Saturday, July 24, 2010

Officials know nothing of rumored Zeta standoff on Mines Road

By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010 5:38 PM CDT
Local law enforcement was bombarded with calls from across the country Saturday asking about a report that the Zetas had taken over two ranches off Mines Road.

But officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors.

The report, which spread like wildfire among blogs Saturday afternoon, appears to have initially been posted on a blog called Diggers Realm.

The blogger wrote that he got a tip from a San Diego, Calif., minuteman named Jeff Schwilk, who said that the Zetas, former enforcers of the Gulf Cartel, had crossed into the United States and taken over two ranches off Mines Road, about 10 miles northwest of Interstate 35.

Quoting Schwilk, the blogger wrote that there was a standoff between “the unknown size Zeta forces and the U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement on two ranches …”

The blogger wrote that the story was confirmed by anonymous sources at LPD.

But Investigator Jose E. Baeza, LPD spokesman, said he had not heard anything about the incident. Also, an LPD sergeant, who was on duty as a watch commander Saturday afternoon, said she had not heard anything about it either.

At about 4:30 p.m., Maru De La Paz, spokeswoman for Webb County Sheriff’s Office, wrote that the report about Zetas taking over ranches in Laredo is not confirmed. FROM