Texas Border City Employee Caught Using Work Truck to Move Cocaine

Brownsville truck
Cameron County DA's Office

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A maintenance worker assigned to the police department in this border city has been arrested for using his government vehicle to move four kilograms of cocaine.

The arrest took place Thursday morning when Manuel Ibarra was driving his city issued truck with a trailer full of lawn-mowing equipment, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office (CCDA) revealed. Ibarra had been assigned to carry out maintenance at the Brownsville Police station.

Manuel Ibarra Jr.

Manuel Ibarra Jr.

Inside the vehicle, investigators with the CCDA’s office discovered four bricks containing four kilograms of cocaine. Ibarra’s arrest came after an investigation by the CCDA’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brownsville Police and the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration.

The city of Brownsville is immediately north of the Mexican border city Matamoros, one of the strongholds of the Gulf Cartel. The criminal organization is responsible for controlling the flow of ton quantities of marijuana and cocaine, as well as tens hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Matamoros into Brownsville.

Despite effort by city officials to obscure cartel crime, Brownsville has seen its share of high profile organized crime cases.

On January 11, 2014, a team of Gulf Cartel gunmen allegedly led by cartel lieutenant Javier Garza Medrano killed an innocent man in Brownsville’s eastern side. The cartel gunmen were preparing to carry out a hit on an individual but mistook the van driven by Juan Manuel Ocanas Barrientos as the vehicle driven by their intended target.
Garza Medrano was later arrested in the Mexican State of Guerrero.

In July 2011, a group of eight gunmen stormed a seafood restaurant near this border city where they tied up the patrons and kidnapped Reyes Bocanegra. Authorities found Bocanegra’s body about 40 minutes later inside an SUV. The case has been linked to drug trafficking by authorities.

In October 2010, a team of three Gulf Cartel assassins used silenced handguns to execute the brother of a former cartel member who had fled to Texas and had been cooperating with authorities. While the three assassins have since been identified, they remain at large.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project and you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


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