Authorities believe the death of an American tourist on a lake on the Texas-Mexico border may be a case of mistaken identity in a turf battle between rival drug cartels, a sheriff confirmed Thursday.
“It wouldn’t be unheard of for cartels to do this and it’s the way cartels work,” said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, who is heading the investigation on the U.S. side.
David Hartley vanished on Sept. 30 while jet skiing with his wife on Falcon Lake.
Tiffany Hartley said they were chased across the lake by men in speedboats as they returned from a trip to photograph a Mexican church. Neither David Hartley’s body nor the Jet Ski has been recovered.
Hartley, of McAllen, Texas, is believed to have been shot by Zetas cartel enforcers because he was mistaken for an operative of the rival Gulf cartel, according to an independent intelligence report.
“The truck Hartley and his wife used to put their Jet Skis in the water at the lake had Tamaulipas state plates, and the Hartleys drove the Jet Skis to the Old Guerrero area of the lake, a known battleground in the ongoing war the Los Zetas and Gulf cartels,” according to STRATFOR, a Texas-based think tank on intelligence and international issues.
Full Story: Jet Ski killing blamed on mistaken identity