Importing Drug Traffickers

Dec 4th, 2008 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics
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THE BORDER REPORT

Been meaning to get to this case for a while, it fascinated me over the summer then I missed the concluding decision by an appeals court judge in July. Whoops; well, better late as it were.

I like this Ninth District Court of Appeals case because it shows to what extent the U.S. tries to get information on narcos entering the country. In this case, a State Department consular official in Ciudád Juárez tried to get a man he believes is a drug trafficker to become an informant and was willing to grant him a visa to live in the U.S. if he went for the deal.

In 2002, Yuma, Ariz., onion farmer, Jesus Bustamante, applied for permanent legal residence in the U.S. His wife’s a U.S. citizen. Bustamante applied for residency and was denied after he spoke with consular official Eric Cruz. Bustamante says the consular official told him he knows that he’s a drug trafficker but that they would let him into the U.S. as a permanent resident if he’d become an informant. If not, there was the door.

You can imagine how that went over. The case ended up in the Ninth District Court of Appeals, where the presiding judge ruled that the U.S. was within its rights to reject Bustamante on the grounds that the local DEA office had his name down as a narco-trafficker.

What got me about the case was the subtle move by the judge to glide over the allegation that the U.S. tried to turn Bustamante into an informant.

The judge wrote: Furthermore, the Bustamantes’ allegation that Jose was asked to become an informant in exchange for immigration benefits fails to allege bad faith; if anything, it reflects the official’s sincere belief that Jose had access to information that would be valuable in the government’s effort to combat drug trafficking. Moreover, the Bustamantes do not allege that Jose was asked to do anything illegal or improper. Under Mandel’s limited inquiry, the allegation that the Consulate was mistaken about Jose’s involvement with drug trafficking, and offered to make a deal with Jose on the basis of this mistaken belief, fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

Whether Bustamante is a drug trafficker or not, and I have no idea, is irrelevant. What got me is that apparently it’s common practice for the U.S. to grant permanent legal residence to known criminals and put them to work for the government’s side.

Since when do we need to import drug traffickers? I would have thought we had enough of them in the country already.

You can read the judge’s decision here.

3 comments
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  1. what’s up with the killing of hank rohn’s head of security? nobody’s talking about that and the murder of the deputy ag in chihuahua? thank you for your site. it is very informative…

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  2. Excellent, insightful point, Michael.

    Meanwhile, how about spending more time and money on finding our domestic drug traffickers – once the goodies make it across the border?

    Heck, you can buy Mexican maryjane all the way up in Burlington, Vermont, where the price has actually declined over the past few years.

    Tell me: how did MJ make it all the way up there?

    It’s even more popular there than is a Corona!

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  3. How about that Testigo Protegido that claimed to be one of Ramon Arellano’s favorite sicarios, supposedly he lives in US northwest with wife and daughter and had a blog going on but abruptly ended it. TJ news bloggers didn’t know whether this guy was the real deal, a reporter, or a cop. The truth is his stories had a cult following. I’m not giving TJ’s most popular news blog propaganda, but it’s worth to check out if you guys are interested in what street level chismes go on in TJ. Local TJ papers tend to do half arse reporting, useless facts reporting, and omissions to protect the innoc…wait, it’s the guilty who tend to get lost somewhere between the scene of the crime and jail or hospitals.

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