A Border Legacy

Jan 17th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime
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THE BORDER REPORT

TUCSON – When a gunman killed six people last Saturday in Tucson, he took the life of one of the hardest working judges along the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal Judge John Roll was truly impartial, even in a time when rhetoric dominates much of the politics of the border region. Those who worked in his courtroom say that Tucson and the southwest lost what was very much a border judge.

Produced for KJZZ’s Fronteras Desk. Click to listen.

A line of cars streamed down the road. Hundreds of people walked somberly into the church to pay their respects to Judge John Roll. The faces were somber and tearful.

Those who knew the judge say he died working for the betterment of a major border district. He’d gone to see Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to say hi. And to TALK about his plans for the future of the busiest immigration corridor along the border.

Now, some wonder about the future of the federal courts in southern Arizona.

Tony Coulson is a recently retired Drug Enforcement administrator in Tucson. He’s known the judge since 1983.

“That’s one of the questions that everyone will have. But I know, everyone’s got a big hole in their heart now and I think that the judges will find an answer in some form or fashion,” Coulson said. “But it’s going to be a difficult challenge for them.”

Roll presided over some of the biggest cases along the Mexico border, from the Sinaloa Cartel to illegal immigration.

Walter Nash has practiced law in Tucson for 40 years and defended against Roll when the judge was a federal prosecutor in a massive marijuana smuggling case.

“I represented one of the lead defendants and John was the United States attorney who tried it. I don’t want to talk about the result because it wasn’t good for me,” Nash said, smiling.

One of the biggest cases Nash defended before Roll is still talked about to this day. Locals call it the Naco drug tunnel, one that ran from Sonora, Mexico into Arizona. About 20 tons of cocaine had already crossed through when it was found in the late nineties.

“He pushed things but at the same time, he let lawyers lawyer. He gave us an extremely fair series of trials,” Nash said.

Shortly before he was murdered, Roll declared a judicial emergency in Tucson, trying to slow the ever growing number of felony trials brought before his court.

“The volume of cases that we see here has gone up dramatically,” Nash said. “It has crowded the dockets; which is one of the reasons Judge Roll was working so hard to get more judges, but also to work on suspending the speedy trial rules because we needed more time to get people to trial.”

Even with 800 or more cases a year, Roll never turned down a case.

Again, Tony Coulson:

“He would tell me that our job was to bring people to justice. What justice did wasn’t our responsibility nor could we make that decision.”

Longtime friend Kathy Barber was leaving a church service held for the judge Thursday night in Tucson.

“I knew John when he was in college. He and his wife were married. and he stood up for me and my ex-husband. He was best man at our wedding.”

The funeral ended at noon on Friday. The crowd left the church in silence.

Coulson was left to wonder about Roll’s death.

“One of those exceptional people that … I don’t know why God took him.”

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43 comments
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  1. According to an attorney friend as good a person as he may have been Roll was such a hard case on sentencing that he created much of the backlog by not allowing deals.

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  2. Los Paredes are free. You sure are a lot smarter than me, Nephew. My bad, Man. Lol!

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  3. Looks like my friends in the south are actually returning to Agua Prieta. Marcos amazes me!!! No one has done a better job than him holding down his fort. Hats off to you Los Paredes!!

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  4. I don’t understand, the other day when everyone heard that los Paredes were busted, everyone was talking shit. Where are all you people at now? I am dying to hear what some of you have to say now. I want to hear from you. I, truthfully, was shocked to hear they were out. When I was indicted with Marcos and Leo, they pulled the same tricks. This shit blows me away.

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  5. wat you talking about, si hoy lo mandaron al altiplano, estos weyes que segun salio libre..

    http://www.aztecanoticias.com.mx/notas/seguridad/37241/ingresan-a-penal-del-altiplano-a-operador-de-el-chapo

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    doce Reply:

    and that makes it true

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  6. ????
    More insider info from the idiot farm.

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    rabbit Reply:

    I am not in their inner circle. I am just passing on what I hear. I am watching waiting to see.

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  7. No one is happy about Marcos and Rudy.
    Least of all V.Teran. Leo had a mural painted in his honor. @ Bonanzas

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    rabbit Reply:

    These guys are respected in their area. No busting your balls. The info I hear is third party info. But it is a reliable source.

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  8. I don’t care what that article said. I am telling you that I heard that they are frree. The Michigan warrant he is charged with his cousin Arturo. From what I am hearing, they are not in custody. So until someone shows me they are in custody, I am not buyin it.

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  9. This morning I am hearing different things than I heard yesterday. But still hearing one or both are free. Wait til someone shows their face. Or they extradite someone.

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  10. HAHAHAHAH……..TALK ABOUT AN EXTREMIST FOLLOWER……THE WALLS ARE CUFFED AND WAITING TO BE SENT TO EL TIO SAM…….HAHAHAHAH…….RABBIT SAID ” I don’t care what that article said. I am telling you that I heard that they are frree.” HAHAHAHAHAHA………RABBIT DO YOU KNOW A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FACTOID AND A FACT??????? YOU’RE A fookING MORON…..WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK UP A BOOK IN AN ATTEMPT TO EDUCATE WHILE YOU WERE SITTING IN A SHIT HOLE FOR 15 YEARS?…….LET ME GUESS YOU WERE BUSY BEING SOMEONES BITCH IN THERE, HUH? HAHAHAHAHAHA…….. YOUR fookING IDOLS ARE DONE BITCH NOW SHUT THE fook UP…..COMO DECIA EL TIO ” SI DIGO KE LA BURRA ES PRIETA ES PORKE LOS PELOS TRAIGO EN LAS MANOS”…… THINK ABOUT THAT YOU MORON………………AND BY THE WAY fook YOUR THRID PARTY INFO…DE DOS PENDEJOS NO SE HACEN UNO………..

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    Michel Reply:

    ¡Nephew!

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    rabbit Reply:

    Its ok, michel, I deserve that. I got bad info yesterday. I had seen them pull shit like that before. I am just being hopeful.

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    rabbit Reply:

    But let’s talk about info education for a minute. The most educated move I ever made was getting out of the narco busness. I am successful today. I love my family and stve for a better tomorrow for my kids. I saw the bad side of it all. That’s why I walked away. I am not a cell worrior. So hope to see you someday so we can talk in person. Take care.

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  11. @michel

    disculpame……….

    @rabbit……

    I respect people that recognize their mistakes…And you have admitted that your third party info was bogus….By the way I want to apologize for my previous rant…..

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    Rabbit Reply:

    Hey, it’s all good. we come here to voice and have fun. Let me explain my relationship with The Paredes, maybe you will understand. I have not done any business with them since 1989. I got indicted with them along with my father. The feds gave my dad 30 years. 11 years later my father died in prison from cancer. I was in and out of prison 3 times, the last time I was in for 10 calenders, state and federal. My father hated Leo Paredes, as he blamed him for us getting busted. I respected the Paredes for their longevity. I am friends with some Paredes family members that are not in the game. Now, I have worked for a lot of people, other than the paredes, including Hector Beltran, Amado Carillo, and others. I got out of the game because of all the scumbag shit. No honor among thieves.
    The Paredes have never had to see any real time. If they extradite him, he is fooked. Now, some of my friends are not goona like this, but I don’t think Marcos will be able to handle the legal system, he might crack. Maybe cut a deal. But who knows. But almost everyone is cutting deals these days. So we will see.
    I don’t dislike you. I am a real man, with a real life. I have my ranch, not in Arizona, and I am happy today. I was never happy when I was in the mix. Made a lot of money, but that money was blood money. Thank you for being a gentlmen. But in some ways you were right. I posted a rumor, My bad. I wont be doing that again. Tough lesson. Keep your head up!!

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  12. Ya cayo el que cantaba feoo… el monarca de sinaloa…cayo en culiacan

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    nephew Reply:

    SIMON…YA TENIAN TIEMPO BUSCANDOLO PERO SE HACIAN PENDEJOS PORKE DE CULICHI NO SALIA…… AUNKE NUNCA FUI UN ADMIRADOR DE SU VOZ SI SE AVENTABA LA CANCION DE PILARES DE CRISTAL AL CIEN………….Y LA DE RAMIRO SIERRA A DUETO CON CHALINO TAMBIEN ESTABA DE AKELLAS….

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    ilegal Reply:

    ah, una vez en el parral me puse una guena peda con ese guey,,,tenia turbinas en vez de nariz el mendigo, por ahi hay unas fotos de esa vez,,,de cuando el parral rifaba, no como ahora, es mi opinion personal though.

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    Mario Reply:

    Simon, en los tiempos que no se usaban pecheras en los corridos.. aunque cantaba el feo tenia su estilo y su voz era unica.. luego luego se sabia kien era…con la de rigoberto campos con chalino.

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  13. well everythin put out in the media is not always true just saying so those rumors might be true and nephew i have no respect for pathetic idiots llike u i would like for u to come in person if the day mpm does get out and personally tell all that shit u said to his face then we ll see the true little scaried shittin out of ur pants puck biatch u are exactly u wouldnt even go no balls and yes ill defend them always u know why dont u just be real and admit exactly how it is there number 1 in sonora and everyone knows that , thats everyone that really know whats goin on and those are few

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    rabbit Reply:

    All that matters is that you believe in them. You know I wish the best for them. Things have changed a whole lot, haven’t they? I don’t argue with anyone. In the end, you are arguing with some one who doesn’t have the knowledge you have or is some one that might be on the other side of the law. Keep your head clear and put your energy towards what is important to you. I’m not talking shit, just don’t want to see you being unproductive. Feel me?

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  14. aburres 12.. ches mamadas.. sin armas , uno a uno hasta yo me le pongo a ese wey..

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  15. @DOCE

    A VER BABOSO…PA KE ESPERAMOS A KE SALGA TU PUTO IDOLO DEL BOTE…KE AL CABO NO VA SER PRONTO……NUMER ONE MIS HUEVOS….PINCHE NARCOS REGIONALES AY A DIME A DOZEN..HAHAHAHAHAH…. A KE TE ATIENES CULERO????…………MUCHOS HUEVOS POR INTERNET CULO…..A MI NO ME ANDES AMENAZANDO HIJO DE TU REPUTISIMA MADRE……Y VAMOS VIENDO DE CUAL CUERO SALEN MAS CORREAS………..KE DICES PENDEJO?

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    rabbit Reply:

    Is all this really worth it? If that was your people, you would want tot defend them, and give credit to where credit is due, wouldn’t you? I know a lot of things from the years that I watched Los Paredes climb to power. I try to make fun with this site. I post because I enjoy it. Would you be here if you didn’t enjoy it? I still stand by my friends and family, just like Doce is. Maybe this whole situation hits a lot closer to home for him. If that was your people, I would still give credit where credit was due. That’s why I come to this site, to share. What I share is a lifetime of hell, from being involved in a one sided game. If you have any real inside info, you know the narco game sucks in Mexico. Chapo is on top right now. He will get unseated, eventually. Amado carillo was on top once, too. He is dead. Only ends one of two ways. Paredes has lasted a long time. That is why I give them there props. But maybe their time has come, one way or the other. We will see.

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    Gordo Reply:

    Conejo,

    Very well put, but can you anwser who is going to remain/take charge? Why isnt “20” name being thrown around, and really El Don Salazar……I doubt it k no? and word is el dos mil might try and take it, …….but isnt he on time out right now near Hermosillo? I even heard one assh*$@ say the El Fox Kadafi might have something up his sleeve…….I hear the mota from Obregon is loking real good right now!

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    rabbit Reply:

    Bro, let’s hope that dos mil doesn’t get it. I would look kadafi or don salazar. More likely salazar. But anything could happen. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end with a blood bath. No matter what, it all sucks.

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    rabbit Reply:

    Keep an eye on Macho Prieto. ???? But you know how rumors are. Don’t want to get caught in that rumor mill, though. Makes me look bad.

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    J Reply:

    What happened between Mayo and Macho Prieto? Some sort of falling out?

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    rabbit Reply:

    Rumors, dude.

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  16. *NUMBER

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  17. Things were so much better when the US Feds were crossing the merca.

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    rabbit Reply:

    Maybe you know that I know a little bit about that. R.I.P Mr. Simpson. I think that louis and the Padilla’s scrwed him, though. That was a weird deal.

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    who knows Reply:

    as i could see from a previous comment you are a moron you dont have any facts you just like to talk. find out about the case that involved the padilla’s with the simpson’s and then make a comment if you dont know what happened keep your commemt to yourself

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    rabbit Reply:

    Sorry, pal, but I do know all these people. Peronally. Gordo, frankie, louis, memo, javier. All of em. So shut you your suck.

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  18. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/01/21/romo.kerlikowske.colombia.cnn

    Why is the U.S. drug czar always so full of shit. Cocain prices have doubled over the last 5 years. So they sell half as much to make as much money as before. And what about meth consumption? It is higher than ever. Our Government are such hypocrites!

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  19. Im hearing rumors that CDS and LFM are on bad terms. So that LFM alligned themselves with los valencia. And that el chapo is supporting El Mencho. So is Mencho the one in jalisco fighting for Nacho’s old plaza? Or is “it someone else?

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  20. Jorge Balderas Garza, who’s known by the nickname “El J.J.” busted.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/20/107170/latest-andean-export-beauty-queens.html#ixzz1BhDoZq5K
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/20/107170/latest-andean-export-beauty-queens.html

    so if your girlfriend gets you arrested by posting the location of your hideout do you forgive her.
    This guy shot the Football player

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    drift Reply:

    NO! you dont forgive her, you tell her to pick up some cash for you at a friends house so she can pass over to your family and have your boys gangbang her….. THEN CANCEL HER!!!

    im a devious mofo once i get started…..

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    rabbit Reply:

    Dude, I like your style. Once she crosses the line like that, sodomy, then dumped in river is in order. Lol!

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    ilegal Reply:

    is a guy nicknamed El Licensiado the one in charge of la plaza de la H for chapo?

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