MONTERREY, Nuevo Leon – Breitbart Texas identified a Nuevo Leon state judge who released a Gulf Cartel lieutenant from jail and placed him on house arrest. The ruling came despite the seizure of a cache of weapons and armored trucks in relation to the arrest. The defendant was leading a 22-man cell a the time.
Court information revealed that in recent days, Judge Juan Manuel Cardenas Gonzalez ordered Gulf Cartel lieutenant Juan Manuel “El Juanito” Hernandez Vasquez released from custody and placed on house arrest. The top cartel operator was in custody since January after Nuevo Leon authorities arrested him for a rejected bribe.
Soon after the arrest, agents with Nuevo Leon’s State Investigation’s Agency (AEI) carried out a series of raids in various stash houses around the Monterrey metropolitan area, where they captured 22 Gulf Cartel operators working for El Juanito. As part of the raids, authorities seized armored trucks, weapons, cocaine, and cash.
Despite the nature of the criminal organization, Judge Cardenas Gonzalez ordered El Juanito out of prison. Available court information does not provide any reasoning for the decision.
Breitbart Texas consulted with Mexican federal law enforcement officials who revealed that El Juanito is linked to a large-scale fuel theft operation where various attorneys in Nuevo Leon are identified as providing protection and directly participating in the scheme.
The release of top cartel operators like El Juanito is becoming common practice in Nuevo Leon, while such court rulings go unnoticed or unreported. Earlier this year, another state judge granted the conditional release of Fausto “El Centenario” Cebrian Mendoza, another leading figure in the Gulf Cartel. Authorities caught the leader and seven associates at a bar. While still on house arrest, unknown gunmen killed El Centenario outside a bar in Monterrey. The reason for his release remains unknown.
This week, one assassin from the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas on house arrest was caught hunting state police officers and rival drug dealers.
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 Tony Aranda from Nuevo Leon.