El Paso – Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel are seeking to carve out a bigger role in the deadly border war against Mexican drug gangs.
According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, some ICE agents have blundered in their dealings with informants and other sources.
At least eight agents have been investigated for improper dealings with informants since ICE was created in 2003.
In the case involving one informant charged with murdering another, Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana, a smuggling manager for a Ciudad Juarez cartel, was gunned down this spring in El Paso.
El Paso police say ICE delayed its investigation, steering detectives away from the man now charged with arranging the contract hit.
ICE officials in El Paso have declined comment on the Gonzalez case. John Morton, Homeland Security's assistant secretary for ICE in Washington, said, "I'm aware of that situation and it is under review." He declined to answer other questions.
ICE spokeswoman Kelly Nantel says the agency "works with confidential informants in accordance with established best practices and guidelines of federal law enforcement agencies."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.