Reynosa Plaza Drug Boss Convicted On All Counts
JAN 23 -- (McAllen, TX) - After a five-day trial, a federal jury has convicted Carlos Landin Martinez, 52, of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, of all 10 counts in which he was charged, United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today.
Martinez was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to money launder, laundering drug proceeds, importing approximately 39 kilograms of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, concealing approximately $1,516,932 in United States currency and attempting to transport it from the U.S. to Mexico. His co-defendant, Luis Martinez Robledo, 43, also of Reynosa, was convicted of all three counts in which he was charged - conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to money launder and laundering $27,290 in drug proceeds.
“This significant conviction is a tribute to the excellent work of the men and women not only of this office, but the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Border Patrol, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Police Departments of Mission, Weslaco, McAllen, Pharr, San Juan and Palmview. Organized criminal drug activity has met its match in the collective efforts of organized law enforcement.”
During the trial, the United States presented testimony and evidence proving Martinez, a former police commandante, was in charge of collecting a tax, or “piso” from drug smugglers interested in using the smuggling route through the Mexican city of Reynosa to cross drugs into the United States in the McAllen/Mission area. Testimony revealed drug smugglers would use a variety of river crossings to cross the drugs across the Rio Grande river and transport them from Anazalduas Park, a local Hidalgo County Texas park located on the river and through a storm drain in the city of Hidalgo, Texas. The drugs were thereafter transported to a variety of stash locations in the cities of Mission, McAllen and Palmview. Testimony revealed that millions of dollars in drug proceeds were returned to Mexico from Atlanta and Chicago. A witness testified that weapons, such as AR-15's and bullet proof vests were also smuggled into Mexico. If drug loads were lost, those responsible were kidnapped and tortured. According to the testimony and evidence, Luis Robledo Martinez acted as a drug and money courier for the organization and carried drug proceeds back to Mexico.
Landin and Martinez are scheduled to be sentenced April 17, 2008, and face up to life imprisonment and a $4 million fine for the drug conspiracy convictions and up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the money laundering convictions.
The case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Cook Profit and Jesse Salazar.