Law Enforcement Gets $29.5 Million Forfeited By Former Cartel Leader
CAMERON COUNTY — 12 agencies in Rio Grande Valley received a total of $29.5 million dollars which was forfeited by former gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen to the federal government.
It was back in 2000 that Osiel Cardenas Guillen was indicted. Officials say he oversaw a vast drug trafficking empire responsible for bringing thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana into the US from Mexico.
In January of 2007 he was extradited to the US for prosecution.
In February of 2010 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $50 million dollars,
$29.5 million of that is what law enforcement agencies received in McAllen Thursday.
"Not only did we take out their leadership and their key player, but we took away profits and that's what motivates them,
there nothing better than taking over illegal gains they have got and to turn it over to law enforcement and help public safety."
Law enforcement from the lower to upper Valley all getting a chunk of that nearly $30 million dollars.
The Cameron county sheriff's department getting around 6 million dollars.
Back in 1999 ICE says that Cardenas Guillen threatened to kill a Cameron county deputy who was working undercover with homeland security investigations. That deputy refused to deliver a load of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
Sheriff Omar Lucio says they will use the funds for more manpower and firepower.
"Buying whatever equipment we need to go ahead and combat people in the drug cartel, be on the same playing field as the cartel whatever kind of equipment they have I am talking about fire power we need to make sure we have the same thing."
In the upper Valley San Juan received about 1.1 million dollars. They are planning on putting that into build a new police department among other things.
"Overall main thing we focus on is the fact we want to make our community safe this money allows us to make sure all communities are safe especially the city of San Juan."