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Congressman Says Mexican Drug Cartels Hiring Ex-Green Berets


September-October 1997

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), a former high ranking U.S. Border Patrol official, has said that ex-Green Berets and former U.S. counter-intelligence officers are assisting Mexican drug cartels in smuggling drugs across the border ("Drug lords hire ex-GI's," Wire Reports (citing the El Paso Times), August 19, 1997).

These soldiers are highly trained in escape and evasion techniques, and have extensive knowledge of weapons. Being offered fees upwards of $500,000, the temptation for military personnel to work for the other side is very high. Mr. Reyes pointed to an example in the Rio Grande Valley in which several members of the Texas National Guard were arrested for aiding in the smuggling of marijuana across the border. [Not quite "Green Berets" -- EES.] Reyes said that "individuals with military training" have been used to scout illegal crossing areas and jam U.S. electronic sensors. Highly trained ex-soldiers who are familiar with wiretapping, explosives, interrogation, and ability to translate secret U.S. police communiques have supposedly been lured to the cartels (Richard A. Serrano, "Congressman says U.S. vets aid drug lords," Los Angeles Times, August 21, 1997, p. A1).

Peter Lupsha, a drug expert who has retired from the University of New Mexico, said he knew of a former Air Force officer who sold electronic skills to Mexican criminals. The Pentagon's joint military-law enforcement anti-drug effort spokesman, Kevin Stephens stated, "We have no information about these allegations, but we would welcome any statement or facts or any information that the congressman might want to put forward."