"El Diablo" Found Sleeping in His Vehicle at a Truck Stop Parking Lot

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

PECOS- Like many places in West Texas, Pecos is battling the boomtown woes of increased traffic accidents and crime. However, dealing with Jacob "El Diablo" Esparza, accused of threatening to kidnap, torture and murder law enforcement and their families, is far from their usual agenda.

"In law enforcement, threats come and go. It's kind of part of the environment we work in but with a threat of this magnitude that was made, it kind of changed the ball game for us a little bit," Pecos Police Chief, Clay McKinney, said.

The Pecos Police Department had been watching out for Esparza. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) told them there was a possibility he was lurking around their city.

Close to one a.m. Tuesday morning, an officer with the Pecos Police Department spotted a vehicle matching the description of one that was given to them by HSI.

It was parked in lot of the Flying J truck stop, just down the road from the law enforcement center.

After officers knocked on the vehicle window, Esparza, who was asleep, woke up and gave himself up.

"It's a good feeling for law enforcement to have him in custody," McKinney said.

He was taken to the police department where he was held until his arraignment later in the morning.

"The officers that I spoke to indicated that he showed no emotion to them whatsoever," McKinney said.

Although the Pecos Police Department had quite a hand in the takedown operation, they give much of the credit to HSI.

"I can't commend Homeland Security enough. Those agents did an excellent job with this case," McKinney said.

The Pecos Police Department says they think Esparza may have been hanging out in their city because it's believed he has family members living there.