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March 18, 2009

DRUGS AND GUNS LEADS TO LENGTHY PRISON TERMS FOR FOUR

(LAREDO, Texas) – Four defendants have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 433.28 kilograms of cocaine and for possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. 

On Friday, March 13, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge George P. Kazen sentenced Pedro Perez-Mendoza, 27, to 185 months in federal prison. Judge Kazen sentenced the three co-defendants on March 16, 2009. Ramon Gomez-Gonzalez, 30, and Hector Mario Galindo, 28, were each sentenced to 210 months imprisonment, while Jorge Gonzalez-Solis, 27, received 195 months. All have also been ordered to serve a five-year-term of supervised release following completion of their sentences. Perez-Mendoza, Gonzalez-Solis and Gomez-Gonzalez are all Mexican nationals illegally in the United States and are subject to deportation upon their release from prison. Galindo is a U.S. citizen.

The charges against these four defendants arise from the seizure of the more than 400 kilograms of cocaine and the discovery of a cache of firearms on March 18, 2007. On that date, an off-duty Webb County deputy sheriff witnessed what he believed to be a narcotics transaction between two vehicles and followed one of the vehicles back to a residence on the 5000 block of Moncayo Drive in Laredo. After receiving consent for a search of the residence, the officer observed a large amount of narcotics and weapons. A state search warrant was obtained and executed, leading to the seizure of 433.28 kilograms of cocaine and numerous weapons including assault rifles. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continued the investigation which ultimately resulted in the charges being filed and the admission of all four of the defendants to possessing with intent to distribute the cocaine and possession of the firearms by entering pleas of guilty.  

All four defendants have been in federal custody since their arrest in March 2007. 

ICE with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation leading to the federal drug and firearms charges. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James Seaman and Brian Sardelli.

 

 

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