Northeast Tarrant

Suspected money man arrested in connection with slaying of Southlake lawyer

This was the crime scene at Southlake Town Square after the murder of a Gulf cartel lawyer in 2013.
This was the crime scene at Southlake Town Square after the murder of a Gulf cartel lawyer in 2013. Special to the Star-Telegram

A drug dealer suspected of helping finance the search for a Southlake lawyer who was assassinated 2013 has been arrested by Mexican authorities, Mexican publications have reported.

Luis Lauro Ramirez Bautista searched and funded the search for Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, a lawyer for a one-time leader of the Gulf drug cartel and an informant for the United States government. After four years of searching, Ramirez Bautista was apprehended in June by Mexican federal officers, according to reporting by the Dallas Morning News.

Guerrero Chapa was shot multiple times with a 9 mm handgun May 22, 2013, as he and his wife returned to their Range Rover after shopping at Southlake Town Square.

Documents made public after the arrest of three co-conspirators connected to Guerrero Chapa’s death implicated Ramirez Bautista in the slaying, and accused him of providing the financial resources to search for Guerrero Chapa.

When Ramirez Bautista was stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2011, he told a Border Patrol agent he was looking for Guerrero Chapa. He showed the agent photos of Guerrero Chapa’s Southlake home, and said Guerrero Chapa was a drug dealer who should be deported to Mexico.

Ramirez Bautista’s meeting at the border was “designed to enlist the assistance of the government in returning Guerrero to Mexico so that Ramirez Bautista and others could kill him,” the documents state.

When that didn’t work, Ramirez Bautista sent a drug dealer four times, from November 2012 to January 2013, to pay a co-conspirator, Jesus Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda, a total of $38,000, according to the documents.

Jesús Gerardo Ledezma Cepeda and his cousin, José Luis Cepeda Cortés, were each given two life terms in prison for masterminding the scheme to track Guerrero Chapa and leading killers to his location. The two shooters in the case have not been located.

Ledezma Cepeda’s son, Jesús Gerardo Ledezma Campano, pleaded guilty to the stalking that preceeded Guerero Chapa’s death and is serving a 20-year prison sentence. The son testified for the government against his father and Cepeda Cortés during a trial in April and May 2016.

This story contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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