, 2013 1:00 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A jury found a woman guilty in a drug possession case in Brownsville.
Customs and Border Protection officers found 188 pounds of marijuana hidden in Jessica Garcia's vehicle, as the 22-year-old tried crossing into Brownsville through the Gateway International Bridge. The drugs were found in December.
... more »
May 15, 2013 12:49 PM
WESLACO - A 57-year-old woman accused of trafficking cocaine to Arkansas allegedly called the shots on behalf of the Gulf Cartel.
Idalia Ramos Rangel was indicted along with 14 others, which included her son. Investigators said she and her son, Mohammed "Mo" Martinez, moved more than $10 million worth... more »
January 24, 2013 4:13 PM
BROWNSVILLE (AP) - A man convicted of immigration and weapons charges and who authorities say is a manager in Mexico's Gulf drug cartel has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez - known as "El Wicho" - was sentenced Thursday in Brownsville. Federal authorities say he... more »
January 24, 2013 1:51 PM
BROWNSVILLE - An alleged Gulf cartel boss convicted of immigration and weapons charges is awaiting sentencing.
Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez, who's known as El Wicho, could face up to 20 years in prison. He's expected to be sentenced later this afternoon in Brownsville.
Border Patrol agents arrested him... more »
October 23, 2012 10:24 PM
MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal police on Monday arrested the Gulf cartel leader for the Monterrey metropolitan area.
Juan Carlos Ovalle Landeros, "Charly," was arrested after a gun battle in the Monterrey suburb of San Nicolas de los Garza. Two kidnapping victims were rescued during the incident.
Mexican... more »
October 10, 2012 10:33 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A one-time Gulf cartel boss imprisoned for assaulting two U.S. agents more than a decade ago was so fearful of returning to Mexico that he jeopardized his own scheduled release from prison by trying to bribe his way to safety. A federal judge sentenced Juan Carlos De la... more »
September 28, 2012 6:00 PM
BROWNSVILLE (AP) - A federal jury convicted a manager in Mexico's Gulf drug cartel of conspiring to possess and import cocaine and marijuana. Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon was found guilty Friday. He rose from the cartel boss' right-hand man to plaza boss, controlling a lucrative stretch of smuggling routes across the... more »
September 28, 2012 3:50 PM
Jury Deliberating Drug Case Tied to Gulf Cartel BROWNSVILLE (AP) - A federal jury is deliberating the case of a Mexican Gulf cartel boss accused of conspiring to import and distribute drugs. Closing arguments Friday in the Brownsville trial of Juan Roberto Rincon-Rincon made clear that incriminating statements he made... more »
September 28, 2012 12:59 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A federal judge denied motions to dismiss two counts against an alleged Gulf Cartel leader.
The attorney for Juan Roberto Rincon said the government failed to present evidence that his client had possessed, distributed or imported marijuana and cocaine into the United States.
Rincon's own incriminating... more »
September 27, 2012 1:05 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Prosecutors in Brownsville expect to wrap up their case today against an alleged Gulf Cartel leader.
Authorities said large loads of marijuana seized near the Texas border passed through the territory controlled by Juan Roberto Rincon.
Yesterday, a witness testified Rincon collected money after several successful... more »
September 24, 2012 12:43 PM
RIO BRAVO - The man suspected of heading the Gulf Cartel across much of Hidalgo and Cameron counties is in Mexican federal custody.
Mexico's defense secretary confirms Adrián González Martínez, aka Commandante Niño, was arrested in Rio Bravo. That's across the border from Donna.
Authorities suspect Martinez ran... more »
September 19, 2012 1:01 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The trial of a Gulf Cartel plaza boss is bringing extra security to the Brownsville federal courthouse.
Juan Roberto Rincon is accused of handling a drug smuggling operation from Rio Bravo, a small Mexican town just south of the Mid-Valley. He was arrested when he entered the... more »
September 13, 2012 4:57 PM
MEXICO CITY (AP) - A man believed to be the leader of the Gulf drug cartel, which controls some of the most valuable and violently contested smuggling routes along the U.S. border, was arrested by Mexican marines and presented to the public Thursday morning. The capture of Jorge Eduardo Costilla... more »
September 4, 2012 10:43 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The arrest of a Gulf cartel plaza boss could have short- and long-term consequences for the criminal organization.
Mexican marines arrested Mario Cardenas Guillen in Altamira, Tamaulipas. Mexican officials on Tuesday paraded Cardenas, also known as El Gordo, before cameras after his arrest. He is the brother... more »
September 4, 2012 3:22 PM
MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Mexican Navy says it has detained a top leader of the Gulf drug cartel. Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara says marines detained Mario Cardenas Guillen Tuesday in the northern city of Altamira, near Tampico. Vergara says Cardenas Guillen is the brother of Osiel Cardenas Guillen,... more »
August 13, 2012 5:22 PM
MATAMOROS - The streets of Matamoros are quiet today after five days of gun battles between cartel members and the Mexican military.
Residents reported the violence started on Wednesday and continued through Sunday. There have been reports of injuries.
The shootouts were the result of a power struggle... more »
July 11, 2012 12:29 AM
BROWNSVILLE - Federal prosecutors have seized a $2,500,000 plane they say belonged to the former governor of Tamaulipas. Federal court documents say the Gulf Cartel paid millions of dollars in bribes to former governor Tomas Jesus Yarrington-Ruvalcaba.
Homeland Security investigators say the cartel created a series of front companies... more »
May 21, 2012 4:28 PM
MONTERREY, Mexico - A Zetas leader was arrested in connection with 49 bodies found along a Mexican highway.
Mexican authorities caught Daniel de Jesus Elizondo Ramirez, who's also known as "El Loco," outside Monterrey Friday. As troops closed in on him, Ramirez threw a grenade and fired at them.... more »
May 16, 2012 12:07 AM
MEXICO - One reporter from Mexico says journalism in his country no longer exists. He tells us extortion and threats from the cartels are destroying Mexico's media, and fear dictates the headlines in northern Mexico.
"If you publish something, they will find out, and they will find you," says... more »
May 14, 2012 6:29 PM
MCALLEN - An expert says the 49 mutilated bodies found in Mexico isn't a game-changer for drug cartels.
"If they were indeed sicarios (cartel members) being sent up by Sinaloa and Gulf to engage Zetas, it's just a drop in the bucket. If they were legitimate migrants, we've seen... more »
April 25, 2012 12:30 AM
HARLINGEN - A kidnapping outside a Harlingen McDonald's came down to a lost drug load. New court documents say one man with ties to the Gulf Cartel ordered the hit on the victim.
Investigators say Jose Antonio Gonzales hired hitmen to kidnap the victim. They say Gonzalez knew the... more »
April 2, 2012 1:00 PM
OLMITO - Cameron County sheriff's deputies arrested five men in connection to an 8-liner robbery. They say the suspects have ties to Zetas.
The crime happened on Friday, March 23. Four gunmen entered the business and demanded everyone get down on the ground. The 14 people inside were robbed... more »
March 16, 2012 5:33 PM
BROWNSVILLE - ICE agents took down six men with ties to the Gulf Cartel in a raid at a Brownsville restaurant on Wednesday.
We first started getting calls about the raid at the Pizza, Wings and Things early Thursday. Witnesses described it like nothing they'd ever seen: armed ICE... more »
March 15, 2012 7:07 PM
A Gulf Cartel member already behind bars for threatening to assault and kill federal agents in 2009 is facing new charges.
Thirty-seven-year-old Juan Carlos de la Cruz Reyna has been arrested on charges of bribery. He and six others are accused of trying to bribe a federal officer in... more »
March 12, 2012 4:48 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A cartel boss confessed to using the Valley as his transit point to smuggle drugs, guns and money.
Rafael Cardenas Vela pleaded guilty in federal court in Brownsville Monday morning to long-term conspiracy. He took over as leader of the Gulf Cartel after one of his uncles,... more »
March 12, 2012 12:46 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Gulf Cartel Plaza boss faced a judge Monday in Brownsville and confessed to his role in a drug trafficking operation.
Rafael Cardenas Vela, aka "Junior," "Comandante 900" or "Rolex," is now a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty Monday morning in a drug trafficking case.
A... more »
March 12, 2012 11:25 AM
BROWNSVILLE (AP) - The nephew of the former boss of Mexico's Gulf cartel has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. In exchange for Monday's plea in federal court in Brownsville, prosecutors have agreed to drop additional charges against 38-year-old Rafael Cardenas Vela.... more »
March 8, 2012 7:17 PM
Federal agents are calling it a multimillion-dollar drug and weapons trafficking operation headed by the Gulf Cartel. At one end is McAllen and at the other the state of Florida. Court documents revealed new details about the alleged conspiracy, including the Valley's major players.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS first told... more »
February 22, 2012 1:00 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Two bodyguards arrested with the nephew of a Gulf Cartel Plaza boss will have to spend 126 days behind bars.
Rafael Cardenas Vela is the nephew of Osiel Cardenas, leader of the Gulf Cartel. His bodyguards, Francisco Javier Escalante and German Alejandro Huizar, will spend four months... more »
February 21, 2012 5:32 PM
NEAR MONTERREY, MEXICO - Officials say three inmates have been killed in a northern Mexico prison just a few miles away from the penitentiary where 44 gang members were killed this week.
A Nuevo Leon state public security spokesman says the victims were booked Monday into the Topo Chico... more »
February 20, 2012 12:56 PM
MONTERREY, MEXICO - Authorities say a turf war between the Zetas and Gulf Cartel led to a deadly prison riot in Monterrey.
Officials say members of the Zetas stabbed and killed 44 members of the rival Gulf Cartel. Then they staged a mass escape, apparently with the help of... more »
February 16, 2012 4:40 PM
Millions of dollars seized from the Gulf Cartel are being divided among Texas law enforcement agencies.
Twelve Valley police and sheriff's departments are getting a cut from more than $29 million taken from cartel leader Osiel Cardenas-Guillen. These agencies assisted in his capture. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released details... more »
February 10, 2012 7:13 PM
A major cartel drug operation in Florida reportedly has ties to the Rio Grande Valley. The Gulf Cartel runs drugs from McAllen to central Florida.
Documents say the cartels are operating in our area. Their operations span across the United States.
If the miles on the vehicles at... more »
February 10, 2012 1:03 PM
MCALLEN - A cartel network operating a thousand miles away has ties to the Valley. Federal, state and local law enforcement raided a Florida distribution point for marijuana. The drugs can be traced back to McAllen.
Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock says the Gulf Cartel ran operations from McAllen... more »
January 26, 2012 11:57 PM
AUSTIN - An Austin-based intelligence agency says one cartel is on its way to taking over the areas on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande Valley. They say if one cartel runs all the drug routes there will be less fighting.
The battle between the Zetas and the... more »
January 24, 2012 11:34 PM
LAREDO - Jurors in Laredo are now deliberating the fate of a man prosecutors say is behind cartel attacks on this side of the border. Federal agents say Gerardo Castillo-Chavez is part of a major cartel operation.
There was a recap in court Tuesday morning of everything in the... more »
January 24, 2012 4:38 PM
LAREDO - Jurors in Laredo are now deliberating the fate of a man prosecutors say is behind cartel attacks on this side of the border.
Federal agents say Gerardo Castillo-Chavez is part of a major cartel operation. There was a recap in court Tuesday morning of everything in the... more »
January 20, 2012 7:03 PM
REYNOSA, MEXICO - Folks in Reynosa can't miss a monument built to honor a ruthless cartel leader.
Mexican media are posting a picture showing a large statue of a rooster. It reportedly pays tribute to Samuel Estrada Borrego, aka "El Gallo." Borrego was killed last year. He headed the... more »
January 17, 2012 6:37 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Valley narcotics investigator, it seems, played a key role in the arrest of a notorious cartel boss.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio says the $5.9 million is just a small token of gratitude for what his investigators have been through. Lucio says his narcotics team played... more »
January 17, 2012 12:56 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The Cameron County Sheriff's Department received a large check. It's money seized from a notorious Gulf Cartel investigation.
The money came from the forfeiture case involving former Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas. The $5.9 million is the largest amount ever awarded to the Cameron County Sheriff's Department.... more »
January 12, 2012 7:09 PM
HIDALGO - A Valley police chief says cartel threats against police departments happen all the time. CHANNEL 5 NEWS obtained a DPS memo warning the Gulf Cartel would open fire on police officers to protect the load.
Hidalgo Police Chief Vernon Rosser gets dozens of alerts, tips and warnings... more »
January 11, 2012 6:39 PM
Valley police are on alert. The Gulf Cartel is threatening to shoot at officers to protect their loads.
The warning came from the Texas Department of Public Safety. CHANNEL 5 NEWS reviewed a letter sent to different agencies in the McAllen area. The letter, citing information from the FBI,... more »
January 9, 2012 7:07 PM
A former Gulf Cartel Plaza boss has pleaded guilty in his federal case.
Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez, also known as "El Wicho," was charged with illegal re-entry and felony possession of a firearm. Agents arrested him south of Harlingen back in October as he crossed into the United States.... more »
January 3, 2012 7:55 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Gulf Cartel Plaza boss will go to trial later this month in the Lower Valley.
Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez, aka "El Wicho," was in federal court Tuesday in Brownsville. He's charged with illegal reentry and felon in possession of a firearm.
Zuniga was caught last... more »
December 22, 2011 5:40 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The confession of a Gulf Cartel leader will be used against him. It's the decision reached in a Brownsville federal courtroom Thursday.
Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez is charged with illegal entry and felony possession of a firearm. Zuniga, also known as "El Wicho," was arrested in Santa... more »
December 21, 2011 1:57 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Gulf Cartel boss wants his confession thrown out of federal court.
Attorneys were in Brownsville on Wednesday arguing over a statement made by Jose Luis Zuniga Hernandez, also known as "Comandante Wicho." He's charged with illegal reentry and a felon being in possession of a firearm.... more »
December 13, 2011 2:24 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The bodyguards for a Gulf Cartel Plaza boss have changed their pleas in their criminal case.
Port Isabel police pulled over Rafael Cardenas-Vela in October with two of his bodyguards. Cardenas-Vela is the nephew of Osiel Cardenas, the imprisoned leader of the Gulf Cartel. An officer noticed Cardenas-Vela... more »
December 12, 2011 2:41 PM
VALLE HERMOSO, MEXICO - A shootout has left 11 gunmen dead, and a Mexican soldier wounded.
The shootout happened Saturday in Valle Hermoso, about 30 miles south of Matamoros. Armed men holed up in a building shot at troops. When the army moved in, they found 11 dead gunmen,... more »
November 30, 2011 2:19 PM
PORT ISABEL - A judge set a court date for the start of the trial for the accused Gulf Cartel Plaza boss.
Rafael Cardenas Vela is expected in court Jan. 8. He pleaded not guilty to federal drug trafficking charges last Tuesday. Two of his bodyguards were also in... more »
November 29, 2011 9:41 PM
MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas, Mexico - The Mexican military has taken down some of the Gulf Cartel's top leaders. A cartel expert says we'll probably see more violence in Matamoros in the coming days. The expert say the Zetas see will see these arrests as an opportunity to take advantage of the... more »