BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A sexual predator and illegal alien who was recently sentenced in Texas had previously been a member of the Los Zetas drug cartel. He later became a protected witness for Mexican authorities. During his time in Texas, the narco-predator had been creating a network of underage prostitution.
In the border city of Brownsville, 34-year-old Jose Salvador Puga Quintanilla received a 35-year prison sentence following his guilty plea to various counts of sexual assault of a minor.
Breitbart Texas had previously reported on Puga who had been an active member of the Los Zetas and had turned into a government witness. The statements from Puga in Mexican courts were quoted by this outlet when he testified about the ties between Mexican drug cartels and various Mexican politicians.
Puga Quintanilla is identified by the Mexican government under the alias Gordo or Pitufo and he has open cases on various charges tied to organized crime and drug trafficking in Tamaulipas. The case in Mexico is being handled by that country’s Attorney General’s (PGR) special unit for investigating organized crime also known as SIEDO. The case file against Puga Quintanilla is labelled as PRG/SIEDO/UEIS/234/2008.
From information that Puga Quintanilla provided to investigators with the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office in connection with his case in Texas, he had entered the country illegally in 2011 and had been living in the border city of Brownsville.
From his safe haven in Brownsville Puga Quintanilla began to form and consolidate multiple ghost companies tied to the construction business in Cameron County.
According to information in Tamaulipas, Puga Quintanilla worked for years with officials from that state’s government and their party the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI). During that time, the man worked as a contractor and architect for public works at the state level.
In the underworld, Puga Quintanilla was known as “El Gordo” (Fatso) or “El Pitufo” (Smurf). Information from sources outside of law enforcement in Mexico revealed that Puga Quintanilla fled Mexico after Miguel Angel “Z-40” Treviño Morales, the top leader of the Los Zetas cartel found out about his betrayal and placed a price on his head. The top Zeta boss placed a $200,000 bounty on the head of Puga Quintanilla.
As a result of forensic interviews done by Cameron County investigators on two of the victims, as well as the content of various cell phones tied to the case, authorities learned about the efforts to create an underage prostitution ring. Under the guidance of El Pitufo, the victims themselves had tired to recruit other underage girls in Texas using large cash incentives.
The underage girls were the ones that initially made the outcry and filed a formal complaint. That came after Puga Quintanilla had managed to befriend victim’s family even though he had been violating the victims in their own home.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “J.A. Espinoza” from Matamoros and Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz.