Zetas leader, 10 others jailed for ICE agent's death
Wed, 23 Feb 2011 19:15:32 GMT —
A Zetas leader and 10 others are behind bars for the death of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jaime Zapata.
In a Wednesday evening press conference, the Mexican army said they arrested this man Julian Zapata Espinoza also known as "Piolin".
According to Mexican officials, he's a known leader of the Zetas in the State of San Luis Potos and has an extensive criminal record.
Along with Zapata-Espinoza authorities also arrested five other men, three women and a minor for their participation in the shooting.
The other suspects were identified as:
Armando lvarez Saldaa Mario Domnguez Realeo Domingo Daz Rosas Jess Ivn Quezada Pea (aka El Loco) Martin Brcenas Tapia Rubn Daro Venegas (aka El Catracho) Diana Margarita Guerrero Morales Roxana Mireya Ros Velzquez Magali Chan Castillo Lpez (Zapata-Espinoza's wife) Minor's Name Not Released
According to Mexican officials Zapata-Espinoza confessed to the shooting along with two of the other suspects who were by his side during the attack on the agents.
The Zeta leader allegedly admitted he confused the agent TMs vehicle with that of a rival gangs.
Little details are known as to what roles the other suspects played.
Authorities said they first learned about Espinoza-Zapata's ties to the Zetas Drug Cartel following the arrests of eight other Zetas members back in December.
Reaction To The Arrests
A friend of Jaime Zapata TMs told Action 4 News the family was notified about the arrest shortly after the funeral on Tuesday.
He said the arrest is comforting because authorities are progressing in the case.
But not everyone is convinced about the arrests.
I don TMt know what is the truth and what is not the truth as far as they're concerned, said Robert Rodriguez a Brownsville resident. Maybe they just picked a guy from somewhere and he TMs the one that did it and really it TMs not."
Robert Rodriguez knows tragedy all too well, he lost his son while he was fighting in Iraq, he said any information coming from Mxico is questionable.
My trust is not on the people from over there.
Mexican authorities said these arrest show their unrelenting efforts to bring down the violence in their country and will continue to work with the U.S. Government to bring them to justice.
President Barak Obama released a statement thanking Mexico TMs president for capturing suspects in the case.
Even telling the Mexican President neither the United States nor Mxico could tolerate violence against those who protect and serve the citizens.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the U.S. Government would not "relent" in its mission to bring the attackers to justice.
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton also released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that the arrest is an encouraging and welcome development.
"It is important to remember that this is an ongoing investigation, and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners in Mexico and in the United States as it unfolds," Morton said. "We continue to hold the Zapata family in our thoughts and prayers, and look forward to a swift resolution of this case."
Mexican President Felipe Calderon is expected to pay a visit to the White House next week.
(Action 4 News staff Mary Avila, Rafael Carranza and Sergio Chapa contributed to this report.)