Wednesday, November 30, 2016


By Juan Montoya
People at the Cameron County Courthouse are scratching their head at the new thrust by Luis Saenz's District Attorney's Office to actively seek tips to prosecute drug dealers, even small-time ones. To that end, he is media showcasing the tip line against drug dealers of all shapes and sizes.

Saenz, if anything, has been one of the most successful DA's to utilize the social media to increase the presence of his office in the public's mind. Whether it's Operation Bishop targeting eight-liner (maquinita) operations, domestic violence, the Public Integrity Unit, or a number of others, he has jumped into it with a relish seldom seen before or used by his predecessors.

But now, as he activley courts tipsters to denounce drug dealers dispensing mota, pase, or any other controlled substance, he seems to be going back on his statements made when he first took office in 2012. His office will actively investigate all tips, he told the local daily.

At that time, he justified the termination of DA's investigators saying that the office was organized to prosecute, not to be policemen.
On Dec. 2012, Saenz told a reporter that 10 of the employees who would not be returning were investigators. The office was left with 20 investigators. He pointed out then that the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department has 20 investigators itself.
“There are too many investigators,” Saenz said, noting that five of the 10 investigators in the DA’s office are in special operations, developing cases. “We are prosecutors. We are not policemen,” he added, pointing out that the office already receives many cases from law enforcement agencies.

All that seems to have changed over time. Before he ran (and was thrashed) for sheriff against incumbent Omar Lucio, Victor Cortez – a former DEA agent – was the head of the Public Integrity Unit. The results of that endeavor, to be charitable, were nothing to crow about. Many of those cases – except that of his rival for the Republican nomination John Chambers – ended up in disappointed plea bargains.

But now, as the DA's office targets small-time dealers as cops do, the new poster child of the department has to be George Delaunay, another former DEA agent who was introduced when Saenz took over the scandal-plagued DA's Office which had fallen into discredit with the conviction of former DA Armando Villalobos.

“The biggest challenge facing my new administration is restoring the public’s trust and faith in the office. To that end, I have looked to the federal ranks for help,” Saenz said.

Judging by the new emphasis on drug dealing, the luster seems to have worn thin on the previous media splashes of the prosecution of  maquinitas, money laundering and corrupt public servants.


Anonymous said...

Also, puro speculation! Facts, bro!

Anonymous said...

Are you joking? Saenz relatives on his wife's side are a bunch of druggies who play the maquinitas, especially the branch that has the DWI hit and run siblings in it. What a crock!

Anonymous said...

Just another issue for media exploitation and to highlight Saenz and his office. Just another "Look at me, look at me, I am here." for Saenz. He loves to promote himself, but we all know he is just another Dumbokrat....can't trust 'em.