August 4, 2013
- Mexican drug cartels are recruiting U.S. military personnel as hit-men
- U.S. gang members join the army to gain military training and strengthen ties with cartels
- Three U.S. military personnel have been arrested in connection with drug cartel activities
- Experts say there has been a gang problem in the military for the past eight years
U.S. military personnel are offering their services to Mexican drug cartels in exchange for payment in the form of cash and drugs.
Following a former Army private’s sentencing last week for carrying out a hit for the Juarez Cartel, experts are warning of the growing ties between Mexican drug cartels and U.S.-based gangs that infiltrate the military.
Private Michael Apodaca’s case is the latest example of a U.S. serviceman becoming involved in Mexican drug cartel activity.
Fred Burton, vice president for STRATFOR Global Intelligence, a geopolitical intelligence firm, told Fox News that some soldiers become corrupted by gangs after joining up to the Army, while others are gang members who enlist specifically for the specialized training.
‘There has been a persistent gang problem in the military for the past six to eight years,’ Burton said.
Michael Apodaca, 22, was a private first-class stationed at Fort Bliss Army Base when he was hired by the Juarez Cartel to kill a member who had been revealed as an informant. Apodaca was paid $5,000 to shoot and kill Jose Daniel Gonzalez-Galeana.
Last year, an Army sergeant and an ex-soldier were arrested in Texas after agreeing to a murder plot with men they thought were members of the Zetas cartel but were actually undercover agents.
Sergeant Samuel Walker, 28, and former Lieutenant Kevin Corley, 29, who were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, agreed to kill members of a rival gang for $50,000 and cocaine.
According to the case against him, Kevin Corley told the agents he could train 40 cartel members in ‘room clearing, security and convoy security,’ according to Business Insider. He also said he could recruit other members from his unit to the gang and steal military weapons.