Narco News Reports: Official US Cover-Up Still Obscures Motive for Juarez Consulate Murders

Diplomatic Security Agent’s Allegations Support Narco News Report That Victims Were Targeted for Assassination

By Bill Conroy

Barrio Azteca gang leader Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, also known as “Guero,” among other aliases, was sentenced to life in prison late last month after being convicted of orchestrating the murders of US Consulate worker Lesley A. Enriquez; her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs; and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, whose wife also worked at the consulate in Juarez.

All three were brutally gunned down on March 13, 2010, while attempting to elude assassins in their vehicles. Enriquez, who was pregnant, and Redelfs, both US citizens, nearly made it to the US border crossing prior to being cut down. Their baby was in the back seat of the car at the time and allowed to live, law enforcement sources tell Narco News, because the infant was too young to ID the killers.

To date, no convincing motive has been offered by US officials for the murders. In fact, they have ruled out the motive advanced by a Barrio Azteca hitman turned government witness. Mexican authorities arrested Jesus Ernesto Chavez in late June of 2010, shortly after the murders, and accused him of what Gallegos was ultimately convicted of doing, and that is ordering the attack that resulted in the death of Enriquez and her husband.

Chavez initially claimed that the murders were ordered because the Barrio Aztecas — which have earned a rep for violence on both sides of the border — believed Enriquez was involved in a visa-fraud scheme that was benefiting a rival gang. US officials say the claim is without merit.

But as with many mysteries in the drug war, this one appears to have a couple of twists. Chief among them are revelations that appeared in a recent Newsweek story focused on a Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) agent named David Farrington, who spent several years pursuing a lead in the Enriquez case that supports revelations surfaced in Narco News' story on the consulate murders that was published on May 1, 2010 — about a month and a half after US citizens Enriquez and her husband were slain in the streets of Juarez.

In that story, Narco News sources claimed that Enriquez was targeted for assassination by narco-traffickers, a claim that Farrington also was investigating based on independent sourcing. In both cases, those leads were never adequately followed up on due to interference or lack of action by the official bureaucracy.

Notifying Congress

Cary Schulman, a Dallas attorney with the law firm of Schulman Mathias PLLC, recently sent off a letter to Congressional leaders that includes hundreds of pages of exhibits, most of them emails involving officials with DS, which is part of the Department of State. In that letter, which sources provided to Narco News and can be read HERE, Schulman, who has represented Farrington in the past, alleges that DS officials have engaged in a major cover-up in the consulate murder case — at the expense of Farrington’s career.

The central allegation made by Schulman is that DS officials took extreme measures to silence Farrington and to undermine his efforts to investigate whether Greg Houston, the DS Regional Security Officer for the US Consulate in Juarez at the time of the murders, had advanced knowledge that Enriquez was being targeted by narco-traffickers, but failed to warn her.

“… Was the head of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security involved in a cover-up to avoid embarrassment [of not forewarning Enriquez], or worse?” Schulman asks. “The problem is no one was allowed to investigate the matter, so we simply do not know.”

Narco News was unable to located Houston for comment, but he told Newsweek contributing editor Jeff Stein that the allegations are “totally absurd.” Several calls made by Narco News to DS spokesman Fred Lash were not returned.

Farrington told Narco News recently that even if Houston was made aware of a threat against Enriquez, “it may not have been up to him to inform her [Enriquez] about the warning.”

“Greg Houston reported to someone in Juarez,” Farrington adds. “He wasn’t the boss.”

DS email correspondence contained in the exhibits Schulman sent to Congress indicates that Houston may have been made aware of the threat against Enriquez by Department of Justice officials.

In any event, Farrington stresses that Enriquez, her husband, as well as the other victim, Mexican citizen Salcido Ceniceros, “were all very good people.” His assessment coincides with what law enforcement sources told Narco News in 2010, that Enriquez was marked for murder because she chose not to comply with a corrupt request.

The Informant

Enriquez worked as an assistant in the American Citizens Services section of the US Consulate in Juarez, and as a result would not have been directly involved in approving visas. Her husband was a detention officer with the El Paso County Sherriff’s office. Both were pursued and killed after leaving a private birthday party in Juarez in what Narco News reported at the time was an assassination plot targeting Enriquez.

“An individual approached [Enriquez at least twice in consulate-related settings prior to her murder] and tried to get her to do something with a document without the proper paperwork,” one law enforcer claims. “Her murder was ordered because she refused to go along with it.”

Law enforcement sources who spoke with Narco News in 2010 also indicated the source of the details on the Enriquez assassination plot was a confidential informant who knew some of the killers who had participated in the murder of Enriquez and her husband — and at the time that informant said he was even able to provide names and addresses to US authorities. In fact, the informant identified one of the killers by the nickname “El Guero,” which Narco News reported in May 2010 — nearly a half year prior to the arrest of Barrio Azteca leader Gallegos, who happens to also go by the nickname “Guero.”

The informant told law enforcers that Enriquez was asked by the individual that approached her to falsify birth-certificate paperwork for a family member of a powerful leader of the Sinaloa narco-trafficking organization.

Those same law enforcers contend the leads from the informant were passed up the chain of command during the investigation into the consulate murders but never acted on by investigators.

And how do they know?

“No one ever spoke to the informant,” one law enforcer claims.

Farrington makes similar allegations in a series of emails and memos attached to the April 7, 2014, letter Schulman sent to Congress. In one email chain, involving Farrington and Brian Skaret, one of the Department of Justice attorneys who prosecuted Gallegos, Farrington spells out clearly his concerns about DS supervisor Houston.

“I strongly believe that RSO Greg Houston identified [Enriquez] as a possible cartel target by name before she and the other victims were murdered,” Farrington wrote in an Aug. 2, 2012, email to Skaret. “It is my understanding that he asked another member of the RSO staff a question to the effect of ‘Who are the US Citizen Locally Employed Staff?’ The RSO staff told me that the RSO staff member identified two … by name and [Enriquez] was one of them. …

“I don’t know for certain if [Enriquez] was warned, but I have reason to believe no one warned her.” [Enriquez’ name is redacted in the email provided to Congress, but the context makes it clear the person being referred to is her, since she was the only female murder victim.]

The Email Trail

Farrington is a 10-year veteran of the Bureau of Diplomatic Service, having served in Houston and Baghdad prior to being assigned to Juarez as Assistant Regional Security Officer from November 2008 to July 2010. He also is in the Army Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan from October 2010 until August 2011, and subsequently returned to duty at the DS Houston Field Office — where he remains an active agent.

Farrington was one of the first US agents “on the ground in Ciudad Juarez to investigate the murders” of the consulate workers in March 2010 and “escorted two of the victims’ [Enriquez and Redelfs’] baby home to El Paso” in the wake of the tragedy, documents submitted to Congress state. Although he left Juarez in July 2010, several months after the consulate murders, he remained part of the “assigned personnel” on the murder case, according to the DS Investigation Management System, until at least Sept. 5, 2012, the documents indicate.

But Farrington’s pursuit of answers to the questions of who knew what and when with respect to Enriquez being an alleged “cartel target,” seemingly did not play well within the DS bureaucracy…


Read the entire investigative report here @ Narco News:Click Here

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