Feds: Cartel Gunmen Forced Commercial Truck Driver to Smuggle Drugs

CBP officer inspects oncoming traffic in Brownsville Texas
Breitbart Texas / Ildefonso Ortiz

McALLEN, Texas – Four Gulf Cartel gunmen allegedly pulled over a commercial truck driver, loaded his vehicle with drugs, and forced him to drive into the U.S. under threat of murdering his family. This is the story presented in court by a truck driver who was found to be hauling illegal drugs into the United States.

The claims made by the truck driver continue to highlight the grip that the Gulf Cartel holds on the border city of Reynosa, one of the largest manufacturing hubs in Mexico with hundreds of factories directly tied to U.S. production giants.

The truck driver, 41-year-old Rolando Rodriguez Bautista, was caught last week at the Pharr International Bridge and formally charged by U.S. prosecutors on Monday with possession with intent to distribute roughly about 25 pounds of methamphetamine, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

During a Monday morning hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos ordered Rodriguez held without bond.

On the day of his arrest, officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent Rodriguez’s truck to a secondary inspection where an X-Ray of the truck pointed officers towards the battery compartments. After an in-depth inspection, officers found 12 packets of methamphetamines hidden in two of the four batteries that the truck had.

Once in custody, agents with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations interviewed Rodriguez about the drugs. He told them that four cartel gunmen pulled him over on his way to the bridge.

Rodriguez was identified as a driver for Transportes Quintero, who would cross from Mexico to the U.S to pick up trailers on a regular basis. While headed to Pharr to pick up a trailer, four gunmen pulled him out of his truck at gunpoint, replaced two of the batteries and told him to drive.

The cartel gunmen told Rodriguez “not to inform anyone of the batteries or they would harm him and his family.”

The gunmen then followed the truck all the way to the international bridge. During questioning, Rodriguez told agents that in the past he would tell officers if he suspected that anything was off about the load that he was carrying but in this case he feared for his family and didn’t say anything.

While Reynosa is home to more than 400 factories, many of those plants, as Breitbart Texas reported, have suffered run-ins with Mexican drug cartels. One of those factories called Thermo Fisher is the topic of an ongoing lawsuit where investors are suing the former owners for not warning them about the Gulf Cartel.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that Gulf Cartel gunmen would often enter the plant waiving machine guns and terrorizing the employees, enter the plant to hide vehicles, including tractor trailers with unknown cargo, or they would go into the plant to hide from authorities.

The crime syndicate also stationed cartel lookouts in the industrial area around the plant, which caused concern among investors and employees.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


Cartel Gunmen Force Truck Driver