MCALLEN, Texas – Mexican Gulf Cartel members kidnapped two men in Texas and took them to Mexico where they tortured them for days while they forced their relatives to pay for a seized drug load. The case is just one of numerous similar cases in recent years where a Mexican drug cartel carried out kidnapping operations on American soil in South Texas.
This week, authorities arrested several members of the kidnapping crew as part of a case that began in October 2019. It began when Texas State Troopers pulled over a tractor-trailer and seized 30 bundles of cocaine weighing approximately 100 kilograms, a criminal complaint filed by the FBI revealed. It remains unclear why, but the driver of the vehicle, described only as D.G. was released “pending further investigation.” The story was first reported by Mark Reagan of The Monitor who reported that authorities have since arrested 13 cartel members in connection with the kidnapping conspiracy.
A little over a week after the drug seizure, an unnamed suspect met with the truck driver (D.G.) and another man J.L. The suspect said that on October 14 they needed to meet with another unnamed man at a rach in Edinburg, Texas. If the men did not arrive, gunmen would “kill their families.” When the two men arrived at the meeting, cartel operatives held them at gunpoint and tied them up. The cartel group later moved the two men to Mexico. Once in Mexico, cartel gunmen tortured them for days as they demanded ransom money from their loved ones. The tortures included cartel gunmen tying them up and beating them with wooden boards. The court document filed by the FBI revealed that the cartel sought $800,000 from one of the victims and $300,000 from the other one for payment. After several days in captivity, the Gulf Cartel released the two victims who then returned to Texas. It remains unclear if the families paid the ransom.
Several cases of kidnappings by the Gulf Cartel have been reported in recent years. Those include:
- In May 2020, four individuals claiming to be part of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel kidnapped a man in the border city of Progreso over a $500 debt owed to a “commander” in Mexico. Breitbart Texas reported. Sheriff’s deputies raided a stash house and rescued the victim.
- In May 2019, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested several men and underage teens who were part of a kidnapping crew for the Gulf Cartel operating in Texas. As Breitbart Texas reported at the time, the gunmen had kidnapped two men but were not able to cross them into Mexico due to a surge of state law enforcement presence in the area at the time.
- In August 2015, a group of Gulf Cartel gunmen from Mexico crossed into Texas to kidnapped a man from Sullivan City and crossed him in a raft to Reynosa. As Breitbart Texas reported at the time, Mexican authorities were able to rescue the victim and arrest one of the gunmen. That kidnapping took place six days after a related shootout in a nearby Texas border city where two gunmen died and several others were injured.
- In May 2011, a group of Gulf Cartel gunmen dressed up as Mission Police officers to kidnap a U.S. citizen and take him into Mexico over a drug debt; the gunmen took an innocent man instead. As Breitbart Texas reported, the gunmen kidnapped the cousin of the intended target, crossed him into Mexico, and killed him anyway.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at email@example.com.