IBWC Zapata Land Dispute
ZAPATA COUNTY - The Department of Justice is now overseeing the removal of people who are holding out hope of staying in their homes on International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) property in Zapata County.
Some of these homeowners have lived there for decades. IBWC is accusing them of encroaching on their land. IBWC turned the cases over to the Department of Justice in late March.
"We finally just didn't grant anymore extensions," said IBWC Spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski. "And we just referred them to the Department of Justice to handle the situation for encroaching."
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported in March of this year veterans and retirees were waiting to see if the government would take action in moving against them. Korean War Veteran, Bill Grogan, decided this fight wasn't worth continuing.
"People don't beat the government, you understand," Grogan said. "Little people don't beat the government."
Grogan decided to move into a new home within the Four Seasons subdivision along Falcon Lake. He sold his mobile home for $9,000.
"I thought a bird in hand was worth two in the bushes so I sold my house for half of what it's worth," Grogan said.
Grogan claims the Department of Justice visited him in June. Their message was simple.
"He said as soon as we get the eviction judgment, the notice and the order from the court that we have to get out, they would send that to the U.S. Federal Marshall's office," Grogan said.
Initially he wanted to stay true to his principles.
"I was gonna' sit there right on my step and say come and get me! But that's just asinine, that's childish. If you just sit there sooner or later they're going to come, take you by the arm and pull you out of your house," Grogan said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the Southern District of the Department of Justice for comment. We were told the Department doesn't speak to the press in pending matters.
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