News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2006

Five Brothers Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges

APR 20 -- (McALLEN, TX) United States Attorney Donald J. DeGabrielle, Jr. announced the arrests of Francisco Meza-Rojas, 41, of McAllen, Texas, and his brothers, Ruben Meza, 40, Juan Antonio Meza, 35, Jesus Lorenzo Meza, 32, and Miguel Hernandez-Rojas, 45, all of Mission, Texas. The indictment, parts of which remain sealed, alleges that Francisco Meza-Rojas was the leader of a drug trafficking organization which utilized family members to smuggle, transport, and store large quantities of cocaine and marijuana for multiple drug trafficking organizations, which would in turn, further distribute the controlled substances. The indictment further alleges that an individual identified only as El Aguila contracted with the Meza Drug Trafficking Organization to cross controlled substances into the United States and to transport the controlled substances to safe locations for delivery to other drug trafficking organizations. Also named in the indictment is Jorge Enrique Macias-Nevarez, a resident of Mexico, who was identified in the indictment as a Mexican smuggler who coordinates the movement of the controlled substances across the Rio Grande River. The cocaine and marijuana were typically smuggled into the United States in a rural area south of Mission, Texas, between Granjeno and Penitas.

In addition to the individuals named above, _Jose MONSERRAT NArvaez, of Mission, Texas was arrested today. All of those arrested are expected to appear in federal court tomorrow for initial appearances. The United States will be requesting that all of the individuals be held in federal custody without bond pending trial.

The indictment accuses the Mezas, Hernandez-Rojas, El Aguila, Macias-Nevarez, and MONSERRAT-Narvaez of conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from the United Mexican States over the course of a seven year period beginning around July of 1998. The indictment also alleges that the above named individuals conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana during the same time period. If convicted of the conspiracy offenses, the Mezas, Hernandez-Rojas, El Aguila, Macias-Nevarez, and MONSERRAT- NArvaez, each face a mandatory minimum of ten (10) years up to life imprisonment, without parole, and a fine of $4 million.

Francisco Meza-Rojas and various others are also accused of possession with intent to distribute approximately 960 kilograms of marijuana in February 2001, approximately 271 kilograms of marijuana in June 2001, approximately 279 kilograms of marijuana in April 2003, approximately 43 kilograms of marijuana in July 2003, approximately 121 kilograms of marijuana on October 22, 2003, approximately 1485 kilograms of marijuana on October 24, 2003, and approximately 270 kilograms of marijuana in November 2003. These other charges carry punishments ranging from up to five years imprisonment to life imprisonment depending upon the quantity of drugs involved.

The indictment is a result of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Mission Police Department, McAllen Police Department, Weslaco Police Department, Starr County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Marshal’s Service. The criminal case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Toni Trevino.

An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.