News and Press Releases

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May 5, 2009


(McALLEN, Texas) - An anonymous tip lead High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force officers to follow a truck bearing City of La Grulla decals to a Rio Grande City residence and initiate an investigation which resulted in the seizure of more than 250 kilograms of cocaine, and the arrest of four men including the driver of the truck on drug trafficking charges, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Lizandro Ramirez, 45, and Alejandro Alvarez-Reyes, 32, were arrested on April 30, 2009, by HIDTA task force officers after 60 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in the garage of the residence occupied by Alvarez-Reyes in Rio Grande City. Task Force officers, acting on tip, followed Ramirez as he drove a truck bearing City of La Grulla decals to the residence and watched as he backed the truck into the garage. He left 10 minutes later.  Officers obtained and executed a warrant at the residence resulting in the discovery and seizure of the cocaine in the garage. Alvarez-Reyes was arrested at the residence. Ramirez, who had been stopped by task force officers and returned to the residence, was also arrested at the residence following the seizure.

Special agents of the Falcon Dam, Texas, resident office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) joined the task force officers and continued the investigation which ultimately lead to a McAllen area residence where a total of 206 kilograms of cocaine were discovered and two men, Hector Rubio-Garcia, 26, and Antonio Magana-Vargas, 20, were taken into custody.

Ramirez and Rubio-Garcia are U.S. citizens. Alvarez-Reyes and Magana-Vargas are citizens of the United Mexican States.

A federal criminal complaint was filed on Friday, May 1, 2009, charging all four men with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 266 kilograms of cocaine. All four defendants appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in McAllen on Friday, May 1 , and have been ordered temporarily held in custody without bond pending a hearing on the government’s motion to detain the men without bond pending further criminal proceedings set for Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

This case was investigated by officers of the Rio Grande City HIDTA Task Force and agents of ICE. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey MacDonald.



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