Former ICE Informant, Jailed In Missouri, Claims He’s Being Framed
"Lalo" Is A Man Who Knows Too Much
He has run afoul of the U.S. and Mexican governments — and the Juárez narco-trafficking organization. There’s a $500,000 contract on his life. By any bookmaker’s odds, he should be a dead man.
Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez-Peyro is behind the wheel of a red Ferrari 612 Scaglietti with Mexican plates cruising down the highway well under the Italian sports car’s 200-mph top speed. His girlfriend, Kelly Schroer, is in the passenger seat. It’s a few days after Christmas and they are headed toward the Missouri border on their way back to New York, after spending several days in California visiting Ramirez-Peyro’s family and later hanging out at a beach in the Los Angeles area.
From there, things went south fast for Ramirez-Peyro, also known as Lalo. After pulling in to a La Quinta hotel to spend the evening in Joplin, Mo., he was arrested on kidnapping charges and is now sitting in a county jail awaiting trial. He claims the charges, leveled against him by Schroer, are “ridiculous.” But this is not the first time Lalo has collided with the law.
The former Mexican cop was involved in a series of brutal murders in Juarez, Mexico, in the early 2000s while working as a paid informant for the US government, which authorized his continued work as a narc, even after learning of the first murder — which Lalo recorded clandestinely. By mid-January 2004, some 12 people had been tortured and murdered, and then buried in the backyard of a middle-class home in Juarez, since dubbed the House of Death.
The full extent of the US government’s complicity in those murders, via their informant Lalo and the agency he worked for, ICE, continues to be a mystery cloaked in a cover-up, according to several federal agents familiar with the case. Among them is Sandalio Gonzalez, the DEA supervisor who blew the whistle on the carnage after a DEA agent and his family were targeted for execution by the lords of the House of Death — a cell of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug organization controlled by Lalo’s boss, Humberto Santillan Tabares.
Lalo was eventually scooped up by ICE, after the Juarez organization made an unsuccessful attempt on his life in El Paso, and held in isolation units for some six years in jails in Texas, Minnesota and New York. During that time, ICE pressed to deport him back to Mexico, where he faced a certain death, but ultimately failed. Since 2010, Lalo has been living under the radar in New York until last December, when he was arrested in Joplin. Once again, he faces prison, even potentially deportation — with either scenario making him far more available to his enemies in the Juarez narco-trafficking organization who he says have a $500,000 contract on his life.
Lalo has a federal lawsuit pending in New York against current and former ICE and Department of Justice officials, claiming they conspired to imprison him for six years to cover up their role in the House of Death murders. He also alleges his current plight in Missouri is a continuation of the effort to silence him and to make the lawsuit go away. Prosecutors and law enforcers in Newton County, where Lalo is now jailed, contend they have not been pressured by the feds to press charges against Lalo, but do concede his case involves far more “intrigue” than they have ever dealt with in the past.
As for Lalo, he is certain of one thing — that he is a marked man:
“I'm absolutely going to be killed by the Juárez Cartel or the Mexican government, which is basically the same thing.”
To read the whole story, check out Bill Conroy’s story in the St. Louis Riverfront Times.