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ATF: Gun in agent’s death traced to Texans

DALLAS | Three people suspected of smuggling guns to Mexico were arrested in a Dallas suburb on Monday after federal investigators traced the gun used in the killing of a U.S. agent in Mexico to one of them, officials said.

Agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the suspected gun smugglers in morning raids in the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster, ATF spokesman Tom Crowley said.

The ATF said the gun was used in a Feb. 15 shooting of two federal agents who were driving on a highway near the northern Mexico city of San Luis Potosi on Feb. 15. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was killed; agent Victor Avila was wounded.

Mr. Zapata and Mr. Avila, who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, were attacked as they returned to Mexico City from a meeting with other U.S. personnel in the state of San Luis Potosi. Mr. Avila was shot twice in the leg.

Some reports at the time said the two were stopped at a roadblock, while others said they were run off the road by other vehicles. The Mexican government does not authorize U.S. law enforcement personnel to carry weapons.

Also Monday, the Mexican navy announced that marines had captured a regional boss for the Zetas drug gang that is accused in Mr. Zapata’s slaying.


Security chief indicted in mine blast

CHARLESTON | The security chief of a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary is charged in a federal indictment with obstructing the investigation of a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine in southern West Virginia, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The indictment accuses Hughie Elbert Stover, 60, of lying to an FBI agent and a federal Mine Safety and Health Administration inspector. It also charges he ordered an employee to dispose of thousands of pages of security documents from the Raleigh County mine more than nine months after the explosion.

The April 5 blast was the deadliest at a U.S. coal mine since 1970 and remains the subject of criminal and civil investigations. Mr. Stover is the first person connected to the case known to be charged with a crime.

Mr. Stover was head of security at Performance Coal, the Massey subsidiary that operates the mine. The indictment was handed up Friday and unsealed Monday when Mr. Stover was arrested and later released on a $10,000 bond. Lying to the FBI is punishable by up to five years in prison, while obstruction carries a 20-year term.

From wire dispatches and staff reports