Sheriff Martin Cuellar’s office raided by FBI in the face of underestimated cartel activity in Laredo

The unseen connections between law enforcement and cartels, and recent FBI raids reveal a darker side of Laredo's border narrative.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents raided the office of a Texas border sheriff in Laredo who became known for underestimating the presence and influence of Mexican cartels in the area.

Federal agents raided one of the headquarters of the Texas sheriff’s office, whose top official became widely known for his claims that the border with Mexico was secure.

Sheriff Martin Cuellar used to downplay cartel activity in his county, although various reports have pointed to the Northeast Cartel as having a presence in the area, local media outlet Breitbart Texas reported.

It was on Monday, June 5, when FBI agents led the operation at Webb County, Laredo, Texas office. Laredo Morning Times was the first media outlet to report on the raid.

According to sources consulted by the U.S. media, the FBI agents justified the actions with an authorized search warrant, although they did not go into further details.

The United Independent School District of Laredo issued a statement confirming a second raid at the Disinfect ProMaster disinfection company, owned by Web County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ricardo “Rick” Rodriguez.

On Monday afternoon, the Webb County Sheriff’s Office said the case was related to the Disinfect Promaster company.

(Foto: Twitter/loba_indomable)
(Photo: Twitter/loba_indomable)

During his tenure as sheriff, Martin Cuellar became famous for his constant assertion that the border was secure and for minimizing the presence of drug cartels in Laredo. This is despite the city being one of the main trafficking routes used by the Del Noreste Cartel, a splinter of Los Zetas.

In 2015, Martin Cuellar reported on a large-scale marijuana growing operation with more than 1,70 plants and security guards armed with AK-47s, which allegedly had nothing to do with the Northeast Cartel.

This happened even though a National Border Patrol Council spokesman had revealed that the grow operation was linked to a Mexican drug cartel.

The Northeast Cartel (CDN) is one of the most powerful criminal organizations in northeastern Mexico and is responsible for the violence in that region.

Specifically, some analyses place its territory in Nuevo Laredo, Guerrero, Mier, Camargo, Reynosa, and El Mante, all in Tamaulipas.

However, the criminal organization has existed in other parts of Mexico for several years. Its actions have ranged from narco-messages, alliances, and even confrontations with other criminal groups.

It is an organization dedicated to drug sales, extortion, and even migrant smuggling, which emerged from Los Zetas and has managed to reach as far as Morelos.