This past week the governor of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernandez sat down with the head of the FBI in Mexico, Robert Loosle and signed a cooperative agreement with US federal authorities to “exchange information and training against drug trafficking and organized crime”. Loosle said that “this effort by the government of Mexico is very admirable. What we are doing in cooperation together should be an example to other states of Mexico and many other U.S. agencies. “
This seems to be a new wrinkle–a formal US intelligence-sharing agreement with a state government within a foreign country. Considering the Zeta/Gulf organization’s proven ability to penetrate federal and local law enforcement in Tamaulipas there might be some problems with this down the road.
Last Monday a story in the Brownsville Herald cast a gringo into the media’s All-Mexican NarcoHorror grindhouse. With this kind of money in play and the economy in the tank, its isn’t surprising to find a name like Cotter in the mix. What’s interesting is the “old school” money laundering tactic. Shades of Jake Gatsby…
Federal prosecutors have initiated forfeiture proceedings against 14 Mexican bond certificates dating back to 1930 that they say are now wrapped up in a complex money laundering scheme.
The debt certificates – worth up to an estimated $22 million – were seized in two separate incidents in April at Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and the Falfurrias checkpoint.
“There are always new and inventive ways of moving money around,” said Robin Sabin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Authorities seized the bonds April 30 from two men who had attended a meeting to negotiate their sale earlier in the day in North McAllen.
Present were at least two men with suspected drug ties that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service had been tracking for years.
Alfredo Esper, a businessman from Mexico’s San Luis Potosístate, had helped set up the meeting, according to an IRS affidavit filed in support of the forfeiture case. But his purported links to the Tamaulipas-based Gulf Cartel were what first drew the attention of federal investigators, the document states.
Esper allegedly served as one of two cartel contacts for Duane Cotter, a Weslaco construction equipment dealer.
Since 2007, agents have tracked Cotter as he reportedly used his business – Mid-Valley Equipment – and a fleet of five private planes to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and thousands of dollars between Mexico and U.S. cities such as Atlanta and Henderson, N.C., the affidavit states.
No criminal charges have been filed against Cotter.