SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Report states that a San Antonio man was charged Friday with theft of federal property after he admitted burglarizing the vehicle of a deputy U.S. marshal and stealing a bag containing his raid and tactical gear.
According to a criminal complaint affidavit, Francisco Castro Jr., 28, told law officers he initially intended to burglarize a car that was parked at a home on West Martin Street without knowing it belonged to a federal marshal. Castro was ordered held Friday pending a bail hearing next Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo.
The affidavit said Castro allegedly took a bag that contained the deputy marshal’s federally issued bullet-resistant vest, tactical vest, raid jacket and overcoat, tactical belt ensemble, boots and clothing. The equipment had the agency’s insignia on it.
According to the affidavit and U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Bobby Hogeland, when Castro realized what he had, he said he intended for the equipment to be used by a local gang, the “Orejónes,” to conduct raids on drug traffickers.
“Orejónes” — or “Big Ears” is part of the “Tango Blast,” one of the fastest-growing “security threat groups” identified by the Texas prison system, according to intelligence reports reviewed by the San Antonio Express-News. “Orejónes” is a term that San Antonio “Tangos” use to refer to themselves.
“We are working very hard to earn the public’s trust and to maintain it, and here we have someone come in and (try and) take that,” Hogeland said.
The car was burglarized Tuesday afternoon, and officers identified Castro by pursuing leads.
“Law enforcement officers aren’t immune to being victims of crime,” Hogeland said.
Hogeland credited his agency’s partnership with the San Antonio Police Department’s Gang Unit in helping identify and arrest Castro, who is an alleged “Orejón” associate, before the gear could be put to use by criminal elements.