Running guns into Mexico should be left to the bigwigs such as Attorney General Eric Holder. It’s certainly not a wise sideline for the Border Patrol’s corrupt minions.
The formal guilty pleas are expected on Aug. 15 for Ricardo Morales and on Aug. 16 for his girlfirend, Carla Gonzales-Ortiz.
El Paso Times: Border Patrol agent, girlfriend set to plead guilty in guns case (July 25 2012)
An El Paso Border Patrol agent and his girlfriend are scheduled to plead guilty next month to charges that they smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartel members.
In April, federal agents arrested Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Montalvo, 28, and his girlfriend, Carla Gonzales-Ortiz, 29, after their indictment on conspiracy, firearms and smuggling charges. Both have been jailed without bond since their arrests.
According to a judge’s calendar for Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones, Montalvo is scheduled to plead guilty on Aug. 15, and Gonzales-Ortiz is to plead guilty on Aug. 16.
According to information at a detention hearing for the couple after their arrest, an investigation into the gun-smuggling allegations began in early 2011 after a man, identified in court documents only as E.P., told agents he worked as a “straw purchaser” for Montalvo … Montalvo allegedly once tried to recruit other straw purchasers while wearing his Border Patrol uniform.
The couple’s indictment states Montalvo bought ammunition and firearms, such as AK-47-type rifles favored by Mexican drug cartels. He also allegedly bought about 20,000 rounds of ammo, 97 high-capacity magazines — including 10 100-round magazines for 5.56 mm rifles — and four 37 mm flare launchers, which drug cartels can convert to grenade launchers.
At the detention hearing, a special agent with Customs and Border Protection’s Internal Affairs division, testified that the couple became involved in buying weapons, ammunition and accessories destined for Mexico in the fall of 2010. Montalvo recruited straw purchasers by paying them for buying weapons and other items, and he paid them extra if they delivered the items to Mexico.
In January 2011, agents executed two search warrants at the couple’s home on Emerald Point Drive in far East El Paso. There, the agents seized nine weapons, a handwritten ledger with descriptions of the weapons and price markups, and a photo from Montalvo’s computer showing Montalvo, dressed in plain clothes, holding a large wad of money. Topping the wad was a $100 bill. The photo was titled “Pay Day.”
The real “Pay Day” starts August 15!
Previously blogged here: