Last Defendant Is Sentenced In La Familia Prosecutions Dallas Man Sentenced To 28 Years In Federal Prison
51 Defendants Convicted and Sentenced Since June 2011 OCDETF Takedown
DALLAS — Sergio Moreno Vidales, 37, of Dallas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade to 336 months (28 years) in federal prison following his conviction at trial in February 2013 on conspiracy, drug and firearms charges. Vidales is the 51st defendant to be arrested, convicted and sentenced as the result of a June 7, 2011, widespread Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) takedown in North Texas of defendants running a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy related to the La Familia Mexican drug cartel. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Over the course of the conspiracy, agents seized approximately 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, several kilograms of cocaine, $725,000 in cash and numerous firearms and vehicles. Sentences of the 51 convicted defendants ranged from 27 months to 336 months in federal prison.
“Targeting drug cartels that have infiltrated north Texas and jeopardized the safety and security of our communities will continue to be a priority in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña. “I commend the dedicated efforts of the DEA, who led this OCDETF investigation, as well as the dedicated men and women in numerous federal, state and local agencies who worked hand-in-hand with them to strategically infiltrate and disrupt this organization.”
The jury in Vidales’ trial deliberated just 35 minutes before convicting him on all counts of the indictment: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and illegal alien in possession of a firearm. Vidales had been previously deported from the U.S. to Mexico.
On June 7, 2011, the DEA, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), executed a search warrant at a residence in Seagoville, Texas. When law enforcement entered the residence, they found Vidales in bed with his hands behind his head. Another person in the bedroom with him ran to the closet and was arrested. Vidales refused to comply when agents ordered him to show his hands, so they pulled him off the bed. Law enforcement found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun underneath the pillow where Vidales had his head and hands. A further search of the home revealed approximately1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, several scales, a bullet-proof vest, a safe, nearly $6,000 in cash, drug ledgers and six additional firearms including another handgun, shotguns and a rifle. In addition, an inert hand grenade and 12 cell phones were seized.
The cases were prosecuted by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Tourje and Assistant U.S. Attorney George Leal. Assistant U.S. Attorney John de la Garza handled the forfeitures.