Immediately after the murder of Mexican attorney Fernando Reyes at the House of Death, Lalo returned to El Paso to be debriefed by ICE agents.
An ICE report based on that debriefing was generated on Aug. 25, 2003.
Following, from that report - obtained through the FOIA - is Lalo's version of the first murder he
Date: [Aug.25, 2003]
… As [Reyes] is sitting on the chair [in the living room], [REDACTED] pulls out his
weapon and places it up against the right side of [Reyes'] face.
[Reyes] sees the weapon and begins to scream, "Why, please don't kill me, don't kill me."
The first Police officer came out from behind [REDACTED] and ran to [REDACTED].The Police officer, already with the tape in his
hand began to unwind it and forced a portion of the tape into [Reyes'] mouth.The Police officer began to wrap the tape around [Reyes'] head, and [Reyes] responded by trying to fight his
The second Police officer appeared and began to assist [REDACTED] and the other Police officer.The first Police officer continued to wrap the tape around [Reyes'] head in an attempt to smother him with it. [Reyes] continued to fight, at which time the two Police officers and [REDACTED] push [Reyes] to the ground and began to tape his
[Reyes] begins to kick his
legs at which time [REDACTED] looked at [Lalo].The look made [Lalo] feel uncomfortable.Based on the look, [Lalo] felt forced to assist in the restraining of [Reyes] by the legs.
The Police officers began to tape his
One of the Police officers then grabbed an extension cord and wrapped it around [Reyes'] neck.
The Police officer then began to violently pull on the cord in an attempt to choke out [Reyes].
During this time, the cord broke and part of the cord remained around [Reyes'] neck at which time one of the Police officer asked, "Now what?"
[REDACTED] then pointed to a plastic bag.
One of the police officers grabbed the plastic bag and placed it over [Reyes'] head.
[REDACTED] then began to wrap the duct tape around the bag, therefore, suffocating "Fernando
They all stood around and watched [Reyes'] body as his
movement became less and less.
One of the police officers then went and grabbed a shovel and began to strike [Reyes] in the back of the neck area.
[Lalo] stated that he
believed the violent striking of the neck caused it to break.
...In pleadings filed with the MSPB, Gonzalez, who retired from the DEA earlier this year, states that yet another ICE debriefing memorandum prepared on Aug. 6, 2003, "indicates the informant may have known ahead of time that [Reyes] would be killed on Aug. 5, 2003, because in a memorandum to the informant's file authored by the ICE SAC [special agent in charge], it was reported that before going to the house where the victim would be killed, the informant 'went to purchase duct tape and lime (a powder used to conceal odor).'"
meeting with ICE officials on Aug. 5, 2003, the informant was allowed to return to the house in [Ju,rez] to check the grave site and pay $2,000 to other co-conspirators for their role in the murder of [Reyes]," Gonzalez' pleadings assert.After Lalo was debriefed about his participation in the murder of Reyes, ICE officials notified the DEA Assistant Regional Director in Mexico City that the informant had "witnessed" a murder, failing to note that Lalo had actually supervised the murder.DEA's
Mexican operations were not under Gonzalez' chain of command, so he
was not privy to the information at that time.
ICE officials also told Mexican officials, via the Customs Attach, in Mexico, about the murder, but also misled them about the true facts by failing to reflect in that communication that Lalo actually "participated" in the murder.The Mexican authorities also were led to believe that the informant did not know where Reyes
was buried, even though Lalo had gone to inspect the gravesite in the backyard of the House of Death.
5, 2003] … the source of information [Lalo] was a witness to the murder of the owner of the drugs [Reyes].
In accordance with our conversation with you on [REDACTED] we agreed that the source would continue his
work in [Ju,rez] Mexico, for the purpose of obtaining more information about the [VCF] drug organization, as well as to try to obtain information on the whereabouts of the body of the subject [Reyes] that was supposedly murdered.At the time that the Department of Homeland Security of the U.S.
decides to discontinue this investigative work for security reasons or any other motive, we'll make the source of information available to you so you can take his
statements, along with intelligence regarding phone numbers, names of the persons involved, etc. that may assist to continue this investigation by Mexican authorities.
The informant and the subjects under investigation by ICE were allowed to continue their illicit activities in Mexico following the August 2003 murder [of Reyes], and on January 14, 2004, DEA agents and their families stationed in [Ju,rez] were evacuated from their residences because hired killers that could and should have been taken into custody after the first murder in August 2003, tried to identify, through the informant [Lalo], two DEA agents under the ruse of a traffic stop.
The informant had reportedly told his
co-conspirators [Santillan and Loya] that he
knew corrupt U.S. officials that could provide this information.
"… Following the August 2003 murder [of Reyes], ICE personnel and the prosecutor assigned to the case ignored, with no good reason, well-founded recommendations made by DEA agents to arrest the principal suspect [Santillan] and 'take down' the case, thereby allowing at least 13 other murders to take place in Ju,rez, in what can only be described as a display of total disregard for human life, and disrespect for the rule of law in Mexico," Gonzalez asserts in his MSPB pleadings.