Authorities Deny They Violated Rights of Gulf Cartel Boss

BROWNSVILLE–A federal judge will decide if federal investigators violated the rights of a Gulf Cartel Plaza Boss when he cross the border illegally in October and gave a confession about his involvement in the organization.

His attorneys are asking for the confession of Jose Luis Zuniga-Hernandez AKA Comandante Wicho to be suppressed and thrown out of his case for illegal entry and felon in possession of a firearm.

Court documents state Zuniga was arrested after he was fleeing from his enemies in Santa Maria near Harlingen. A Border Patrol agent said he and four others bailed out and they were caught on October 26.

They also said they found abandoned in the area a bag with a weapon engraved with the name Wicho, currency, identification items, phones and other items.

During four interviews shortly after his arrest in October, Zuniga told investigators about his role in the trafficking of marijuana by the Gulf Cartel and important information about the gang.

His attorneys claim his rights were violated for an illegal traffic stop and he gave his statement without an attorney present after he invoked his rights to not speak to them.

They believe investigators tricked with the intent of offering him a chance to be involved with the witness protection program as a way to entice to speak about what he knew about the Gulf Cartel.

Authorities deny that and showed proof in court documents that he they violated his rights.

According to court documents, the traffic stop was legal. A Border Patrol agent reported the vehicle was speeding and was inconsistent with a drug or human traffickers that travel on the road.

The agent put tried to pull over the car with five passengers, including Zuniga, and they tried to get away on Highway 281. They were caught after a bailout in the area.

Federal prosecutors also said they interviewed him four times and Zuniga gave a voluntary statement. They showed documents he signed in Spanish he gave a statement with free will and without an attorney present.

The legality of these confessions and the traffic will be up for debate in a federal courtroom this morning.

UPDATE: Judge denied motion to suppress the confession and it will be allowed in court. Border Patrol also presented some additional evidence saying Jose Luis Zuniga-Hernandez was caught with four baggies of cocaine and $20,000 in cash. They also reaffirmed they caught him with a handgun with his name engraved with Wicho.


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