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Friday, 5 December 2008

Ray Carrasco Texas Mexican Mafia member moved from a federal jail for his own safety

01:03 |

member of the Texas Mexican Mafia who admitted participating in two murders was moved from a federal jail for his own safety after a local television station erroneously reported that he was cooperating, authorities told a judge Wednesday.
Ray Carrasco was moved last month after KENS-TV posted a video report on that talked about his plea deal but wrongly said he was cooperating with law officers, an FBI agent and a prosecutor said at Carrasco's plea hearing. “I can and will tell you he is not cooperating. Period,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Contreras told U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia. Contreras' assertion was a rare disclosure of the behind-the-scenes activity in high-profile prosecutions. Contreras said he normally never discusses whether any defendant is cooperating.An FBI agent told the judge that the station pulled the report off the Web site after agents saw the streaming video and contacted KENS. Carrasco was then moved.“At no point did we say this guy cooperated,” KENS news director Kurt Davis said in an interview Wednesday, challenging the agents' statements. “For the record, we were made aware that this guy was not cooperating with law enforcement. We reported that he had worked out a deal but was not cooperating.”KENS-TV is a partner with the Express-News in until Jan. 5. The newspaper posted its own story on the Web site about the plea deal that made no mention of cooperation.Carrasco pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, which included the killings of two fellow gang members (one suspected of cooperating with law officers), extortion and trafficking of heroin and cocaine. He agreed to be sentenced later to 20 years in prison. His lawyer, Warren Wolf, said Carrasco never had any plans to testify against any of the other 34 members charged in January with racketeering and 22 killings between 2000 and 2005.“His sole intention was to enter a plea on his own case,” Wolf said. “If that (cooperation) were part of the plea offer, he would not have accepted.”Carrasco asked the judge to be returned to San Antonio, but sources said that might not be possible because of lingering security concerns.“We'll advise the court on any security issues, but we can't comment on why we move someone, when or where,” said Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Fernando Karl, whose office oversees pretrial jailing of federal inmates.

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