Right-wing blogs have been promoting a rumor that "highly trained killers" from a Mexican drug gang have "invade[d]" the United States, taking over two ranches near the Mexico-U.S. border in Laredo, Texas, but law enforcement agencies in the area have flatly denied the rumor.
The Laredo Morning Times reported that law enforcement officials had been "bombarded" with calls about the rumor but that "officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff's Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors."
Some conservative blogs have acknowledged that the story appears to be bogus, but others are standing by it.
The Jawa Report in a July 24 post stated that the rumor "should be the headline story put out by the American media. The idea that drug cartel raiding parties are attacking and seizing territory inside the United States is major." The blog went on to state, "It's unforgivable that this story isn't being reported by the elite media."
The Examiner DC blog also ran with the rumor, writing, "In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas."
Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace website links to the Examiner post, adding that the "story is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department." That claim is contradicted by Breitbart's Big Government website, where Bob Owens wrote, "No, Texas hasn't Been Invaded." Owens reported that he confirmed that the story was false with two Texas law enforcement officials, adding, "Don't believe the hype."
Michelle Malkin originally reported that "rumors are swirling of a Zetas-led invasion into Texas ranches." Malkin later updated her post to note that the Laredo Police Department denied the rumors, and she linked to Owens' entry debunking the rumor, which was cross-posted at his Confederate Yankee blog.
Weasel Zippers has been perhaps the least up-front about the debunking of the rumor. The right-wing site originally wrote that the "Mexican Drug Gang Los Zetas Have Acquired Ranch Inside America, Being Used as Training Camp for Operations on U.S. Soil." Weasel Zippers went on to state, "Obama regime is more concerned with suing Arizona than stopping the Mexican narco-insurgency from further spreading onto American soil." However, rather than correct its post, Weasel Zippers simply removed it without any notation that it had done so.