The House of Death: An Interview with DEA Whistleblower Sandy Gonzalez

Radley Balko, senior editor of Reason magazine, says: "Federal agents looked the other way while one of their drug informants [Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, also known as "Lalo"] participated in a series of gruesome murders. They knew about the murders, but refused to call off the drug investigation. When an outraged DEA agent [Sandy Gonzalez] blew the whistle, the DEA, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and DOJ forced him into early retirement. The government is now trying to deport the informant they've paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to over the years. They want to send him to Mexico, where he'll almost certainly be killed."
Reason: The DEA administrator at the time, Karen Tandy, has admitted in court testimony that she gave you the only poor performance review of your career because of your letter calling for an investigation into the murders. That led to your retirement. Have any of the ICE officers who handled the Lalo case been held accountable --criminally, professionally, or otherwise?

Gonzalez: Not to my knowledge. I doubt it. I would have heard about it.

Reason: Have you had any indication that Congress might step in? Have you talked to anyone on Capitol Hill?

Gonzalez: Back in 2005 I went and briefed the senior staff of two senators.

Reason: Which ones?

Gonzalez: [Iowa Sen. Charles] Grassley and [Vermont Sen. Patrick] Leahy. I think what happened is one of the members of Leahy’s staff was a Justice Department officer who was on loan on a detail to the senator’s staff. I think she knew [U.S. Attorney] Johnny Sutton. She worked out of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. She knew Sutton personally and throughout the whole interview she was antagonistic. My guess is that she railroaded the whole thing.

An Interview with DEA Whistleblower Sandy Gonzalez