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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Falcon Lake Murder: Falcon Lake Phishing?

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Ok, so I thought that was a catching title, but I also thought it was appropriate as well.

Maybe I'm the only one that finds humor in that?

Whatever the case, I believe that we have all heard of people "phishing" for information on the internet.  Usually phishing is associated with some form of scam in which a person tries to obtain personal information from another by making them believe they are a legitimate website or a legitimate company.

In this case, I believe phishing is the appropriate term to use when referring to what the Sheriff of Zapata County is trying to do.

While he may not be trying to scam people to obtain their personal information, he is trying to scam them into believing something untrue, and very likely trying to scam legislators into giving him more "border security" monies.

Why do I say this?

It all goes back to our public information requests.

Here is what has been going on:

Back on May 13, 2011, we sent the Zapata County Sheriff a Public Information request for more information in regards to all the pirate related attacks he claims have occurred on Falcon Lake.

Personally, I have never bought into the claim that so many incidents have occurred.  While I believe but one of the incidents, there are some that I just don't buy.  I talked about this in my blog back in March.

But it is pretty hard to let go of the fact that it might be possible that these claims aren't coming from Sigi alone.  After all, the reports claim to come from the people who have been attacked, but I do believe in conspiracies, and so I sought out to find out more about these stories and try to see if there is more to it, if they actually happened, or if it might be possible these are just part of a bigger plan.

Yes, I am talking about a conspiracy!

I very much have every reason to believe that a conspiracy is at play.

I have lived on the border long enough to know fact from fiction, and obviously, or I wouldn't be writing about it, the stories coming out of Zapata County are not ringing like facts to me.

And like I said before, this wouldn't be the first time someone tries to make up a story for political reasons.

But the reason these stories work is because most people don't have the experience of living on the border like others.  They rely on the news to tell them how things are going here, and frankly, I've noticed, the news really likes to make things interesting, and the only way to make things interesting is to fabricate a little and make things sound outrageous.

In short, it is a publicity stunt.

They want to keep their viewers entertained, and they are not going to be actively watching the news if there is nothing on there to report about, or at least nothing interesting to report about.

So people fall for it, mainly because they don't have the time or the education to actively seek out information to get down to the facts.

And frankly, I think that is what the Sheriff of Zapata County wasn't expecting, that someone who has the time and the education to seek out information would do so.

He probably thought he'd wave his badge around and people would buy his bull shit.

Sadly for him, that is not the case and I strongly believe that that is why now he is cowering and trying to hide in the shadows and trying to wiggle around the hard questions we are asking him that the media should have been asking of him and Tiffany from day one.

So back to the nitty gritty of our May 13th PIA request.  Our May 13th PIA request was this:

However, we never got a response back from Sigi, even after the 10 days required for him to respond, so we called his office and tried to get information, but he was never there.

So we emailed him instead.  Here is our complete conversation via email:
First request:

Sigi's response:

Notice, here is where my phishing comment comes into play.  The Sheriff is basically using the, "I heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend" excuse.  He is trying to be sly and wiggle through undetected, and I admit, I almost fell for it if my coworkers on this case hadn't pointed out to me the obvious...

"How does he verify any of his claims?"

It took me a while to get what they meant, but finally, I got it.

So we wrote him back with the tough questions that he has never been asked before, and as expected, he never responded back.  Here was one of the last emails we sent him that he never responded to:

To date we have not heard a response from Sigi, but it's not like he's been busy.  He's obviously had time to respond to criticism of his claims on the Zapata Times.  In response to this interview, Renato Ramirez from Zapata Texas (President of IBC Bank) fires a fiery criticism of Sheriff Sigi.  Here is what he has to say:
Renato Ramirez's fiery response to Sheriff Sigi

Miffed, the Sheriff responds back in a childish way.  Here is what he has to say back:

What ensues, is a battle of wits as Renato responds to his letter the following week:
Not wanting to stay behind, Sigi offers one final reply:

Renato never replies back, and I don't blame him.  Sigi never answered his questions about what has Sigi done for Zapata County.  The most Sigi does is take credit for our safe communities making it sound like he's the reason they are safe, but never admitting that they have always been safe, with or without him.

I decided to contact Renato Ramirez and was glad when he responded back.

What he had to say about Sigi's final response was appropriate and just what I was thinking.

This is the most important part, in my opinion, of what Mr. Ramirez had to say:

"Sigi claims he made Zapata safe--the reality is that the law enforcement officers in the Zapata County Sheriff's department amount to 10% of all law enforcement in Zapata County. FBI, CBP, ICE, DEA task force, TPW agents, TABC, ATF, etc.--more than twelve state and federal agencies are protecting Zapata. He stated in the Presencia News that these agents cover up crime. He is really not thinking very logically."
No, he is not.

Sigi refers to the 700 comments in this article instead.

I think Sigi didn't sort out the comments from newest to oldest, because for the first couple of pages, it is border residents speaking up and thanking USA Today for finally telling the truth about the borders, and not all that media hype.

But, our request for information for the CBP photo wasn't the last request we sent.  There was one more important request we made to which he has not responded to either.

That request was in regards to the blood stain evidence on Tiffany Hartley's life jacket.

This was the request:

We have not heard from Sheriff Sigi since he received this letter, and it was sent to him via email, pasted and as an attachment to ensure that he received it.

We are currently working on another complaint to send to the Attorney General.

In the mean time, we have already spoken with the person in charge of our case at the Attorney General's office, Mr. Sterner.

Mr. Sterner says that Sigi did file a request for ruling on July 6th, something that we never got.

However, he stated that the July 6 letter was Sigi complaining that the Pirate PIA had already been requested when we sent out the first PIA related to Tiffany Hartley. 

Remember in that PIA we requested all information related to the Tiffany Hartley case? 

Well, the Pirate PIA would have included the Tiffany Hartley case, so in short, we requested the same information twice, or so that's what Sigi was trying to tell the AOG, to which I explained to them that it was not the same thing, although we did admit that we did not know how to phrase it to where they could exclude the Tiffany Hartley case because we had already requested for that. 

But then, he (Sigi) tried using that as an excuse to not release information on our first PIA, which Sterner clearly said he did not see that happening unless he could provide a better reason. 

So, basically, what happened is that Sigi started off complaining about the Pirate PIA and tried using that as an excuse to not release the Full 911 call and the rest of the information related to the Hartley case. 

Isn't that something?

Mr. Sterner then said that they (OAG) have 45 business days from the day they request a ruling to issue a ruling so in this case the 45 business dead line is September 14th, so they will issue a formal attorney generals opinion on whether they have to release this information to us then. 

Then he asks me if I got a copy of a July 6th letter from Sigi's office, and I said no. 

So he noted it on the file that we didn't receive it. 

He also said that what happens when they missed their dead line (which Sigi was way past the 10 days to respond) is that they wave all discretionary exceptions so the only information that can be withheld from them is confidential. 

They can't claim litigary exception or anything like that, which is a good thing I believe.

I still need to call Mr. Sterner back and ask him a few more questions, like does the 45 business days deadline also include our May 13th request for information, or the 911 call PIA which had been our first complaint letter we sent, because in my opinion, those are long over due, and the 45 business days should only include the requests for information that were sent out in June.

I will keep you posted as to what is going on as soon as we receive more information.

Take care, and until next time....


  1. Any update about this yet? It's mid September. I was shocked to read the childish back and forth between both those men... silly, silly. I heard Sigi is not running for re-election. Hmmmmm. wonder why?

  2. We should have an update pretty soon. We've contact the attorney general to check up on the status of our complaints and it turns out they sent out a ruling to us on September 14, which means we should be getting something this week. We are also planning on seeking legal action against the Sheriff for withholding public information, but we'll release those details as soon as we are done organizing our complaints. Please stay tuned.

  3. We are anxious to know the results of your investigation. It seems Sigi decided not to run due to the trouble he faces real soon. Finally his bull... hit the fan and many lies will be coming out of the box. People in Washington will realize how they were so dumb to believe his deception. Please keep us informed.

  4. Now that Tiff has admitted that she had David's jet ski all along, and we said so, what will Sigi do?

    Tiffany said over and over on every major and minor media outlet, who wanted to grab an interview, and all did without questioning (scary) her numerous contradictions:

    "David's jet ski was faster than mine." "David flew off his ski and I tried to pull him back onto mine." "He ws too heavy and God said, 'You gotta go.' "

    When did she switch skis? How did she manage to get David's key, get over to his jet ski, and climb aboard?
    Why did she never mention this in her uncountable TV interviews? Why did she not mention this to the sheriff?

    How did she end up with David's ski in Colorado, when she claimed she fled the "lake pirates" on her ski?

    I quess I should be asking Sigifredo Gonzalez, Jr., sheriff of Zapata County, Texas, the sheriff who never investigated Tiffany, the sheriff who instantly declared the last person to see David alive, "innocent."

  5. In defense of the truth, she never switched skis. She came back on the same jetski that was registered under her name. I apologize for giving an inaccurate statement, but that does not mean that it invalidates the questions.

    I am working on another post. I should have one up, hopefully by tomorrow. I think I've finally discovered what was, and is, going on in this case.

    I hope you stay tuned and check in later to read the new post. :)


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