Report: Migrants Planned To Buy Guns From Cartel Before Coming To U.S. Border
San Diego, CA - A Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) report showed that a Mexican cartel had planned to sell weapons to members of the migrant caravans headed toward the United States who wanted to “stage an armed rebellion at the border.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune obtained the “unclassified” FBI report from an unnamed source who said the investigation is ongoing.
The report was labeled “law enforcement sensitive,” which means it was only intended to be seen by police.
The report warned of “anti-fascist activists” that “planned to disrupt U.S. law enforcement and military security operations at the US/Mexican border,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The document specified an alleged plan for activists and protesters to buy guns from a “Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander” whose real name is Ivan Riebeling.
Two additional law enforcement officials confirmed the investigation was ongoing and that no one has been charged yet, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The report was sent by the FBI to a list of agencies that included the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Administration.
Ivan Riebeling and Evan Duke, both of whom were named in the FBI report, called the accusations are “untrue and illogical,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Duke claimed he has never met Riebeling and wouldn’t associate with such a person.
Riebeling said the report made no sense.
“It doesn’t make any sense that someone from the United States would purchase guns in Mexico. And the Hondurans certainly didn’t bring money to buy guns. It doesn’t make any sense; in fact it’s extremely absurd to say the Hondurans wanted to attack the United States at the border,” the man known as “Cobra Commander” told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Riebeling said that initially he helped an early migrant caravan made up predominantly of women and children, but that he quickly decided he “no longer wanted to help Hondurans.”
“I can send you several videos of myself attacking the Hondurans because they are my enemies,” Riebeling said during a recent interview, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Riebeling said has never been detained or questioned by the FBI. He also said he’s not a cartel member, nor did he sell guns to anyone.
“I am not cartel. I don’t sell drugs. I don’t sell arms,” he reiterated. “I’m a revolutionary. A man who believes in his ideals, and I’m going to defend Mexico.”
He denied being affiliated with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“If I were selling drugs, or guns, they would kill me,” Riebeling said.
The “Cobra Commander” said he was upset by the allegations in the FBI report.
“The government of the United States knows perfectly well that I am not a member of any cartel,” Riebeling said. “I have associates with several of the cartels, yes I do, but I am not a narco-trafficker and they know that.”
He said he stopped assisting members of the Central American caravan when he found out that some of them were selling the humanitarian relief items he had brought them, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“They were exchanging these items for drugs and it made me mad, and I no longer wanted to help them and I was vocal about it,” Riebeling said.
Several of the names that appeared in the FBI report overlapped with a secret database compiled by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations of people CBP wanted stopped for questioning at the U.S. border.
CBP told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the people on the list were present when violence broke out and agents deployed tear gas at the Tijuana border.
They said they were trying to learn more about what instigated those altercations.
The report specifically said that a group of activists in Tijuana who supported the infamous migrant caravans “were encouraged to bring personally owned weapons to the border and the group also intended to purchase weapons from a Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander, AKA the Mexican Rambo, and smuggle the weapons into the United States,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.