Sept. 16, 2009
FATHER AND SON SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS FOR COCAINE DISTRIBUTION
(McALLEN, Texas) - Hugo Alberto Diaz Jr. 30, and his father, Hugo Alfredo Diaz, 55, both of Montclair, Calif., have each been sentenced to 30 years in prison for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. During the hearing, United States District Judge Randy Crane noted the son was an organizer of the drug organization and more likely than not recruited his father into the activity.
Following a three-day jury trial in November 2007, both men were convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine as well as possession with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine on or about Jan. 20 and April 19, 2006. Diaz Sr. was additionally convicted and charged with one count of conspiracy to launder money in regard to the distribution of cocaine.
In April 2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), initiated an investigation into the activity of the defendants after observing Diaz Sr. aid and abet the transportation of approximately one million dollars from Atlanta, Ga., to Edinburg, Texas. After observing the delivery of the money, agents were lead to a stash house connected to the drug organization associated with the defendants and seized an additional $3,801,554. The tractor-trailer used to move the currency belonged to Diaz Jr.
For the next three years, DPS and DEA investigated the drug organization for which the defendants worked. During that investigation, it was discovered that Diaz Jr. would transport large amounts of cocaine in his tractor-trailer to places such as North Carolina from 2003 to 2007. Diaz Sr. also moved the cocaine north and helped coordinate the return of drug proceeds to South Texas and Mexico. Specifically, evidence was presented that Diaz Sr. hired a tractor-trailer driver to transport cocaine and connected him with another co-conspirator to transport approximately 200 kilograms of cocaine from South Texas to North Carolina. Upon completion of the trip, the driver met with Diaz Jr. to discuss payment for the delivery of the cocaine. At this time, Diaz Jr. informed the driver he needed to go to Mexico to meet with Diaz Sr. and their boss in Mexico to discuss payment. Additionally, DEA and DPS were able to observe Diaz Jr., along with a driver he hired, coordinate the picking-up of 128 kilograms of cocaine for delivery north. The driver, by himself, picked up the cocaine and was subsequently stopped by DPS.
A ledger seized from a stash house connected to the drug organization was produced during trial which showed that besides the loads discussed above, Diaz Jr. moved in excess of 500 kilograms of cocaine and Diaz Sr. moved in excess of 600 kilograms of cocaine. The government also presented evidence that Diaz Jr. had been arrested as early as April 2003, in Hoover, Ala., with $500,000 in the tractor-trailer he was driving. At that time, he claimed no knowledge of the money. In August 2003, Diaz Sr. was actually convicted of money laundering by the State of Mississippi for being caught with a large of amount of currency in the tractor-trailer he was driving at that time. Thus, the government presented evidence establishing that both father and son were moving drugs and money since 2003.
Both were originally indicted on the drug charges by a McAllen Grand Jury on Feb. 27, 2007. A superseding indictment was handed down on May 20, 2008, which added an additional money laundering count against the father.
Diaz Jr. was originally arrested on Sept. 6, 2007, in California and Diaz Sr. was arrested on May 1, 2008, in Bell County, Texas. Judge Crane sentenced Diaz Jr. to 30 years for the counts of conviction, a five-year-term of supervised release for each count and $100 special assessment for each count. As for Diaz. Sr., Judge Crane handed down the same sentence as to the drug counts as his son’s and an additional sentence of 20 years for the money laundering count with a three-year-term of supervised release and $100 special assessment. All sentences are to run concurrently.
This case was investigated by DEA and DPS with the aid of the Hoover, Ala., Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jesse Salazar and Juan F. Alanis.
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