Lemon characterized them in a court filing last year as containing “never-before disclosed, incredible and contradictory” accounts by all three witnesses who claimed “to have witnessed CIA operatives working alongside cartel members.” Lemon asked a federal judge to order the government to turn over “all discovery concerning alleged CIA involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Agent Camarena.”. (Dec. 4). Detective Sawyer was killed by a cocaine trafficker during an attempted robbery of $144,000 intended for the undercover operation. Some of the prosecution efforts began to unravel in 1997 when the credibility of a government witness, and scientific testimony he introduced, came under scrutiny. He was arrested last year in Mexico for violating his supervised release in the drug case and was turned over to U.S. authorities, who keep him at a prison outside Los Angeles. Investigators say agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration were conducting surveillance when they observed what they believed to be a violation of federal law. An official website of the United States government. He left the FBI in 1999 but remained on contract for more than a decade doing background investigations. A federal court tossed their convictions in 2017. “I’ve dealt with everything else,” Mika Camarena said. Investigators are pursuing additional witnesses to see whether the allegations can be corroborated. The Justice Department declined to answer questions about the case. Authorities arrested and questioned Ezequiel Godinez-Cervantes, who was among the men indicted in Camarena’s murder in 1987, but prosecutors dropped the charges after he was convicted of drug trafficking in Texas. Harris said Godinez-Cervantes denied any involvement, though the attorney said authorities did not appear “entirely satisfied with his answers.” Given the lapse of time, Harris said he didn't expect new charges. He was en route to Jacksonville, Florida, after attending federal court in Savannah, Georgia, when his official government vehicle collided with an unlit tractor-trailer that was obstructing the Atlantic Coastal Highway outside of Savannah. Prosecutors in Los Angeles brought a series of criminal cases accusing cartel operatives of taking part in Camarena’s kidnapping and murder. They positioned themselves on the streets surrounding his office at the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, ready to block the young federal agent if he tried to escape. The result was a murky blend of drug trafficking, corruption and crime-fighting in Guadalajara. Years later, another Justice Department review found he had “repeatedly created scientifically unsupportable lab reports and provided false, misleading, or inaccurate testimony at criminal trials.”. He was 35 years of age at the time of his death. An undated file photo of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, the DEA agent murdered in Mexico in 1985. (KY3) - Friends and family of Caleb Slay gathered Saturday night at Kickapoo High School’s football field for a candlelight vigil in his memory. The men, who worked for one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels, forced Camarena into their car and drove him to a cramped guest house nearby, where he was beaten, burned and eventually killed. Agent John W. Crozier, of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, died from injuries received in an automobile accident. Godoy said in an interview that he spoke to DEA officials in April 2019 about Camarena's killing. Caro-Quintero was convicted by a Mexican court but freed on appeal and is on the FBI’s most-wanted list. “I want the truth to be out,” Mika Camarena said. After graduating from Tulane University, Special Agent Robert C. Lightfoot worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Vietnam and Thailand. By then, federal agents had launched a manhunt like few others in U.S. history. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Forrest N. Leamon was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counter-narcotics mission in western Afghanistan. He keeps a crumpled copy of his immunity agreement in his jacket pocket. He assisted the Thai Border Patrol Police before joining the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1974. … Mexican authorities provided audio recordings of parts of the interrogation to the CIA. Michael Malone, a longtime FBI agent and prolific expert witness, testified that hair samples taken from two suspects on trial in Camarena’s murder – Rene Verdugo and Juan Matta-Ballesteros – matched hair recovered from the guest house where Camarena was tortured; therefore, it was compelling evidence putting both men at the scene of the crime. Zapata's death is the second highest-profile killing of a U.S. agent in Mexico—the first one was Enrique Camarena , an undercover DEA agent who was tortured and murdered by the former Guadalajara Cartel . Camarena was kidnapped and killed during a harrowing time in efforts to stop drugs from pouring across the U.S. southern border. It was not the first time someone claimed U.S. intelligence was entangled with the cartel responsible for Camarena’s death. It is unclear how much weight authorities ascribe to the allegations, but they interviewed the witnesses several times, questioning them for hours about Camarena’s murder and a series of meetings in the months before. We need to make justice. U.S. authorities offered a $20 million reward for his capture. Trump and US face logistical nightmare if he follows through with threats. U.S. officials turned to some cartel associates to help illegally arm and equip rebels battling the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in what came to be known as the Iran-contra affair. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Seventeen years elapsed before prosecutors informed Verdugo that the testimony linking him to a hair found at the murder scene exceeded “the limits of science.” By then, Verdugo had been in prison for 32 years. More than three decades after the incident, U.S. authorities are investigating potentially explosive new evidence in the case: allegations that Camarena was betrayed. Weighing whether to retry the men, federal authorities reinterviewed witnesses. … It was not the first time someone had claimed that U.S. intelligence was entangled with the cartel responsible for Camarena’s death. Accused cartel boss Rafael Caro-Quintero has been wanted in connection with Camarena’s death since he was indicted in 1987. “We need to make justice.”. An internal Justice Department investigation in 1997 found he had “testified falsely” before Congress. In February 1985 Camarena was kidnapped by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico. “Why not this?”, Contributing: Arlene Martinez, The Ventura County (Calif.) Star, and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, The murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985 is being further investigated.