Saturday, April 23


Watch this video interview of Ernest Naquin, the father of the toddler, Aiden, who was brutally murdered and allegedly by a now jailed suspect in the case -- 19-year old Miguel Angel Castro -- who is thought to be an MS-13 gang gunman from El Salvadore.

Watch the video carefully. Play it over several times.

Look into the man's eyes, listen to his words and voice inflections. Police now believe much of what Ernest Naquin is saying during this interview (and others with authorities) is a pack of lies. The murder of hapless Aiden may have, in point of fact, been the domino effect of a drug sale gone wrong -- a drug sale in which Ernest was the seller.

Would a father resist cooperating with the authorities -- the FBI, the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the Houston Police Department -- in the investigation of his son's brutal murder just to cover his own sorry ass?

Was his performance in this news' interview disingenuous and designed to throw investigators off the scent and to cover-up his illicit, street-level drug sale of Xanax to Maria Cruz? Was this really a trip to get his three children a snow cone treat on a warm Texas evening or was the principal purpose to do a drug sale?

Ernest argues the killing was a case of mistaken identity -- the shooter thinking Ernest Naquin was someone else and his hapless son being the proverbial innocent bystander, mowed down in a hail of gunfire. Police say otherwise. The shooter and his accomplices, they now report, wanted to retrieve money given to Ernest by Maria Cruz -- money that exchanged hands that night in an illicit drug deal.

I damn sure want to know what really happened. How about you? Fact is, Ernest Naquin has a criminal history. Maybe he was trying to avoid being somehow implicated and winding up back in prison. Regardless, his son is in the ground now and if this is some sick drug sale that went awry and escalated into a murder -- a murder that may have been committed by an illegal alien and member of a notorious street gang -- then I'm really sick at heart and wanting justice for the boy.

UPDATE: The "Houston Chronicle" (registration required) has published this account of the arrests of four men and one woman, all thought to be involved, along with Miguel Angel Castro, in a street-level drug deal followed by an attempted armed robbery to retrieve the money used to purchase the drugs from Aiden Naquin's father, Ernest Naquin. That sale, to one of the suspects taken into police custody, Maria Cruz, was made at a service station the night of Aiden's murder.

Maria Cruz was arrested on drug charges, accused of possessing Xanax she had purchased from the slain child's father minutes before the robbery occurred, detectives said.
"HC" reporters, Peggy O'Hare and Cindy Horswell, go on to write:

On the night of the incident, Maria Cruz purchased about 500 "bars" of Xanax from a man in a maroon car at a service station at the corner of First Street and U.S. 59 near Humble, detectives said. Sheriff's officials said they believe Ernest Naquin was the man who sold her the Xanax and said his three children were in the car with him at the service station at the time.

After the sale, a group of men followed Naquin and his children to their mobile home park in Huffman. When Naquin reached the trailer park, the men tried to rob him. One of the men fired five shots into Naquin's windshield, one of which hit the toddler in the head.

Detectives said they were not sure how much money Naquin was carrying at the time, but the gang members didn't get any of it. Their robbery attempt unsuccessful, they fled in a getaway car detectives said was driven by Victor Cruz. Maria Cruz was not in the car with the men when the shooting occurred, investigators said.

Detectives declined to say Friday if the child's father admitted or denied any part in the drug transaction.

The following arrests were made:

Eduardo Mejia-Estrada, also known as Carlos Eduardo Estrada-Mejia, 19, Ronney Donn Sanchez-Fonseca, 18, and Edgar Rolando Gonzalez, 24 — who already were in custody — were charged with aggravated robbery, the sheriff's office said.

Another accused gang member, Victor Armando Cruz, 26, and his wife, Maria Adelaida Cruz, 27, were arrested at their home in the 400 block of Hahlo about 10 a.m. Thursday by sheriff's detectives, Houston police and FBI agents.

Victor Cruz is charged with aggravated robbery. Maria Cruz was arrested on drug charges, accused of possessing Xanax she had purchased from the slain child's father minutes before the robbery occurred, detectives said.

Ernest Naquin, 27, has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but sheriff's detectives said he could be charged later for his alleged role in the drug deal. Naquin declined to comment Friday on the drug deal allegations.

And isn't this eyewitness report interesting:

Jaime Oldham, who lives in the same trailer park as the Naquin family, said she had noticed late night activity at the Naquin home.

"There was a lot of traffic to this house, all hours of the day and night," she said. "Then, after the meth lab busts (two in the last few months), the father started leaving the park, all times of the day and night. Sometimes at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m."

So there you are. Quite a tangled web. Sickening, isn't it? The drug deal happened in Humble, Texas. Aiden Naquin is now buried in Humble, Texas. A little boy is dead it appears because his father may have been more a drug dealer than a loving dad. And his killer may have been in this country illegally and a member of the notorious MS-13 gang.