Posted: Nov 5, 2009 11:44 PM by James Jarman
Updated: Nov 5, 2009 11:44 PM
News First Investigates has uncovered a covert FBI operation that went so badly a confidential FBI informant's now accused of attempted murder.
The informant's accused of shooting up a house and trying to kill 2 babies, a 4 year old boy and 4 women.
Springs Police say the informant was wearing a wire during the shooting, and audio recordings show he planned and committed the violent attack during a covert FBI operation.
The victim's in the shooting showed News First Investigates the bullet holes in their living room, and how closely one bullet came to a 7 month old toddler - just a few inches.
It all happened at a home on Cucharras Street last Valentines day. At that time, and for quite a while after, the victims say didn't know suspected Robert Rodarte was working for the FBI.
"It makes me very, very, I get really angry. But what do you do?" said Diane Baltazar, the young childrens' grandmother, "There's nothing you can do, I just... I don't know."
Court records explain that Rodarte was an undercover informant for the FBI's Southern Colorado Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which includes officers from Colorado Springs Police. He was wearing a wire when he and several suspected gang members met in a motel room that the task force also wired for video and live audio surveillance.
However, it appears task force members did not hear the group plan a violent attack against suspected rival gang member Jorge Perez. Court records state, "the audio recorder did not have a headphone jack," which meant task force members could not hear anything inside the motel room.
It also appears no task force member was monitoring Rodarte during the covert operation. No one followed him and the group to the house where Perez lived.
Perez wasn't home, but the mother of his children and her family - 4 women and 3 children were there.
"And the guy sees me, he points the gun, he starts shooting and I go running to grab my baby and we run upstairs," Susie Baltazar, mother of a 4 year old boy and 7 month old girl she had with Perez.
Audio recordings, not released to News First 5, appear to show Rodarte knew the women and children were in the house when eight .40 calibre bullets were fired into home. Police say the recording from the "wire" Rodarte was wearing reveals he told his friends "I shot the whole family up."
"My son doesn't like to stay home, he likes to go to his grandma's house," said Susie Baltazar, "my son's always thinking that somebody's going to come by shooting."
Diane Baltazar says her 4 year old grandson still has nightmares about the shooting and is scared when loud cars drive by her house. She says he'll tell her, "'Grandma go to the ground! Duck!' And I'm like 'No. It's ok.. It's ok"
Even though Jorge Perez is now arrested on drug charges in a separate case and is accused of being a top tier Surenos gang member, the family denies any gang involvement. They think whoever was in charge of the covert FBI operation thought there were gang members inside the home, and because of that, didn't care if informant Rodarte shot anyone.
"Regardless of who we are, or what we are, we're a family, people love us and we love our kids and how can they just let it happen, how do they sleep at night with that thought?" Diane Baltazar told News First 5.
Court records show defense attorneys are already accusing FBI task force members of "outrageous government conduct." Claiming, in part, "the government is complicit in numerous felony offenses in the State of Colorado, including possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of schedule 2 controlled substance, attempted murder."
We've been trying for several months to get police records and comments from law enforcement on this case. Colorado Springs police told us the FBI would have to answer our questions because it's an FBI task force.
Shortly after this story was posted to newsfirst5.com an FBI spokeswoman told News First Investigates that they can't comment until the case is adjudicated.