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deed arrangement. According to Carrillo, he and Guevara went into the Zapata National Bank to obtain a printout of Guevara’s notes at the bank, while Rivera and Munoz waited in the vehicle. “This bank here is mine,” Guevara told Carrillo as they entered. Guevara’s ingratiating chit-chat with an officer of the bank is recorded on Carrillo’s wire. Upon exiting the bank, Guevara greeted Louis Giordano, a narcotics investigator with the county attorney’s office. Back in the Caddie, Guevara told Carrillo that if he had any problem with the “narco” he had just seen, he’d fire him, “run him the fuck off.” At the International Bank of Commerce, Guevara and Carrillo met with IBC Zapata President Renato Ramirez, a rancher and the brother of Sheriff Ramirez. The conversation, which eventually drifted to bringing large sums of currency from Guevara’s Mexican godfather to Ramirez’s bank, began with Ramirez stating that he was catching heat from the bank directors for some of Guevara’s notes. The conversation meandered to the topic of a ranch fence for which Ramirez felt he was overcharged by a fenceman buying barbed wire locally at $36 a spool rather than $23 elsewhere. The banker took time to digress on what many Zapatans will say is a favorite personal themea bitter, 30-year political feud with his uncle by marriage, former County Judge Angel Flores, whom Ramirez helped defeat in 1990 by throwing support and money behind Guevara. In the bank, Guevara introduced Carrillo as his cousin from Mexico and asked Ramirez about large sums of cash coming from Mexico. Ramirez later testified that he outlined for the two the legalities and documentation required to deposit cash in the bank. “No hay quien sospeche una chingada. Controlo todo el pedo. Ahora cuando nos trataron de tumbar el sherife, que estd con nosotros, se peyeron pa’dentro. Les ganamos,” Guevara told Carrillo, in the company of Mutioz and Rivera, as they continued their drive around Zapata. They suspect nothing, he told the undercover IRS agent, he controlled the show. Recently, he said, when they tried to knock down the sheriff, “who is with us, we beat them” so bad that they “farted inwardly.” “Yeah, it was the narcs who were trying to take us down,” Guevara continued. “They were running a narc against the sheriff. Yeah, and we fucked them. On the first one, we lost with six votes. About two weeks back, we beat them in the election by 300 votes. But no, man, we are all well placed. But fuck, we put in a fucking lot of money. Look, just me alone, I helped him out with 18,000 [dollars] to be sheriff. We bought votes, because we had to buy them. We bought a lot of votes.” Guevara said, explaining how he helped Sheriff Ramirez in the spring 1992 race against challenger Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., an investigator for the county attorney’s office. The county judge outlined a scam he said he conducted through one of his stores, selling “crooked diesel,” left-over fuel from a diesel truck that serviced gas-drilling rigs in the county. The scam included using a drill to turn back the meter on the pump at the end of each month. “They could fuck themselves,” he said. “If you go with one who is a chickenshit businessman, you are more at risk,” he told Carrillo “We’ve always been in business. Father is the owner of Guevara Auto Supply. Rosa is a pharmacist. My sister, she’s the owner of Ted’s Drugstore. Ricardo is the owner of J&R Contractor. Juan, my brother, is part owner with him. I’m the owner of all the Quick Picks.” “You control the whole county, no?” Carrillo asked. “Fuck, I’m the county judge, also Ricardo is running for school board. Now he’s going to win. He will win Saturday. No problem there. We can work it any way you want to. One thing to remember, if I am going to wash money, whatever, I’m going to pay 20-percent taxes,” Guevara continued. When Carrillo asked about protection from law enforcement, Guevara answered. “Well, entering my county, it would be difficult for them to take you down.” He cited the example of a reputed drug dealer landing at the Zapata County Airport with a load of cash. “No problem. No fucking problem. If you had an airplane that you wanted to land with half a million dollars, you call me up saying you’ll be landing with half a million. There’s no problem,” Guevara said. “Sometimes I use the Quick Pick, and sometimes I’ll use J&R or sometimes I use South Texas Bonding. Look at that gas station, that’s the one I told you I [sold] … It’s a good property. I paid $200,000 for that one, cash,” Guevara said as they drove through town. “This is what I can do for you,” Guevara said to Carrillo, offering to assist in transporting currency. “What do I get?” Guevara asked. “A little bit of money, which as you know, I need.” On one of the tapes, Guevara commented, “I have more notes than a piano.” 1 When Carrillo, Mut -1oz and a female undercover agent visited the judge in his office a month and a half later on June 17; 1992, Guevara, Can illo testified was “cold, standoffish.” According to the testimony of banker Ramirez, he had rebuked the judge shortly after the April 29 bank meeting with Guevara and Carrillo. Ramirez said he also contacted Zapata National Bank president Bill Carpenter about the nature of Guevara’s visit and admon ished Guevara “not to bring that kind of people into my bank, mafiosos.” “We came to take him to lunch,” said Carrillo of the June 1992 drop-in visit at Guevara’s office on the first floor of the county courthouse. “He wasn’t open or friendly. He said, ‘I can’t help you with anything.'” Guevara’s brother-in-law, Rivera, however, was accommodating when Murioz asked Rivera to drive a vehicle loaded with currency from San Antonio to Laredo on August 21, 1992. Mufioz and Rivera made the trip to San Antonio in the judge’s blue four-door Oldsmobile. Another trip was made on September 12, 1992. At a fiveminute meeting with undercover agent Carrillo, Carrillo told Rivera how the judge had behaved at the June meeting in the courthouse. Rivera was paid $200 for each of the drug money transport trips. The tapes and transcripts of those trips provide an earful of who’s who in the Zapata and Starr County drug trade. The Aircraft Landing On October 27, 1992, Mufioz told Guevara that a plane loaded with cocaine would need to refuel at the Zapata County Airport November 7 or 8. 10n November 2, Guevara told Mufioz that everything was “well-prepared” for the 300-kilo-load landing, and that he would be at the airport under the pretext of supervising the moving of a portable building for Precinct One Commissioner Felix Garcia. Despite thick, gray clouds and steady rains that fell November 8, Guevara and Muiloz prepared for the plane’s arrival at the county airport, discussing drug deals gone bad as they drove out to the airport. “Cesar Cuellar is singing better then Vicente Fernandez,” Guevara said of a former county attorney investigator arrested recently for possession of 500 pounds of marijuana. He alluded to Fernandez, a famous Mexican singer of love ballads, rancheras and corridos. Texas Department of Public Safety investigator Alfonso De la Garza, hiding in ‘ the thick brush on a ranch at the Highway 16 turn-off onto the caliche road leading to the airport, directed one surveillance team that communicated with another team closer to the airport. De la Garza testified that on November 8, 1992, he saw Guevara arrive at the airport shortly before noon in the blue Suburban, followed by Guevara’s brother Juan, driving the brown two-tone Guevara Auto Parts wrecker truck, and a third vehicle, the blue four-door Olds registered to the county judge. According to De la Garza, he and an investigator, Sergeant Orlando Juarez, set up surveillance November 7 after nightfall, to ensure that their operation was not in conflict with any other agency or with counter 8 OCTOBER 14, 1994