OCT 17 (PHILADELPHIA) - An indictment was returned today charging seven defendants in a drug distribution conspiracy in which kilos of heroin were concealed in fruit and vegetable cans being transported from Texas to Philadelphia, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Charged are: John Carlos Vargas, a/k/a “Gordo,” 25, Arisson Jimenez-Robles, 26, and Wilmer Vargas, 21, all of Philadelphia; Jose Estrada, 65, of Von Ormy, Texas, Gary Diaz, 28, San Juanita Diaz, 28, and Monica Laque, 26, all of San Antonio, Texas.
According to the indictment, between September 16, 2012 and September 19, 2012, Gary and San Juanita Diaz, along with Monica Laque, acting under the direction of Jose Estrada, were couriers transporting 7.6 kilograms of heroin, concealed in twelve sealed cans bearing Mexican food labels. The defendants were allegedly driving the drugs from San Antonio, Texas to 6634 Sylvester Street, in Philadelphia, where Jimenez-Robles and the Vargas brothers were awaiting receipt. The shipment was seized on September 18, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Estrada, Diaz, Diaz, and Laque, are charged with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally distribute one or more kilograms of heroin. Estrada, Jimenez-Robles and the Vargas brothers are charged with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Jimenez-Robles and John and Wilmer Vargas are also charged with attempt to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Jose Estrada is also charged with attempt to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
If convicted of all charges, each of the defendants faces a mandatory minimum term of ten years in prison with a maximum sentence of life plus possible fines and supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Philadelphia Division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Labrum, III.
An Indictment or Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.