The discovery of a headless body floating in the Laguna Madre by South Padre Island in the Rio Grande Valley last year has resulted in indictments against five men, including a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Joel Luna | Cameron County
Border Patrol agent Joel Luna is accused capital murder and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Joel Luna, who is on indefinite leave from the federal agency, was indicted yesterday on charges of capital murder for retaliation, murder and two counts of engaging in organized crime. According to Cameron County jail records, he's also accused of tampering with evidence (yikes).
A Cameron County grand jury also indicted Fernando Luna Rodriguez, Eduardo Luna Rodriguez, Aaron Rodriguez Medellin and Nestor Manueal Leal who are all charged with capital murder for retaliation, murder and two counts apiece of engaging in organized criminal activity, Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz announced yesterday.
The men are accused of killing a beheading Jose Francisco Palacios-Paz in 2015.
"These indictments, as well as all law enforcement efforts, are essential in pushing back against spillover violence and show we will not stand for the encroachment of the cartels in our community," Saenz says in a press release.
After Honduran national Palacios-Paz's body was found, officials began investigating Luna. They found a kilo of cocaine, $90,000 in cash, an antique pistol and his Border Patrol badge at his mother-in-law's house, in a safe, the Texas Tribune reports
Investigators say the murder was associated with the Gulf Cartel, which is based in Tamaulipas, south of the Rio Grande Valley.