D O J Seal
U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney Richard B. Roper
Northern District of Texas




MONDAY, MAY 12, 2008

PHONE: (214)659-8600
FAX: (214) 767-2898




Most Pled Guilty to Violating RICO Statute and Face Up to Life in Prison

DALLAS — On the day trial was to begin in U.S. District Court in Dallas, the last three of 14 members of the Texas Syndicate prison gang charged with conspiring to participate in a violent enterprise responsible for murders, attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murder, robbery, drug trafficking, and other crimes in North Texas and other areas, pled guilty, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas.

U.S. Attorney Roper said, “This is a significant victory in stemming the rise of organized prison gangs. The Texas Syndicate has been a well-structured prison gang for the last 30 years. These convictions essentially halt the operations of the senior leadership of this violent prison gang.”

All 14 defendants listed below, with the exception of Primitivo Ybarra and Daniel Garcia, pled guilty to violating the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Ybarra and Garcia pled guilty to substantive counts. Ybarra faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and Daniel Garcia faces a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison. Defendants Emilio Noyola and David Gutierrez face a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison. Defendant Daniel Arredondo faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison. The remainder of the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison.

∙ Roy Arredondo, Jr., a.k.a. West, 33
∙ Juan Antonio Vasquez, a.k.a. Juanillo, 36
∙ Hector Manuel Ayala, a.k.a. Hec; a.k.a. Homicide, 34
∙ Marco Medina, a.k.a. Pantera, 35
∙ Javier Soliz, a.k.a Payaso, 37
∙ David Gutierrez, 30
∙ Walter Lopez, a.k.a. Big Homie, 34
∙ Sixto Salinas, 34
∙ Primitivo Ybarra, a.k.a. Munch, 29
∙ Daniel Arredondo, a.k.a. Weasel, 43
∙ Arnulfo Rodriguez, a.k.a. Isaac Rodriguez; a.k.a. Gangster, 36
∙ Emilio Noyola, a.k.a. Mili, 27
∙ Daniel Garcia, a.k.a. D, 27
∙ Edwin Barron, a.k.a. Beaver, 37

Several of the above-listed defendants were convicted in the Northern District of Texas in a large-scale drug distribution conspiracy case, U.S. v. Roy Arredondo, et al., 3:05CR075, and are already presently serving federal prison sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison.

The defendants are members, or associates, of the Texas Syndicate prison gang, a violent prison gang established during the 1970's as a response by native Texas inmates to other prison gangs. The Texas Syndicate is a dominant prison gang in Texas. Members of the Texas Syndicate are bound by a set of strict rules which ensure loyalty and participation in the enterprise’s criminal activities and are subject to strict and harsh discipline, including death, for violating the rules. The rules require that a member continue his participation in the organization even after his release from prison. Membership is for life.

Although the rules of the Texas Syndicate exclude “shady” or “devious” characters, members who commit murders, aggravated assaults, robberies, or traffic in illegal drugs are not classified as being of bad character. Instead, this category is interpreted more narrowly to exclude child molesters and those who fail to follow the rules of the Texas Syndicate.

Members and associates of the Texas Syndicate committed crimes to achieve the enterprise’s economic goal of making money as well as to enforce the rules of the organization. Victims of the violent crimes were often those who transgressed Texas Syndicate rules regardless of whether it was done knowingly or unknowingly.

The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was one of 10 target areas in the U.S. chosen to receive $2.5 million in grant funds for a comprehensive anti-gang initiative to devote extensive resources to defeating some of the most violent and pervasive gangs in the country.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dallas Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Meacham and Jerri Sims.