In the summer of 1913, exactly one hundred years ago, Sommerfeld and his people along the border were busy organizing the supply for the Constitutionalist armies now in excess of fifteen thousand men. Just as he had in the Orozco uprising, Sommerfeld remained a key source for intervention with the Mexican revolutionaries on behalf of American citizens. On June 20th 1913, Agent Breniman wrote to his superior in San Antonio: “Am just informed from the American Consul Nuevo Laredo that C.M. Rippeteau and Henry Crumpler, two American citizens and the bearers of messages for Consul Garrett, were arrested yesterday by Carranzistas in vicinity of Nuevo Laredo and have been taken to Hidalgo enroute to Piedras Negras where it is feared that they will be summarily dealt with. We [the Bureau of Investigation] are requested to use our influence to protect these citizens. Suggest you see Sommerfeld.”
Sommerfeld's organization and he personally channeled important intelligence to the Justice Department agents. On July 5th 1913 Sommerfeld informed BI agent Breniman via the San Antonio BI chief H. A. Thompson “Evaristo Guajardo left here yesterday from Eagle Pass with six men. Guajardo and his brothers intend to immediately start a movement against Carranza from just below or above Eagle Pass.” The German agent asked the BI to investigate the rumor and “ascertain, if possible, the movements of these people, and…to take steps to anticipate them.” The report alludes to the fact that the Sommerfeld organization, again, told the BI what to do and how to do it. Sommerfeld dispatched Agent Jack Noonan from Nogales to Tucson with a companion to scour the desert for federal munitions dumps. “Noonan and Clark intend going out on a still hunt for these deposits of ammunition which they believed to exist.” Of course Noonan also was a well-known smuggler for the Constitutionalist army.
On October 7th, BI Chief Bielaski directed Agent H. A. Thompson to “…close the bridge at Eagle Pass from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m….it is hoped that a special agent can be stationed permanently at Eagle Pass and that the matter of the closing of the bridge at Eagle Pass will be taken up by you.” Although on the surface one can interpret these instructions as hostile to the resupply efforts of the Constitutionalists, the opposite was the case. Thompson, who left the Department of Justice shortly thereafter to work for Sommerfeld, had allowed Eagle Pass to be virtually open for Constitutionalist supplies to pass through. The State Department wanted to arrange for superficial action to maintain the neutrality laws. In the same telegram Bielaski wrote that the “…Secretary of State has been advised that arrangements are being made to add to the force of special agents now working in Texas and Arizona on neutrality matters.” Of course, adding one man to the main border crossing through which the Villistas received their supplies for the upcoming battles was a joke. The fact that by October 1913 there was not a single agent watching Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras illustrates the U.S. government’s tacit support for Pancho Villa’s fall campaign. The situation at other critical crossings was no different. While the government went after several arms merchants in Nogales and Douglas, Arizona in October, the courts acquitted all of them and the smuggling continued unabated.