It looked like the dust was settling on all the news coverage of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino having to watch his son, Mission police officer Jonathan Treviño, 28, being arrested along with several other members of local law enforcement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for escorting drug cartel transports along Texas roadways as paid protection (read our earlier post for details).
Coming on the heels of media coverage of his re-election in November, perhaps Hidalgo Sheriff Trevino looked forward to be less of a media star in the coming months.
No such luck. Because now, within days of the buzz surrounding the federal agents busting those four law enforcement officers for taking thousands of dollars in exchange for helping vehicles filled with drugs move safely through Texas, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino is once again making the national news. And this time, he’s sharing the spotlight with United States Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious Scandal.
Gustavo Cruz-Lozano Confesses to Killing Border Agent Terry on Mexican News Program
In an exclusive interview on the Univision News’ show “Primer Impacto,” a man named Gustavo Cruz-Lozano gave the reporter quite an exclusive when he announced on air that he, Mr. Cruz-Lozano, had killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010, as Terry was on duty, patrolling the Arizona border with Mexico.
Most will recognize the Brian Terry killing for its continued connection with the “Fast and Furious” scandal. What’s that? In essence, Operation Fast and Furious was a federal sting operation that was intended to track firearms going into Mexico from the United States by letting weapons be sold to straw purchasers with the knowledge that the guns would end up with other people which the sting hoped would be drug cartel members. Through the identification and tracking of these Fast and Furious weapons, they hoped to track the cartel membership and operations and ultimately to arrest cartel leaders.
However, Operation Fast and Furious failed miserably and became the subject of Congressional investigation. Attorney General Eric Holder as a target of these investigations was held in contempt by the House of Representatives. And Arizona Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry became part of the Fast and Furious story after he was killed by one of the guns initially sold in the sting operation.
Sheriff Trevino Connects to Fast and Furious Through Gustavo Cruz-Lozano
How does Sheriff Lupe Trevino become connected to the Brian Terry shooting and the Fast and Furious scandal? Well, the man that is taking credit now for killing Border Patrol Agent Terry is the same man who turned himself in this month for threatening to kill Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño.
That’s right: this one man, a citizen of Mexico, is telling authorities that he shot down the federal border patrol agent and was planning on assassinating Sheriff Trevino, too.
Down in Hidalgo County, they’ve been looking for Gustavo Cruz-Lozano as one of the men involved in making death threats against Sheriff Trevino since back in October 2012. Apparently, Cruz-Lozano had been identified as the man who had called the Sheriff’s office to threaten his life back in July 2012.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, isn’t taking Gustavo Cruz-Lozano at his word: there are media reports that the FBI is skeptical that this man was involved in the death of Border Patrol Agent Terry.
In fact, media reports are that Gustavo Cruz-Lozano has recanted his earlier admission about being involved in Fast and Furious, according to the FBI spokesperson. The FBI is reporting that Cruz Lozano has taken back his story about shooting Officer Terry, claiming that Cruz-Lozano told the story in order to get attention for himself.
Looks like Cruz Lozano was pretty successful there, right? Interestingly, when Cruz Lozano turned himself in to Texas officials earlier this month, after the TV interview, for planning to kill Sheriff Trevino, he was suffering from at least one stab wound to the neck.
Image above: House of Representatives Infographic of the Victims of Operation Fast and Furious.