Son of known Gulf Cartel associate arrested for threatening DEA agent

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The son of a man associated with the Gulf Cartel was arrested by federal agents after authorities say he intimidated a government witness following a hearing on May 9, according to a criminal complaint.

Hector “Torito” Reyes Jr., son of Hector Reyes Sr., who is known as “Padrino” and is part of a transnational criminal organization that is “affiliated with and under the control of the Cartel Del Gulfo,” was arrested on Tuesday for obstruction of justice.

On May 9, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent was testifying at a detention hearing for Reyes Sr.’s girlfriend, Liliana Resendez, when the agent noticed Reyes Jr. sitting in the courtroom.

Following the hearing, the agent was walking to his official government vehicle and saw Reyes Jr. and another man, later identified as Humberto Estrada, standing near the rear of the vehicle.

As the agent approached his vehicle, he noticed both Reyes Jr. and Estrada staring at him and continued staring as he entered the vehicle.

A few moments later, Reyes Jr. walked near the vehicle and spit toward it, according to the complaint.

He then entered another vehicle with Estrada and continued to stare until they departed the parking lot.

On May 12, both the agent and a United States Marshal Service deputy reviewed the surveillance video depicting the incident.

The video showed Reyes Jr. and Estrada were seated in a vehicle until the special agent neared the parking lot. Their vehicle was positioned to the rear of the agent’s vehicle.

On May 19, DEA agents reviewed recorded jail calls between Reyes Sr. and Reyes Jr. from a few hours after the detention hearing where they discussed the incident where Reyes Jr. states the agent “got scared.”

“And then… I mean, I left, and he came after me… and I changed lanes, and he would change lanes,” a transcript of the conversation in the criminal complaint said.

Reyes Sr. then said that he’s “not even what they say” he is to which Reyes Jr. stated that authorities are using a Snapchat video Reyes Sr. made and Reyes Jr. posted in early April as evidence of intimidating government witnesses.

On April 4, Reyes Jr. posted a video on Snapchat that depicted multiple handheld radios transmitting an audio message in Spanish along with text that read, “A message for those that are searching up there,” according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint provides a translated transcript of the video which states that a man who self-identified as “Commander Metro Siete” said that he was giving authorities searching for “Padrino” an ultimatum and threatening them to “stand down” while they still had time.

Since June 2020, multiple U.S. government agencies have been investigating the organization Reyes Sr. is allegedly involved in.

According to the complaint, the investigation has resulted in the seizure of about 727 pounds of methamphetamine, 77,161 pounds of marijuana, 132 pounds of cocaine and over $2.1 million in assets and currency resulting in the federal arrests of over 30 people.

Reyes Jr. was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker for his initial appearance Thursday morning.