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Ten Arrests Made in Connection with Alleged Crystal City Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking

CRYSTAL CITY, TX -- The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge, Thomas E. Hinojosa and United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that federal, state and local authorities have arrested 10 individuals in the Crystal City area on federal drug trafficking charges.

Those arrested yesterday include: 24-year-old Reymundo Duran III, 47-year-old Elida Edna Gomez, 24-year-old Kristy Marie Mendoza, 43-year-old Romelia Mendoza, 55-year-old Valentin Mendoza, Jr., 52-year-old Victor Mendoza, 36-year-old Vicente Perez, 58-year-old Reynaldo Rocha, 28-year-old Christopher Gallegos, and 57- year-old Jose Maria Ruiz.

This week, a federal grand jury in Del Rio returned four indictments which were unsealed today in connection with this drug trafficking investigation. Ruiz, Rocha and Gallegos are charged in separate indictments with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The remaining defendants are named in a seven-count indictment charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. In addition, Reymundo Duran is charged with four substantive counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin; two of those four counts are alleged to have occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. Gomez, Perez, and Romelia Mendoza are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin within 1,000 feet of a school. Finally, Kristy Marie Mendoza, Valentin Mendoza, Jr., and Victor Mendoza are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.

The defendants, under the direction of Victor Mendoza, are alleged to have conspired since March 26, 2008 to distribute cocaine and more than one kilogram of heroin. According to the indictment, some of the alleged distribution acts occurred within 1,000 feet of the Southwest Texas Junior College Crystal City Instructional Facility and the Winter Garden Christian School in Crystal City.

The indictment also seeks the criminal forfeiture of several real estate properties and nine vehicles allegedly used to carry out the drug distribution activities as well as a money judgment in the amount of $2 million dollars which represents the alleged proceeds from the defendants’ drug distribution activities.

Upon conviction, Ruiz, Rocha and Gallegos face up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. The remaining defendants, upon conviction of the conspiracy charge, face between 10 years and life in federal prison.

This case was investigated by agents with the DEA together with investigators from the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Hulings is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven in guilty in a court of law.


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