Home News A Freer man nixed a sale of his property with CBP over a gun range, but eminent domain to be used to take it anyway

A Freer man nixed a sale of his property with CBP over a gun range, but eminent domain to be used to take it anyway

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More liberals have accused the federal government of using land expropriation for “dollar penny” after negotiations to buy land have failed.

Jacob Cantu, owner of JA Cantu Ranch, told Laredo Morning Times that the government refused to sell 30 acres of land for about $ 67,500 because the government insisted on building an open, and then sold it for about $ 67,500. He said he may be planning to do so. -Field gun range. He says this will not only affect his hunting business on the rest of his land, but will also pose a safety risk to his family.


“I worked hard to get this property,” Cantu said. “I’ve saved money for years and managed to buy this land, and it feels like it’s being ruined right now.”

Land expropriation refers to the power of the government to acquire private property and convert it to public use. Article 5 of the Constitutional Amendment provides that the government can exercise this authority only if it provides compensation to the real estate owner.

Cantu claims that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection movement will eventually set up a heliport and field gun range on his property in Duval County, a suburb of Freer.

In addition to his business and family safety concerns, he says this will reduce the value of his land.

According to Cantu, the test began two years ago when a representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asked if he would sell his property for the construction of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. ..

Cantu said he was interested in selling about 30 acres for $ 25,000 per acre, or $ 750,000. He said access to water would make it a major commercial property and would consider selling it under the condition that the station does not include gun range.

After he declared his interest in selling, he was provided with immigration rights for investigation and site evaluation, signed by Cantu, and allowed for government officials to enter the country.

This document is irrevocable for 24 months from June 4, 2020, granting civil servants and contractors the right to enter assets to conduct environmental assessments and asset surveys, and to Cantu prior to entry. It states that it will allow notification. This included the right to temporarily store, move, remove, investigate, stake, evaluate, puncture, and sample soil and water for necessary equipment and supplies.

“They weren’t talking about land expropriation,” Kantu said. “And when I received the offer … that’s when it finally says. For blame.” “

We couldn’t ask the US Army Corps of Engineers and CBP for comment on this story.

The first offer, dated April 19, 2021, stated that it represents a market-derived value determination.

“According to federal law and enforcement regulations, we have determined this amount to be $ 67,500, which is based on factors such as the location of the land, the use of the highest value, and the improvements made to the property,” CBP said. A person in charge of the real estate, environment and leasing management office writes.

The April letter does not contain any wording regarding land expropriation or condemnation. The first mention of land expropriation was in a letter sent in October.

On October 6, 2021, Cantu received a letter from CBP stating that 30 acres were identified as the location needed for a successful operation “related to the construction of CBP for tactical infrastructure projects.” After negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were stalled, the government said it had sent a letter as the final contact for a consensual purchase.

Cantu will either respond and negotiate until October 20, or refer to the Department of Justice to file a proceeding. This is a formal act of transferring ownership from a private property owner to a blame by an authority with land expropriation rights. According to Dawson and Sod PLLLC, the parties are in federal court to acquire property rights.

The letter arrived on June 3, 2021, a year after the trial began, after Kantu emailed the U.S. Corps that he was not interested in selling his property.

Cantu, referring to the 2018 LMT report, states that despite investing $ 33 million in upgrading to the CBP Freer station, only $ 67,500 was offered to his land. The report states that CBP’s Freer plan is to replace the existing facility with a new 27,000-square-foot LEED-certified space.

The building has 250 border patrol agents, 120 and 12 vehicle reservoirs, a safe entrance, a kennel, a refueling island, a car wash, a facility maintenance space, and 10 all-terrain vehicles for ATV. We support hut facilities. And vehicle maintenance facilities. There was no mention of gun range or helipads.

Meanwhile, Cantu said he had a conversation between himself and a representative of the Army Corps, who said he was aware of the long process and interest in breaking up after a lower offer price.

In a June 2021 correspondence, Cantu sent an email to a representative of the Army Corps informing the border guards that they were no longer interested in selling their property and guaranteeing that the sale would not take place. I am seeking. Cantu writes that government officials do not need to fix the damage, they just close the transaction.

The representative of the Army Corps of Engineers replied: I will share this, someone should get in touch with you soon about returning your property to normal. I am very sorry. “

Following this, on June 7th, I received an email reiterating Cantu’s position. This was about a year after the entry right was signed.

An email dated March 7, 2022, sent by Cantu to a representative of the Army Corps, showed Kantu’s frustration. It can be read below:

“I received a letter from USBP. If you have any questions, please contact me. I called a few days ago, but there is no call back. The phone number in the letter is a non-acceptable number. If you don’t answer the phone, how are you going to blame my land?

“I don’t know how you can blame my property when you first tell me I can get out of this at any time … this is how the government operates Are you doing?

“Also, did your boss say he’s willing to pay more than you offered? We talked about 50-100k per acre, and you say they’re okay with that number So I moved forward.

“Please explain how to give me what you want per acre and then send me a fairly small amount of letters. Now you blame my property because I do not accept the offer At first, I was always able to get out of it. There was a text message saying “You may not want to sell”, but you said “Yes, teacher. When you receive the letter, reply as you like.” The best counter offer is to see where you can get it, but that’s your choice.

“It’s like playing a game, telling people what you want to hear, and then stealing the property for free. My property wasn’t even the first option.”

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