News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2008
Contact: Terri K. Wyatt
Special Agent/PIO
Number: 214-366-6900

13 Arrested in Lubbock on Drug Charges

MAR 31 -- LUBBOCK, Texas — Thirteen members of a major cocaine-trafficking organization operating in the Lubbock area have been arrested on charges outlined in five federal indictments that were unsealed this morning in Lubbock, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Additionally, law enforcement officers executed seven search warrants at various locations in Lubbock and Lynn County, resulting in the seizure of approximately two kilograms of cocaine, drug trafficking paraphernalia, firearms, U.S. currency, financial records, and vehicles.

U.S. Attorney Roper said, “These Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) indictments and arrests are the result of an excellent, well-coordinated, multi-agency law enforcement investigation and effort that included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Lubbock Police Department, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, the Tahoka Police Department and the Lynn County Sheriff’s Office. This operation reflects the cohesive nature of federal, state, and local law enforcement in West Texas and their ability to obtain outstanding results through that cooperation.”

In one indictment, three defendants, Juan Carrizales, 29, Jose Luis Flores-Villa, 42, and Sarah Sosa, 30, are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and other substantive counts. This indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which, upon conviction, would require the defendants to forfeit nearly $20,000 in currency to the U.S. Flores-Villa and Sosa were arrested this morning in Lubbock without incident and remain in federal custody. Carrizales remains a fugitive. If convicted, each of the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.

In another indictment, Peter Anthony Martinez, a/k/a “Anthony Flores,” 34, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Martinez, was arrested this morning in Lubbock without incident and remains in federal custody. If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.

Another indictment charges Anthony David Deleon, a/k/a “Anthony Valdez,” “Anthony Valadez” and “AV,” 29, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and other substantive counts. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would require Deleon to forfeit several thousand dollars in U.S. currency to the U.S. upon conviction. Deleon was arrested this morning in Lubbock without incident and remains in federal custody.

John Patrick Morales, II, 25, is charged in another indictment with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and two counts of distribution of cocaine. Morales was arrested last night in El Paso, Texas, and remains in federal custody.

The fifth indictment charges eight individuals with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and other substantive counts. Defendants charged in this indictment are:

Christopher Paul Rangel, a/k/a “C-Murder,” 29
Gary Maldonado Briones, 30
Paul Anthony Rios, a/k/a “Tiny,” 31
Jimmy Cavarrubio, 24
David Pena, Jr., 24
Joe Robert Estrada, 26
Nathan Joe Lemon, 26
Leonard Garcia, 28

Briones and Estrada are also charged in firearms counts. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would, upon conviction, require the defendants to forfeit to the U.S. vehicles, real property, and several thousand dollars in U.S. currency. Rios, Briones, Cavarrubio, and Pena were arrested today in Lubbock and remain in custody. Law enforcement expects to apprehend Rangel and Lemon by the end of the day. Estrada is currently in custody in Lamb County, Texas. Leonard Garcia was arrested Tuesday evening in Lubbock and remains in custody.

Arrested defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance tomorrow, March 28, 2008, in federal court in Lubbock, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig at 3:00 p.m. An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each of the remaining defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag of the Lubbock, Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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