Thirty-five years after the murder of former DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camerena Salazar at the hands of the Guadalajara Cartel, a couple of members of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) were planning to replicate the crime against an official of the US anti-drug agency.
The events date back to May 2020, when Manuel Garcia Gomez and Jorge Humberto Velazco were arrested for processing liquid methamphetamine (crystal meth) from Mexico in clandestine laboratories in the US state of Texas.
The criminal organization, under the leadership of Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a CJNG plaza boss also known as “La Roca,” was dedicated to laundering the profits obtained from drug sales, approximately $10 million, according to authorities, through a Dallas-based clothing store called “Yoli’s Western Wear.”
The operation, according to investigations, had been ongoing for at least five years and sent drug money to Mexico through thousands of small remittances, Dallas News reported.
Days after the arrest of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) members, the DEA agent responsible for the arrest appeared in court to testify. The DEA official was identified only as “TH.” However, thanks to his testimony, the judge denied Manuel Garcia bail, so he and Humberto Velazco were held at the Johnson County Detention Center.
Plot to assassinate DEA agent
According to court documents cited by journalist Laura Sánchez Ley, just two days after his testimony before the judge, Manuel García Gómez, from jail, contacted another person to pay him US$20,000 in exchange for “getting rid“ of the U.S. drug agent.
In his first phone calls from jail, Garcia chatted with another man (whose identity was not disclosed) about the possibility that he could help him hire someone to assassinate the DEA agent behind his arrest.
Another phone call he had with a person outside the prison confirmed Garcia Gomez’s intentions.
The calls he made from the prison were handled by Global Tel Link, which manages the communications system for the Johnson Detention Center inmates. According to the indictment, the accused called his sister Eva and his sister, Juárez Mártinez, to give them the money for the execution of the DEA agent. That is how it was learned that Velazco Larios would also contribute money for the “order.
On June 8, Jorge Humberto spoke with “Roberto,” who confirmed that Manuel’s sister Eva would bring the money to prepare for the assassination. Two days later, Manuel called his girlfriend in Mexico, Alicia Yuritzi Juarez, who had $2,000, to ask her to contribute another $1,000. According to the inquiries, Alicia accepted her part of the payment.
On June 11, 2020, a man identified by the court only as “Roberto” made a payment of $3,000 and, five days later, contributed $2,000 as part of the down payment to carry out the murder. These payments were made in the name of Garcia and Velazco.
On June 15 of that year, through phone calls, Manuel confirmed that his sister and her girlfriend had photographs and documents to identify the DEA agent to be killed.
Eva Gomez later received a photo of a DEA person via WhatsApp, “TH.” The next day she showed the image through a video call with her brother from jail. The image on the screen was that of a gray-haired man in his 50s.
“Yes, that’s him,” she replied.