House of Death informant, a confessed killer, soon to be released from jail

Sources claim a deal is struck; former ICE operative remains key witness to drug war corruption

< ;span>A former Mexican cop who helped to carry out multiple murders in Mexico in 2003 and 2004 while working for a cell of a major Juarez drug trafficking organization is about to be released from a U.S. jail, possibly to take up residency in a neighborhood near you.

Law enforcement sources familiar with the discussions underway between the government and the killer — an individual named Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez Peyro — claim it’s a done deal.

Ramirez Peyro’s attorney, Jodi Goodwin of Harlingen, Texas, confirms she is in discussions with government officials over Ramirez Peyro’s release, but adds that she has not received any official confirmation as of yet that he is to be set free.

The case of Ramirez Peyro is well-known to regular readers of Narco News. Besides his past history as a drug smuggler and key lieutenant for ruthless narco-trafficker named Heriberto Santillan Tabares, Ramirez Peyro also worked as a paid informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

ICE agents and U.S. prosecutors, as well as high-level officials within ICE and the Department of Justice, were made aware of Ramirez Peyro’s participation in murders being carried out by Santillan and his assassins (who were, for the most part, Mexican state police officers). Many of the victims of those torture and killing sessions were buried in the backyard of the infamous House of Death in Juarez — including a U.S. resident murdered at the house and allegedly a U.S. citizen who was murdered elsewhere in Juarez.

Even after Ramirez Peyro informed his ICE handlers of the murders, and his role in them (often in advance of the murders), officials at ICE and the Department of Justice chose to continue operating the informant, according to Ramirez Peyro and public records. The complicity of U.S. law enforcers in their informant’s narco-trafficking activities resulted in a six-month-long killing spree that concluded with Mexican and U.S. officials digging up a dozen bodies from shallow graves in the backyard of the House of Death in Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas. The killing only came to an end in early 2004 after thugs working for Santillan (again, Ramirez Peyro’s boss) attempted to assassinate a DEA agent and his family in Juarez.

Then, in the wake of yet another murder of a U.S. citizen linked to the informant’s activities, carried out at a burger joint in El Paso in the summer of 2004, Ramirez Peyro was placed in protective custody, a jail cell in his case, and in May 2005 (after Santillan cut a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors) DHS initiated deportation proceedings against him. Since that time, Ramirez Peyro has been locked up in various U.S. j ails — and is currently in a detention center in upstate New York — fighting the U.S. government’s efforts to return him to Mexico, where he would certainly be murdered for his acts of treachery against the narco-trafficking organization that formerly employed him.

Free at last

However, after a nearly six-year battle, Ramirez Peyro recently won a crucial victory in the U.S. immigration courts, where he was arguing that he should be granted a deferral from deportation under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. After ruling against Ramirez Peyro in several prior decisions, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in late March finally came down on his side, stating that he “has shown that he more likely than not would be tortured upon return to Mexico, either directly by government agents or indirectly by government agents turning him over to the cartel.”

Although the BIA ruled in his favor on the major issue, preventing Ramirez Peyro’s deportation to Mexico, the Board did remand the case to the lower immigration court "for the purpose of allowing the DHS the opportunity to complete or update identity, law enforcement, or security investigations or examinations, and further proceedings, if necessary, and for the entry of an order. ..."

As a result, for the foreseeable future, it seemed Ramirez Peyro was destined to remain confined in an isolation cell in the Buffalo Federal Detention Center.

However, sources close to the situation now say a deal has been struck to release Ramirez Peyro from jail. The terms of that deal, as well as specifics on when and where Ramirez Peyro will be released, are not available at this time.

When Ramirez Peyro was facing possible deportation, and an almost certain death as a consequence, multiple law enforcement sources, pointed out that he was a key witness in any potential future investigation into the wrongdoing on the part of U.S. government agents, prosecutors and agency officials in relation to the House of Death murders. As a result, if he was returned to Mexico and murdered, they argued, the potential for justice being brought to bear on all those responsible for the House of Death bloodshed and subsequent cover-up would have been vastly diminished, if not extinguished.

Among those making that augment was former DEA El Paso Special Agent in Charge Sandalio Gonzalez, who blew the whistle on the U.S. government’s complicity in the House of Death murders, which happened under the watch of President Bush and his U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Johnny Sutton. Consequently, Ramirez Peyro’s thwarting of the DHS deportation effort means a key witness in any prosecutorial effort focused on the House of Death remains on the table, or at least alive.

However, Ramirez Peyro’s release from jail, depending on the terms of that release, could result in him being located in some U.S. community, maybe even your neighborhood.

That’s not a particularly attractive outcome, given Ramirez Peyro, by his own admission, is as complicit in the House of Death murders as are the U.S. agents, prosecutors and agency brass who allegedly authorized his continued use as an informant, even after being made aware of Ramirez Peyro’s role in facilitating the murders.

And the tolerance for the continuing cover-up of U.S. officials’ involvement in the House of Death carnage only delays any investigation into the potential crimes, assuring that Ramirez Peyro also will not be held accountable under the law for his murderous activities.

In fact, due to the lack of courage on the part of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Judicial System in addressing the heinous House of Death crimes, Ramirez Peyro may well end up a threat again, this time to the U.S. community in which he is ultimately placed — even if his identity is masked for his protection, a deception that regularly has proven, due to corruption on both sides of the border, to be a thin disguise in the business of narco-trafficking.

As one law enforcement source told Narco News, the big fear now, with Ramirez Peyro’s pending release, is “a Mexican hit squad coming here [the U.S.] to do him.”

Stay tuned….

 

UPDATE — 10:42 CENTRAL: HOUSE OF DEATH INFORMANT RELEASED FROM JAIL

Narco News has just learned that Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez Peyro is now out of jail.

“He was released,” confirms Jodi Goodwin, the attorney who has represented the House of Death informant for some five years in his successful battle to avoid deportation to Mexico.

Law enforcement sources tell Narco News that Ramirez Peyro was picked up from the Buffalo Federal Detention Center earlier this evening — allegedly by a new attorney who has replaced Goodwin. Those sources also expressed concern that Ramirez Peyro does not appear to have been afforded any official protection.

"The word will already be out to the cartel about his release because of their prison snitches," one law enforcer says. "And these guys [such as Ramirez Peyro] always go back to where they ran from, in this case El Paso or San Antonio, where they will surely get to him."

Again, to be clear, the law enforcement sources were not confirming that Ramirez Peyro did not have protection, only that they were not aware of any U.S.-government sponsored security assistance being provided to him.

Narco News attempted to contact the attorney identified by the law enforcement sources, but he could not be reached for comment.

Goodwin would say only that she “can’t state whether he [Ramirez Peyro] was picked up by anyone.”

“[I] won’t tell you where he is at this point,” she adds.

This story is certain to have a few more twists and turns before it's over, so stay tuned....

 

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