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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wife of Alleged Gang Leader Sentenced, Alleged Leader’s Brother Re-enters Guilty Plea in Drug Conspiracy Case

Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN) member Marie Chavez, aka "Shorty," wife of an alleged ALKQN leader, Jose Nava, aka "Chino," was sentenced today, while her brother-in-law Luis Nava, aka "Flaco," re-entered a guilty plea to a superseding indictment that charged them and 14 others with various offenses related to alleged narcotics and weapons trafficking, as well as violent activities throughout Texas.

Marie Chavez, 28, of Lubbock, Texas, was sentenced today to 188 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings in U.S. District Court in Lubbock. Chavez pleaded guilty on June 15, 2009, to the superseding indictment, which charged her with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, as well as one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Chavez has been in custody since her arrest in December 2008.

Luis Nava today re-entered his guilty plea to the superseding indictment, which charged him with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Nava was scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28, 2009, after previously pleading guilty on May 21, 2009. During that sentencing hearing, the court granted a request by Nava to withdraw his guilty plea and scheduled a trial for Oct. 5, 2009. With today’s re-entered plea, Nava’s sentencing is now scheduled for Oct. 2, 2009. Nava has been in custody since his arrest in December 2008.

According to documents filed in court, Chavez and Nava admitted they were members of a conspiracy that included Jose Robledo Nava; Reynaldo Nava, aka "Rat;" Robert Allen Ramirez, aka "Nesyo;" Carol Ann Rivas Nava; Cecily Dominique Juarez; Jesus Martinez, aka "Solid;" David Hellums, aka "Cutthroat;" James Johnathan Cole, aka "Blitz;" Eduardo Daniel Mares, aka "Pitt;" Gabriel Lee Gonzales; Michael Conde, aka "Psycho;" John Guzman; and others, and that from 2001 until December 2008, they directly or indirectly agreed to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, cocaine and marijuana.

Chavez and Nava admitted that the overall scope of the conspiracy involved at least five kilograms of cocaine and 100 kilograms of marijuana. Chavez and Nava also admitted that they and their co-defendants intentionally and knowingly possessed with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and distributed cocaine and marijuana to others. According to the indictment, they acquired the cocaine and marijuana from Mexico and brought it to the South Texas region, where it was packaged, stored and transported to Big Spring, Lubbock and Midland, Texas, for further distribution.

Aside from these two defendants, 13 defendants have also entered guilty pleas, with three sentenced thus far. The five remaining defendants, including Jose Robledo Nava, the alleged ALKQN leader in Texas, are pending trial. Jose Robledo Nava, along with James Johnathan Cole, Robert Allen Ramirez, Gabriel Lee Gonzales and Eduardo Daniel Mares, are charged in the indictment with the May 4, 2008, murders of Valerie Garcia and Michael Cardona in Big Spring.

The case is being investigated by the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement and Coordination Center, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the El Paso Intelligence Center; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Police Departments of Lubbock, Midland, Houston, San Antonio and Big Spring, Texas; Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office; and the Howard County District Attorney’s Office.

Trial Attorneys Cody L. Skipper and Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag of the Lubbock, Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case.

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