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Cartel Cash & Drugs: Beto’s Strange Family Ties

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AUSTIN, TEXAS — In our first two pieces covering the sordid criminal past of failed U.S. Senate challenger Beto O’Rourke, we review arrest record and ethics charges specifically, and in part 3 (the final report) of our series, we examine the potential connections of O’Rourke to Mexican drug cartels.

To recap, O’Rourke’s mother — Melissa O’Rourke — runs the family business, in their family for three generations. Ostensibly a “furniture” store, the O’Rourkes were getting regular outsized payments for “furniture.” The amounts were dishonestly reported as smaller (still insanely expensive) individual amounts, and broken up over time to come in under the taxable threshhold. The IRS concluded the activities were illegal, and the courts agreed.

It is here, that Beto’s suspicious and potential cartel linkages were most recently exposed. In El Paso, only one “business” dumps cash piles that large in one place. Furniture was allegedly purchased by one customer in one transaction for a grand total of $630,000, according to a 2010 KVIA article. The $630k-transaction was broken up into 15 separate transactions when O’Rourke filed her taxes.

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According to a report by KVIA in El Paso:

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Charlotte’s, Inc., represented by its owner Melissa O’Rourke … admitted that on 15 different occasions from May 2005-Oct. 2006 one or more of the company’s employees separated cash transactions for merchandise with each transaction ranging from $22,000 to $50,000. Each transaction was separated into multiple receipts.

No receipt amounted to more than $10,000 so that IRS reporting requirements could be avoided.

What other business operates in mostly cash and what besides that business’s merchandise would cost so much in a single drop? The cartel has done historically very well wherever the O’Rourke family is involved.

“White powdery substance” is how it was described by the police when Beto’s father and the family’s patriarch — was apprehended for possession and consumption of narcotics in 1983. The case involved two members of the El Paso Police Department and then-El Paso County Judge Pat Francis O’Rourke.

Big League Politics obtained a photocopy of The Times newspaper from Shreveport, Louisiana, dated October 20th, 1983 covering the incident, over 8 months after the events took place.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – A sheriff’s captain suspended for three days says he told two deputies to destroy a white powdery substance found in the county judge’s vehicle because he thought the substance was planted. Capt. Willie Hill was suspended this week after an internal investigation verified that Hill told the deputies to “get rid of” the substance they found Feb. 26 while installing a two-way radio in the car of El Paso County Judge Pat O’Rourke.

A second report, this time by The Baytown Sun and dated December of 1983 referenced Captain Willie Hill’s testimony detailing the intentional destruction of the evidence — a major crime by itself, and totally ignored, despite Judge O’Rourke’s apparent guilt:

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A sheriff’s captain admitted to a jury that he ordered the destruction of an unknown substance found in a judge’s car because he believed it was “a setup.” Capt. Willie Hill testified in his own behalf Wednesday at his trial on charges of tampering with evidence.

The NYT also referenced the case in its 1984 report on election-year politics in El Paso.

Though the incident was quickly swept under the rug and O’Rourke emerged politically unscathed, he did not run for reelection in 1987, retiring to a quiet life, before being killed in 2001. (He was run over by a truck while biking — nothing to see here.)

While Judge O’Rourke presided in El Paso, the crime rate erupted to what were then all-time highs. Simultaneously, major drug cartels began to gain foothold in the El Paso region, as well as western and southern Texas, flooding the border region with illegal narcotics — including heroin and cocaine.

Under O’Rourke’s watch, the Juarez cartel exploded in the region, causing El Paso to become a black market hub for narcotics traders and buyers. The judge also actively participated in the creation of the Barrio Azteca, a prison gang that is now transnational. The group began to unify with other cartels at the time, morphing into an armed front in El Paso: the La Linea, or armed front.

O’Rourke’s father-in-law — William Sanders — also helped create the Paso Del Norte Group, which we previously reported was involved in ethics issues surrounding then-City Council member Beto O’Rourke, and was contracted by El Paso for rezoning and redevelopment near the border. The groups largest source of revenue originates in the Ciudad Juarez area of Mexico, as well as the El Paso region of Texas and southern New Mexico — ground zero of the Juarez Cartel. If the business is merely a development firm, why won’t the government release information when requested about O’Rourke’s ties? At very least, Del Norte helped initiate illegal “eminent domain” seizures affecting poor families.

All Freedom of Information Act requests have been nullified, to date. Some surmise that foreign investors with ties to cartel were part of the Del Norte’s redevelopment plan — the same plan Beto O’Rourke happily endorsed.

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