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May 1, 2009


(McALLEN, Texas) – Three members of a crack cocaine distribution ring which operated in Starr County have pleaded guilty to felony drug trafficking charges, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for Aug. 7, 2009, before United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, who today accepted the guilty pleas and convicted each defendant. 

Sergio Alvarez-Rodriguez, 25, of Roma, Texas, admitted to selling a total of more than 70 grams of crack cocaine to an undercover agent on four occasions in late December, 2007, and early January 2008. Co-defendants Sigifredo Alvarez, 26, of Rio Grande City, Texas, admitted to delivering 15.2 grams of controlled substance on behalf of Alvarez-Rodriguez on Dec. 3, 2007, while Francisco Mireles, 50, of Roma, Texas, admitted to delivering 23 grams of cocaine base on behalf of Alvarez-Rodriguez on Jan. 23, 2008. All deliveries were made to an undercover agent. 

Alvarez-Rodriguez faces no less than 10 years to life in prison, a $4 million fine and a five-year-term of supervised release. Alvarez and Mireles face no less than five up to 40 years imprisonment, a $2 million fine and a four-year-term of supervise release. All three defendants have been in federal custody since their arrest in January 2009 following the unsealing of the indictment charging them with the federal drug trafficking offenses and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The investigation leading to the charges against these three men was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the cooperation of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, Roma and Rio Grande Police Departments, the Starr County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force as well as investigators of the Starr County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis is prosecuting the case.



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