DOJ, DHS top brass implicated in House of Death cover-up, DEA testimony shows

Rarely do we get a front row seat in the theater of power when the curtain is pulled back to reveal the set design as it is under construction.

But, occasionally, despite the best efforts of the show’s producers, some of the stage hands do, quite by mistake, pull back that curtain a bit as they are moving around the sets on the stage, and the plain truth of the grand theater illusion is revealed.

In the case of the House of Death mass murder and cover-up, which has been the subject of critical reviews by Narco News over the past three years, the role of the bumbling theater hands in this latest act happens to be played by two top DEA officials — who were charged with helping to clean up the stage in the wake of the mayhem in Juarez, Mexico. Michele Leonhart, the deputy administrator of DEA, which is under the Department of Justice (DOJ), and Mike Furgason, the former chief of operations at DEA, reveal in vivid detail the behind-the-scenes mechanizations that led to the House of Death cover-up in court testimony recently obtained by Narco News. That testimony shows that the U.S. Attorney General himself, as well as a number of other high-level DOJ and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, were actively involved in the “handling” of the House of Death mass murder case after it imploded.

Remember, in the all-too real plot line in the House of Death, between August 2003 and mid-January 2004, at least a dozen people were tortured, murdered and buried in the backyard of the House of Death with the active participation of a U.S. government informant who was on the payroll of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is part of DHS. The Assistant U.S. Attorney overseeing the case in El Paso, Texas, Juanita Fielden, has already testified under oath as part of a civil lawsuit that high-level officials at DOJ and DHS had approved the continued use of the informant after they became aware of his participation in the first House of Death murder in August 2003. And the informant, Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, a former Mexican cop, has already testified that he informed his ICE handlers, often in advance, about the murders — which were carried out in Juarez by corrupt Mexican cops working for a Juarez cell of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (VCF) narco-trafficking organization.

The VCF murder machine came to an abrupt end in mid-January 2004 after it targeted a DEA agent and his family in Juarez for a trip to the House of Death. That near tragedy led DEA to evacuate all of its agents and their families from Juarez as the threat was being assessed, a process that even involved then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The threat to the DEA agent and his family also prompted the head of DEA’s El Paso field office, Sandalio Gonzalez, to write a scathing letter, dated Feb. 24, 2004, to his counterpart at ICE, a copy of which was delivered to Fielden’s boss — U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio. In that letter, Gonzalez denounced ICE’s role in allowing their informant to participate in the murders in order to make a drug case – a course of action that Gonzalez claims nearly cost the lives of the DEA agent and his family.

In reaction to his letter, and while the U.S. Attorney General was actively involved in orchestrating DOJ’s response to the House of Death, Sutton, one of the Bush administration’s favored U.S. Attorneys (unlike the nine or more who were fired) used his pull within DOJ to retaliate against Gonzalez and to silence him.

The House of Death cover-up was now in full stage-set mode behind the curtains, with only the sanitized illusion of this macabre play to be later revealed to the audience – the American people.

A joint DOJ/DEA assessment team (or JAT) was dispatched to El Paso/Juarez in February 2004 to conduct more than 40 interviews of key players in the House of Death case. The report produced by the JAT has since been buried by the U.S. government. Efforts to seek its release through Freedom of Information Act requests have been stonewalled, with DEA even claiming that it is seeking to have portions of the report classified due to “national security” concerns.

With Ashcroft’s departure from DOJ in late 2004, the cover-up continued. His successor, Alberto Gonzales, told Narco News in October 2005, that he was familiar with the House of Death case, but he declined to comment on whether the fiasco was still under “investigation” — even though the JAT report had been completed for more than a year at that point and no known criminal investigation had (or has) been launched targeting U.S. government officials involved with the murders.

Other DOJ officials have been equally silent on the House of Death. Mark Corallo, who was the head of DOJ public affairs during Ashcroft’s reign, told Narco News previously that he does not recall the House of Death case. This convenient loss of memory was advanced as an excuse by Corallo despite the fact that his boss at the time, Ashcroft, was personally involved in the handling of the House of Death fiasco. In addition, Corallo’s name shows up in e-mails exchanged within DOJ that discuss the handling of the House of Death case (including DOJ’s strategy to suppress media coverage) and the plan to retaliate against DEA Special Agent in Charge Gonzalez.

Recently, Narco News also contacted another former high-level DOJ official, James Comey Jr., who served as Deputy Attorney General under Ashcroft and, for a time, under Alberto Gonzales. Comey was recently in the national spotlight, portrayed as a champion of integrity in exposing the alleged misdeeds of Attorney General Gonzales in testimony he gave before the U.S. Congress. However, Comey also was a key player in DOJ’s handling of the House of Death tragedy (which remains shrouded in a cover-up to this day aided by a near blackout of coverage by the mainstream press and a lack of Congressional oversight) and his name also shows up in the same DOJ emails in which Corallo’s name appears.

Comey, who now serves as general counsel and senior vice president for Lockheed Martin, through a Lockheed press spokesman, told Narco News that he did not wish to comment on the House of Death case. It would seem that real integrity should command a different response.

But you don’t have to rely solely on Narco News’ word in all of this. The evidence to support these allegations in the House of Death tragedy is backed up by government documents and testimony dug up by Narco News over the past three years and presented to you to judge for yourself.

These government records paint a portrait of a high-level DOJ and DHS cover-up orchestrated to protect the political reputations and aspirations of powerful people and to short-circuit charges of criminal culpability against government agents, prosecutors and high-level political appointees within DOJ and DHS.

Remember, if any of these people were aware of the informant’s participation in murder, and approved his continued use knowing full well that the informant would participate in murder again (as the informant alleges many did), they could be accused of being accomplices to murder. In addition, any action taken to cover-up those facts could be deemed an obstruction of justice.

The court testimonies of current DEA Deputy Administrator Leonhart (a presidential appointee) and former DEA Chief of Operations Furgason are the latest documents to surface in Narco News’ reporting quest in the House of Death. Their testimonies are part of the court record in an employment discrimination case filed by DEA whistleblower Gonzalez – a case he won via a jury verdict.

Excerpts from that testimony, made under oath during the trial, are reproduced below, with context provided as needed and denoted in [brackets]. The complete trial testimony can be found at these links: here and here.

House of Death On Trial

United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Miami

Sandalio Gonzalez v. Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

JURY TRIAL: Dec. 4, 2006

For the government: Lawrence Rosen, U.S. Department of Justice

BY MR. ROSEN:  

Q Good afternoon, Ms. [Michele] Leonhart.  

A Good afternoon.

Q Tell the jury, please, what position you currently hold within the DEA.

A I'm the deputy administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Q And to obtain that position, did it require the president of the United States to nominate you and the senate to confirm that nomination?

A Yes, it did.

Q Would you explain for the jury, please, the confirmation process that you engaged in?

A After the president announced his intent to nominate me, there's a background process. There's interviews, and then the senate meets to review that and votes on my nomination.

Q How long have you been with the DEA?

A It will be 26 years at the end of the month.

… Q Okay.  Now, did you at some point in time get some information about events in Ciudad Juarez [the House of Death]?  

A Yes.  

Q And please tell the jury what your role became when you attempted to determine what was happening there?

A Because I'm the deputy administrator, when there are critical incidents or serious matters, I'm briefed very often by the chief of operations. And it was brought to my attention that we had an agent and his family pulled over by a Mexican police officer and some other individuals [on Jan. 14, 2004], and I was also advised that we believed that those people had been to his [the DEA agent’s] home earlier.

Q Okay. Did you begin to learn of other information and events down there as time went forward or went on?

A Yes, because a car stopped in Mexico of our agents and his family and this visit to his house was pretty irregular and concerning, I was kept apprised for the next day or two on other events that started to be uncovered.

Q And those other events which we haven't gone into in any great detail here, but they were horrible events.

A Yes.

[Those events involved the torture and slayings of a dozen people by Mexican cops affiliated with the VCF narco-trafficking organization. The victims, who were murdered with the assistance of a U.S. government informant, were found buried in the backyard of the House of Death at 3633 Parsioneros in Juarez. The DEA agent and his family were stopped by Mexican cops and other individuals involved in the House of Death murders.]

… Q Okay.  But when you learned of what was going on, did you go to customs [ICE], your equal in customs, and bring to their attention what was going on down there?

A Yes, I did.

Q And did they deny what was going on?

A I told them what I had found out. He [an ICE official] said that that's not the story that he had. He didn't seem to express the same concern that we had, tried to explain that this is, you know, life or death situation. We had a family and an agent at risk. We needed to get to the bottom of this. And we stressed — I stressed that we needed to get together, and we offered to give him a briefing on everything we had learned and urged him to come to our office to meet with me and the chief of operations [Mike Furgason].  

Q And when you say he, you are referring to someone within the customs service.  

A It would be my counterpart at the customs service or ICE, the number two person for that agency.  

Q Okay. So were you doing all you could to enlist the involvement and raise the concerns of this other agency, the customs service, about this event?

A Yes, not only at my level, but also at the chief of operations level.

Q Okay. Now, did there come a time in which the Office of the Attorney General, in fact, the Attorney General of the United States himself [John Ashcroft at the time], wanted to know what was going on with this matter?

A Yes.

Q And was there a plan in place with the acknowledged approval of the attorney general on how to handle the investigation of what events occurred in Ciudad Juarez?

A Yes. We notified the attorney general of the United States and the deputy attorney general of the United States [James Comey] of what we had learned and the events and our concerns. We told him that we had talked to customs and let them know what we had found out. Our administrator [DEA’s Karen Tandy] had also contacted the U.S. Attorney's Office [Sutton in San Antonio], and we thought the best thing we could do is get the agencies together, put an independent review team together to go down and find the facts because the person I was talking to said he had a different set of facts and didn't see it the way that we saw it.  

Q Who was the point person assigned within the DEA to oversee this investigation of the Juarez matter?  

A Mike Furgason, our chief of operations, was in charge of that team.

Q Okay.  And similarly, did customs have a counterpart to Mike Furgason that would oversee the matter for them?

A Yes, that was John Clark.

Q Okay. So was the investigation into this matter, was this being handled at the highest levels of our government?

A Absolutely.

Q Is the — is the attorney general the highest law enforcement person within the federal government?

A Yes, he is.

Q And did the attorney general approve of how customs and the DEA was going to handle this matter?

A Yes, he was very concerned for our employees. He was very concerned to get to the bottom of what had happened, and he approved our plan.

Q Did you consider this a delicate situation?

A Absolutely.  

Q And why?  

A I felt it's life or death. We have had an agent kidnapped and murdered in Mexico [Enrique Camarena in Guadalajara in 1985] and we didn't [want to] see that happen. We had —

Q Go ahead. I'm sorry.  

A We had five employees [DEA agents] and their families in the Ciudad Juarez area and we didn't know why our agent had been stopped by the police. We also didn't know why suspicious people had shown up at his house while his wife was home. We had to get to the bottom of that.

Q Was it also made delicate by the fact that you had another agency involved, one that you had no control over?

A Yes.

Q Was it a concern of yours at all that a foreign government was involved in this matter, the country of Mexico?

A Absolutely.

Q Now it's many years after the investigation. Was the Drug Enforcement Administration in any way responsible for causing or even previously knowing what happened in Ciudad Juarez, any employees of the DEA?

A No. …

DIRECT EXAMINATION  OF MIKE FURGUSON BY MR. ROSEN:

Q Mr. [Mike] Furgason, good late morning to you, sir.

A Good morning.

Q Could you tell us how many years you worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration prior to your current employment.

A With the DEA I was with the DEA 22 years.

… Q We have been discussing a matter concerning the event in the City of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. And at the time of that event, what position did you hold within the Drug Enforcement Administration?  

A I was the chief of operations for the DEA.  

Q And who did you report to, your first-line supervisor?  

A First-line supervisor was the deputy administrator, who was Michele Leonhart.

Q Now, with respect to this Ciudad Juarez matter, was there a joint management review [referred to as the JAT] of the events there being coordinated by you for the DEA?

A Yes. I commissioned a joint — myself, along with my counterpart from the Immigration Customs Service [ICE], the former customs service, John Clark commissioned a joint team to go to Juarez/El Paso and Mexico City on a  fact-finding mission.  

Q What time period was that, sir?  

A It was in February of 2004.  

Q Now, who requested that you undertake this task?  

A I — well, I did it — it was my own thought process, along with my counterpart, John Clark.

Q Was the deputy administrator and the administrator involved in any way in deciding to have this joint effort between the DEA and customs?

A No. I mean I recommended to him. Obviously I wouldn't have done it unilaterally. I recommended it to the deputy and administrator [of DEA] it should be done, and they agreed, and I sent a team down.

Q Now, what role was Mr. Sandy Gonzalez, who at that time clearly we all know was the [DEA] special agent in charge in El Paso, what role, if any, was Mr. Gonzalez supposed to have in this joint assessment team matter?

A Well, I called Sandy before the team arrived and told Sandy that they would be coming and to facilitate the process, host them and accommodate them, and then also make himself, along with any DEA personnel under his command available for interviews.

Q What role was Mr. Gonzalez supposed to have in determining who was at fault in this matter?  

A I mean there was — who was at fault in El Paso?  

Q Yes, in the Juarez, the whole Juarez matter.  

A That was going to be left up to the joint assessment team to render, to go out, gather facts, present them back to each agency, the DEA and ICE, the leadership back in Washington, so we could make a decision back in Washington what further action should be undertaken. [To date, both ICE and DEA have refused to make the results of that JAT report public.]

Q Was there a — well, let me back up a moment. The team that you had go down and find out what was going on out of this incident, were they — were all of them from outside the El Paso and Mexico office?

A Yes. I mean I selected the two from the DEA, and the selections I made, they were from outside. One was from Boston, one was from — well, they were assigned in Boston and Washington at the time, but both had prior southwest border experience as [DEA] supervisors. So I selected them from the DEA side and ICE did the same thing.

Q Was there a thought process or reason why you wanted people who were not in that area to conduct this investigation?

A Well, yes, because, you have to understand, as this — the initial issue of the agents being pulled over by the Juarez police, who we later found out to be the Juarez police, and the evacuation of the [Juarez DEA] office happened January 14th [2004], and several weeks had passed, and the information that was coming back to me, because I'm being asked what was going on by the attorney general of the United States of America, was not sufficient to make decisions or even provide information. For whatever reason, there was disagreements that were going on in the El Paso office between the agencies [ICE and DEA], as well as in what I felt our Mexico offices. So I got with [ICE’s] Clark and said, we have to send someone down there that people will talk to. So we sent a joint team or a bipartisan team to go down, gather facts, and bring back that information to us in hopes that by doing that we could bring — we could put together a whole story, because ICE people would talk to ICE people, and DEA people would talk to DEA people.

Q Go ahead, sir. I'm sorry.

A And I just wanted to say too that those teams went out jointly. So if they were going to interview Sandy, it would have been a DEA representative and ICE representative. I didn't want, nor did Clark, want any innuendo or any idea to come back, well, ICE just interviewed ICE, and they created a story to satisfy. So we had people from each agency that participated in this fact-finding team when they did the 40-some interviews. [And this JAT report, to this day, still remains a closely guarded secret within DEA and ICE.]

Q And those 44 interviews were of customs or ICE individuals, El Paso DEA individuals, and Mexican officials, is that true?  

A Right. As well as assistant United States attorneys.  

Q Right. And just so that we were all comfortable, we have been using the term customs here throughout the trial, and that's fine. Did ICE stand for –

A Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  

Q And that's a result of the change, the Homeland Security and the division of the agencies, but for the purposes of our trial, ICE is the same as customs, is that correct?

A That's correct.

Q Okay. So as I understand it, Mr. Gonzalez was supposed to cooperate in the interview that was going to be taken of him. And with respect to this joint assessment team [the JAT], did Mr. Gonzalez have any other purpose or role other than to be interviewed and to be a good host?

A No, I mean, no.

Q Now, and you had direct communication with Mr. Gonzalez on that matter?

A Before they arrived, yes.

… Q After the 24th [of February 2004], after he [Gonzalez] sent the letter, did he contact you, or as far as you know, anyone else, to say, by the way, I've sent this letter and this is what I've done?

[This is the letter Gonzalez sent to his counterpart at ICE, a copy of which was received by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton. The letter, among other things, outlined ICE’s complicity in the murders due to its handling of its informant, former Mexican cop Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, whom the U.S. government is currently trying to deport back to Mexico, where the informant claims he will be murdered by the same people he betrayed.]

A No.  

Q Did it come as a surprise when you found out about this letter?

A Yes.

Q By the way, close in time, did you have a meeting with the attorney general of the United States concerning the Ciudad Juarez matter?

A Yes, I did.

Q Now, what was your reaction, sir, when you found out about this letter?

A I was a little surprised. I mean, the way I found out about it, I was contacted initially about it by the United States Attorney's Office in San Antonio [Sutton’s office] who asked if I knew about this letter. I said, no, I was not, I wasn't aware of it. And then of course it wasn't long after that I was contacted by the Department of Justice by the deputy attorney general's office [Comey’s office] and asked if I knew about the letter, and I said, no, I wasn't.  And I was a little disappointed in the way I found out. And, frankly, I was a little disappointed that it was written.

Q Was it an embarrassment to you?  

A Well, yeah. I mean because the day before I had briefed the attorney general [Ashcroft] and deputy attorney general [Comey] that we had a fact-finding team that had just returned, they were preparing a report, and as soon as the report was finished, I would come back and brief them on what was, you know, found and provide them a copy of the report. And I might add, too, that while I was briefing the attorney general, John Clark, my counterpart [at ICE] was briefing the heads of Homeland Security, I think [Tom] Ridge at the time and Asa Hutcheson [then head of DHS’ Directorate of Border and Transportation Security and former head of the DEA]. So it was at the highest levels of these particular departments we were briefing them because it was a serious incident down in Juarez that could have potential ramifications between our governments [Mexico and the United States, since most of the murder victims were Mexican citizens], and they needed to know and they needed to know what was accurate. So it was somewhat embarrassing as I left their office that I find out that a letter had been written sort of outlining a lot of the facts that the team had uncovered.

[The fact that Furgason concedes Gonzalez’ letter (read it again here) was accurate on the facts, the same facts the JAT was uncovering, is a powerful statement on the extent of the House of Death cover-up.]

Q What was Karen Tandy, the administrator of DEA, what was her reaction when she found out about this letter?

A She was upset.

Q Now, despite the letter having been sent, you still had a job to do with regard to this, correct?  

A Yes, that's correct.  

Q What impact did you find that Mr. Gonzalez's letter had on what you were attempting to do?  

A Well, it — well, the trust factor between myself and the — my ICE counterparts, that actually we had lost a little ground there because they thought we were trying to, forgive the saying, but back-door them, so to speak. In other words, let information out before we completed [the report]. And so we had to regain some ground there. And we were also involved in some negotiations of agreements between the two agencies that had expired with the creation of the new ICE, the new agency. So it set those back as well. [More evidence of political considerations outweighing the facts of the House of Death murders.] So there was a break or a disruption in the trust I think would be the best way to capture it.

[But that trust had already been shattered long before Gonzalez’ letter. ICE did not inform DEA or the Mexican government of the extent of their informant’s participation in the House of Death murders until after the DEA agent and his family were stopped (after at least a dozen people had already been murdered); and even then, U.S. prosecutor Fielden and ICE officials prevented DEA officials from getting access to the informant for days. DEA wanted to use the informant to lure one of the major players in the murders, Mexican State Police Commander Miguel Loya, into a setting where he could be arrested. As a result of the stonewalling, Loya and several of his goons escaped and their whereabouts are not known to this day.]

Q By the way, did the joint assessment team ultimately get to the bottom of what happened down there?

A Yes. I mean they — I mean what I was trying to find out, could I reopen an office in a safe manner in Mexico, and was there a real threat on our agents or were they targeted. And the bottom line on that was they came back and said, no, it was just — it was an accident that the agent had been pulled over. It was a mistaken identity. The other thing that it did was it allowed myself, and I assume Clark, because I did understand that they [ICE] initiated an office of internal investigation or internal affairs investigation over at ICE based on those facts. And I took the report that was provided to me and forwarded it to my internal inspections for review as well to see if there was anything wrong going on on the part of any DEA personnel.  

Q You mentioned, sir, that there were 44 interviews [conducted by the JAT] and those were interviews [of] the team of people in Mexico, people in El Paso, U.S. Attorney's Office, and so forth?

A Right.

Q Did Mr. Gonzalez participate in those interviews of other people with your JAT team?

A Not other than him being interviewed himself, not to my knowledge, he was not a participant in any other interview with the JAT team.

Q Was he receiving the reports of the JAT team?

A Not to my knowledge, no. I mean written reports, I mean he may have — I don't know if he was getting verbal reports, you know, because they were there, but he did not receive any written reports. I didn't receive the final written report until late March. [And to this day, no one outside the DOJ and DHS inner circle of power has seen that report.]

Q And is the final written report that you would rely upon in assessing the situation?

A Right. I mean I was getting updates every evening from the team leader, you know, over the phone. But they still had to assemble themselves and go through all that information that they had collected and come up with some conclusions. And that didn't happen until the end of March.  

Q By the way, do you know whether or not customs is addressing the problem with their agents that came out of this incident?

A I'm aware that they had initiated an internal investigation and that certain people down there, supervisors, were moved. I don't know the outcome or the disciplinary action, if any. I left the position. …

[To date, no ICE agent or supervisor has been fired, let alone prosecuted criminally, as a result of the House of Death. In fact, the head of the ICE office in El Paso at the time of the House of Death murders, Giovanni Gaudioso, was later named the second in command in Houston, a much larger ICE field office. Another ICE supervisor who played a key role in the House of Death case, Curtis Compton, remained in El Paso and was actually later promoted to acting assistant special agent in charge for that ICE office.]

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHELE LEONHART BY RICHARD DIAZ, ATTORNEY FOR SANDALIO GONZALEZ:

Q Good morning, Ms. Leonhart.  

A Good morning.

… Q Okay. Now, you also said that there were problems with -- after this Juarez matter, which is in early '04, you said that there were issues or problems with residual or collateral effects, joint investigations with other agencies, FBI or customs, which is now called ICE, I think, lack of trust and things of that nature. Do you remember that testimony?  

A Yes.  

Q All right. Historically there has been — there have been problems with these inner agency cooperations, there's been competition between the DEA and customs, there's been fights over confidential informants and who gets to use whose informants in different investigations, correct?

A Everyone has relayed that the relationship prior to this incident between the DEA and ICE in El Paso was good.

Q Well, you would agree with me, would you not, that the entity responsible for whatever happened after that was not the DEA. It was ICE?

A ICE was responsible, yes.

Q Okay. So if they are now complaining that the relationship is soured, it's not Sandy's fault. He didn't have one of his agents controlling an informant that was participating in murders in Mexico, right, it's not his fault. He reacted to it. He didn't cause it, did he?

A ICE caused the incident.

Q And if they don't like the consequences, it's not Mr. Gonzalez's fault, is it? He didn't cause it.

A Mr. Gonzalez, by writing the letter [to his counterpart at ICE and U.S. Attorney Sutton], it was at an inappropriate time, it was inflammable. It was nothing new. It was information that we already knew and had relayed to the highest levels of the DOJ, Department of Justice and ICE. [Again, an admission that Gonzalez’ letter was on the money, yet the cover-up continues.] It was unnecessary. And it caused friction, distrust amongst the agencies, and it's been harder for our new SAC [special agent in charge] to work there because of it.

[And again, no one at ICE, or DHS, or DOJ, has to date been held criminally liable for their complicity in the House of Death murders. However, DEA commander Gonzalez, whose letter to ICE and Sutton suggests through the facts conveyed that some government officials might well be criminally culpable for their actions in the House of Death case, was retaliated against, ordered to remain silent and eventually retired early from DEA — in large part because of that retaliation.]

EXAMINATION  OF SANDALIO GONZALEZ BY RICHARD DIAZ:

Q Okay. With regard to Mr. Furgason, this would have been the chief of operations, when this Juarez matter arose, did you get any direction or signal from him as to what your responsibilities on the Juarez matter should be?  

A Yes, I spoke to Mike. We — when that matter was developing, well, after the discovery, after the events of January 14th, 2004, [when the DEA agent and his family were stopped] there was a — we had to determine if there was a threat against the agent and his wife and all the other agents, so I had a lot of communication with headquarters and with Larry Holifield [head of DEA’s Mexico City office at the time] in coordinating this. And during one particular conversation, Mike Furgason asked me what I was doing in that regard. And I explained to him that my role up to that point was strictly a support role. I was supporting the Mexico City [DEA] office [headed by Holifield] or the Juarez office [also overseen by Holifield] in what they were doing at the time, which was they had evacuated the city, or the office, and I had put their agents, five agents, I think it was, and their support personnel, in our training room and provided them with equipment and computers so that they could work from there and prepare or continue their investigation of the threat. Mr. Furgason asked me if I had contacted the — my counterpart at ICE or customs [Gaudioso]. And I told him no, that I had been leaving that up to the Mexico City office because the Mexico City office had flown in an assistant agent in charge, they call them deputy assistant regional director at the GS-15 level, to conduct inquiry, so I was kind of leaving it alone and letting Mexico handle that. And Mr. Furgason said, well, Sandy, the ICE SAC [special agent in charge in El Paso] is your domestic counterpart, and, you know, you have every right to contact him and ask him what's going on, and, you know, find out. So I asked him, do you want me to get involved in this. And he said, yes, get involved. And I did.

Q And is that why you got involved and is that why you wrote the letter?

A Absolutely, yes.

MR. DIAZ:  Thank you, sir.

In weighing this testimony, please keep in mind that the jury came back with a verdict in Gonzalez’ favor, finding that DEA did discriminate against him.

But also remember, kind readers, in the bigger picture of the House of Death mass murder — and the question of DOJ and DHS’ complicity in the bloodshed, the mainstream media’s silence in the face of the ongoing cover-up of those dark deeds, and Congress’ continuing disinterest and lack of oversight (now even with the Democrats in control) — you are the only jury who can now render a verdict that might have a hope of invoking justice in this case.

Stay tuned….

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