The two men were returning to the small, one-story house in Northeast Austin from Alabama. Hidden in the back of their SUV was $110,000 in carefully wrapped bundles, money authorities said came from cocaine sales.
But responding to an informant's tip, federal drug agents found the men in the parking lot of a bar in Baton Rouge, La., where they searched the truck. As the officers pulled out the cash, the men grew terrified.
"I wish you would put me in jail," one of them said, according to a criminal complaint. "They are going to kill me over this missing money."
According to court documents, the money was destined for an Austin resident the couriers had reason to fear: Jose Procoro Lorenzo-Rodriguez, who authorities say is a local leader for Mexico's brutal La Familia cartel.
The raids that followed revealed that La Familia, a quasi-religious, hyper-violent group born five years ago in the mountains of Michoacán, used Austin as a base of operation to funnel large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and especially methamphetamine to places such as Atlanta and Kansas.
..."It's not surprising that (cartel members) are migrating to Austin as well," said Francisco Cruz Jimenez, a Mexican journalist who chronicled the recent history of Luvianos in his 2010 book "Narco-Land." "It's very natural that they look for communities where they have paisanos because they can go unnoticed."
...Since , Austin officials have learned that as many as four cartels operate inside the city. Law enforcement agencies have arrested human smugglers connected to the Zetas, targeted local prison gang members connected with the Gulf cartel and conducted numerous raids on La Familia members. The Drug Enforcement Administration says members of the Beltrán-Leyva cartel also operate within Austin.
It's certainly reassuring to know that we have the Obama administration's crack law enforcement leadership team -- Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano -- on the case.
Given our open borders and the fact that Hezbollah is now operating in Mexico -- collaborating with the cartels on IED development and terrorism tactics -- it's only a matter of time before our feckless leaders in DC help touch off a 'man-made disaster' here in the states.