Not too long ago, we reported on the case surrounding the murder of Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, the Gulf Cartel lawyer, believed to actually be the boss. Well, one of the defendants accused of stalking and gunning down Guerrero Chapa in a Southlake, TX shopping center in 2013, has taken the stand and is singing like a bird in the morning. Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Campano has taken the stand against his father, Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda, and their cousin, Luis Cepeda Cortes, according to the Dallas Morning News. They stand accused of using high-tech surveillance equipment to hunt Guerrero Chapa down over a course of months. He has pleaded guilty to one of two charges against him and alleges that Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, a.k.a. “El Gato,” a leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, to carry out the hit. El Gato allegedly held Guerrero Chapa responsible for his father’s death years ago. His testimony has seemingly revealed some grisly realities of cartel-life and war tactics.
Ledezma Campano testified that the victim’s sister sent Gato a video of the severed head of his relative. The exact nature of the relationship between Gato and the slain relative was not disclosed.
After that, Gato had Ledezma Cepeda try to find Guerrero Chapa’s relatives living in the U.S., according to the son.
Guerrero Chapa’s sister, Dariela Chapa, is listed as a possible defense witness in the case. Her whereabouts were not disclosed Friday.
Ledezma Campano revealed that there has been a decades-long feud between the families of El Gato and Guerrero Chapa. On February 23, Guererro Chapa’s brother-in-law, Moises Tijerina De La Garza, was found shot to death in Monterrey, Mexico. Furthermore, the testimony states that El Gato is a former Mexican federal agent with protection from the president of Mexico. According to the Morning News:
He said Gato and his brother would cross into the U.S. using the Trusted Traveler lanes made available by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The special lanes provide expedited travel for “pre-approved, low-risk travelers,” according to the federal agency.
Gato is considered a fugitive. The U.S. government has not released any information about him or offered a reward for his capture.
Ledezma Campano said Gato is a violent, short-tempered man who uses murder and torture — as well as an agreement with police — to remain in power. The son said Gato interrogated people in a tire shop with a bloody chain saw hanging on the wall.
The son said Gato’s former partner in the federal police, a man known as “Pelon,” also was involved in the conspiracy and traveled to North Texas with the defendants while they searched for Guerrero Chapa.
In more testimony, Ledezma Campano revealed who it was that actually clapped on Guerrero Chapa. He said the man’s nickname is “Clorox” due to the fact that “he always uses that brand of bleach to clean up after the work he did for Gato.” He identified the getaway driver as a man who goes by “Captain,” as he was a former captain in the Mexican police force. Both Clorox and Captain allegedly serve as El Gato’s bodyguards.
Due to his cooperation, Ledezma Campano is no longer facing life in prison. His sentence has been reduced to 25 years to life, but could be decreased further, because he has agreed to “help” the government with unrelated cases. The Morning News reports:
Ledezma Campano said he has about 20 relatives in Monterrey, Mexico — including his wife — who have to keep moving to stay safe. He said they fear reprisals from Gato, Guerrero Chapa’s family and the Mexican government.