HOUSTON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY
ANTONIO ORTIZ, age 42, of Houston, Texas, pled guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court records, on March 11, 2010, ORTIZ, along with co-defendants Lester Gonzalez-Marquez, Javier Gamboa, and Arcesio Vanegas, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin. ORTIZ’s co-defendants were additionally charged with interstate transportation of drug proceeds and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking conspiracy. ORTIZ admitted that, using hidden compartments in vehicles, he would transport heroin shipments to Gonzales-Marques and others in the New Orleans area, and deliver the drug proceeds back to Texas.
ORTIZ faces a mandatory minimum of ten (10) years imprisonment and a possible maximum of life imprisonment, a fine of $4,000,000, and at least five (5) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 2, 2010.
The investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey N. Knight.
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