Mexican Cartel Kidnapped Man in US, Smuggled Across Border, Feared Dead

The partial unsealing of a criminal complaint by the U.S. Attorney’s Office reveals a Mexican man legally living in the U.S. was kidnapped on U.S. soil by the Mexican Gulf cartel, illegally brought across the U.S. southern border back into Mexico, and allegedly executed.

Roel Garza of Texas was arrested on July 7, 2013 and stands accused of participation in the kidnapping, which authorities say was retaliation by the Mexican Gulf cartel for the theft of more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from the cartel. The victim, however, was not involved in any way with the stolen drugs.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the agents of the Gulf cartel claimed to be a police officer and handcuffed the man. The victim’s wife thought police had taken her husband, but when she called the local Texas authorities, she discovered that they had not arrested her husband.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the victim was beaten, blindfolded, gagged, and bound in duct tape. He was taken by the agents of the Gulf cartel to a nearby ranch on U.S. soil. Only then, say authorities, did the kidnappers realize they had taken an innocent man and that the victim was not the person they were seeking.

Authorities say the agents of the Gulf cartel decided to sneak him across the porous border and cross the Rio Grande river. U.S. authorities claim agents of the Gulf cartel allegedly murdered the man in Mexico, despite his innocence in the matter.

“The victim was a permanent resident of the U.S. with no criminal record and had no involvement in the theft or sale of cocaine. The victim has not been heard from or seen since this event,” explained the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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