News and Press Releases

August 2011 Press Releases

Aug. 31, 2011 - Gutierrez et al
Five Men Sentenced in Narcotics Trafficking Conspiracy

LAREDO, Texas - Five men have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 21 to 109 months for trafficking narcotics read more

Aug. 31, 2011 - Robinson
Houston Medical Equipment Company Owner Lands in Federal Prison for Medicare Fraud

HOUSTON - Sunny Robinson, the owner of Memorial Medical Supply - a Houston durable medical equipment business, has been sentenced to 97 months in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme read more

Aug. 31, 2011 - Woodward
Harlingen Businessman Sentenced in Million-Dollar Check Kiting Case

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – John Jeff Woodard Jr., 49, of Harlingen, Texas, has been sentenced to a 51-month-term of imprisonment for bank fraud conducted through the operation of a check kite scheme involving multiple bank accounts held in the names of several of his former businesses read more

Aug. 30, 2011 - Salas et al
Texas Syndicate Gang Members and Associates Sentenced to Prison

McALLEN, Texas - Six Texas Syndicate members and associates have been sentenced to prison for racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, kidnapping and possession with intent distribute cocaine read more

Aug. 30, 2011 - Castillo-Estrada
Mexican Man Convicted of Harboring Illegal Aliens

McALLEN, Texas – Manuel Ivan Castillo-Estrada, 22, of Mexico, has pleaded guilty today to a criminal information charging him with knowingly concealing and harboring an illegal alien for profit read more

Aug. 30, 2011 - Baker
Galveston Man Charged With Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography

GALVESTON, Texas –  A two-count sealed indictment charging Phillip Edward Baker, 48, with possession and receipt of child pornography has been unsealed following his arrest today by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents read more

Aug. 30, 2011 - Bustamonte
Attempt to Export Firearms into Mexico Lands Laredo in Prison

LAREDO, Texas – Daniel Bustamante, 35, of Laredo, Texas, was sentenced to prison today for attempting to smuggle 16 firearms, including AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles, to the Republic of Mexico in violation of the Arms Export Control Act read more

Aug. 30, 2011 - Osteen
Former Bank Employee Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Funds Held in Trust

HOUSTON - Michele Lauryn Osteen, a former administrative assistant in the Trust Department of a Galveston branch of Frost Bank, has been sentenced to prison for bank fraud read more

Aug. 26, 2011 - Smith
First of Four Convicted for Role in Wire Fraud Conspiracy Sentenced to Federal Prison

HOUSTON - Royce Lamar Smith, 38, has been sentenced prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud read more

Aug. 25, 2011 - O'Neill
Houston Man and Son Indicted For Fraud

HOUSTON - Jeffery Wayne O’Neil, 63, of Houston, has been arrested following the return of an indictment charging him and his son, Nathaniel Chilo aka Nathaniel O’Neil, 21, with mail and wire fraud read more

Aug. 24, 2011 - Rezaei
Grocer Pleads Guilty of Food Stamp Fraud

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Parviz Sheikh Rezaei, 56, the proprietor of Pariz Dollar Supermarket in Brownsville, Texas, has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as Food Stamp Fraud read more

Aug. 24, 2011 - Garcia-Garay
Rio Grande Man Sentenced for Importing Aliens for Prostitution

McALLEN, Texas - Juan Antonio Garcia-Garay, age 32, of Rio Grande City, Texas was sentenced today to the statutory maximum of 120 months imprisonment for importing aliens for prostitution, conspiracy to harbor and harboring aliens read more

Aug. 24, 2011 - Munivez
Former District Attorney Investigator Arrested in Investigation Related to Judge Limas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A former Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigator, who was also former state Judge Abel Limas’s bailiff, has been indicted and now arrested read more

Aug. 23, 2011 - Garcia-Gonzalez
Mission Bar Owner Sentenced to Prison for Sex Trafficking Minors

McALLEN, Texas - Beleal Garcia-Gonzalez, 35, of Mission Texas, has been sentenced to prison for sex trafficking of minors read more

Aug. 23, 2011 - Smith
Former TDCJ Guard Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Heroin

HOUSTON - A former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Institution Division guard has been conviced of possessing with intent to distribute heroin read more

Aug. 23, 2011 - Lomas
Jury Convicts Laredoan of Trafficking a Ton of Marijuana

LAREDO, Texas – Late this morning, a federal jury returned its verdict finding Artemio Lomas, 45, of Laredo, guilty of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 2000 pounds of marijuana read more

Aug. 19, 2011 - Simmons et al
Alleged Convicted Felon and Recruited Straw Purchasers of Firearms Charged with Lying to Buy Firearms

HOUSTON - A seven-month investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has resulted in the return of a nine-count indictment charging the alleged ring leader and two of his recruits with conspiracy to lie to buy firearms and aiding and abetting the unlawful purchase of 15 firearms read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Branyon
Owner of Arizona Company Charged and Convicted Of Introducing an Unapproved New Drug - Stems Cells - into Interstate Commerce

HOUSTON - The former owner of Global Laboratories LLC, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been convicted of unlawfully introducing stem cells into interstate commerce read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Rocha
Mission Man Sentenced For Transporting Illegal Aliens During High-Speed Chase That Resulted in Crash in Homeowner's Backyard

McALLEN, Texas - Guillermo Rocha, a 19-year-old Mission, Texas, resident has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for his role in driving four illegal aliens in a car while leading police on a multi-city high-speed chase that ended with the car crashing into a structure in a homeowner's backyard read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Guerra et al
Raza Unida Gang Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Racketeering

Two other gang members sentenced to lengthy prison terms

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Raza United gang leader Johnny Joe Guerra will be serving the rest of his life in federal prison for drug trafficking and two other members of the Raza Unida gang will be serving lengthy prison terms for committing Violent Crimes in aid of Racketeering (VICAR) read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Benavides
Mexican National Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison

McALLEN, Texas - A Mexican National illegally in the United States has been sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison for assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent and other offenses read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Budha
Jury Convicts Illegal Alien of Refusing to Comply with a Deportation Order

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A citizen of Nepal has been found guilty of four counts of failing to comply with his order of deportation read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Ellington
Former Harris County Deputy Sentenced to Prison for Extortion

Deputy’s wife also sentenced to prison for concealing husband’s criminal activity

HOUSTON - A former Harris County Deputy Sheriff and his wife, charged and convicted for their respective roles in the deputy’s criminal activities, have been sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison read more

Aug. 18, 2011 - Gonzalez et al
Four Convicted in March 2011 Robbery of International Bank of Commerce

Two IBOC bank tellers admit planning heist

HOUSTON – Two former female bank tellers and two males indicted for bank robbery and embezzlement of bank funds arising from the March 23, 2011, robbery of the International Bank of Commerce (IBOC) in Houston have all been convicted read more

Aug. 17, 2011 - Armendariz
Penitas Man Sentenced to Life Imprisonment Plus 30 Years for Carjacking and Firearms Convictions

McALLEN, Texas – Jose Antonio Armendariz, 27, last known to reside in Penitas, Texas, has been sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for the 2006 hostage taking of a local rancher, two 2006 carjackings and the 2009 attempted carjacking of an off duty Border Patrol (BP) agent read more

Aug. 17, 2011 - Castro et al
Firearm Straw Purchaser Recruiters Plead Guilty

LAREDO, Texas - Jose Luis Castro, 39 of Austin, Texas, and Raul Martinez, 34 of Laredo, Texas, have pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to recruit straw-purchasers to buy firearms, particularly Colt “El Grito” .38 caliber super pistols read more

Aug. 17, 2011 - Rivera
Possession of Child Pornography Results in Prison Sentence for Houston Area Resident

HOUSTON –  A 51-year-old Houston resident will be serving a two-year-prison term without parole and must register as a sex offender for possessing child pornography read more

Aug. 16, 2011 - Salinas et al
Four Sentenced For Making False Statements in Two Related Firearms Cases

McALLEN, Texas - Yesterday, a San Juan man, who was identified as a supervisor in aiding and abetting the straw purchase of approximately 23 firearms, was sentenced to 120 months in prison, the maximum sentence under the law read more

Aug. 16, 2011 - Hedrick
Robert L. Hedrick Indicted For Attempted Production, Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A Brownsville grand jury has indicted Robert L. Hedrick, 60, for attempted sexual exploitation of children, transfer of obscene materials to a minor, distribution and  possession of child pornography read more

Aug. 12, 2011 - Seaside
Seaside Aquaculture and Owner Convicted For Killing Protected Species

VICTORIA, Texas – Following one and one-half days of trial testimony and approximately three and one-half hours of deliberation, a federal jury has returned its verdict finding Seaside Aquaculture Inc., a fish farm located in Palacios, Texas, and its owner, Khanh Vu, guilty of illegally killing approximately 90 brown pelicans, which are protected under federal law read more

Aug. 12, 2011 - Morgart
Possession of Counterfeit IDs and Credit Cards Leads to Identity Theft Charges

HOUSTON – A federal grand jury in Houston has returned a seven-count indictment charging Arthur David Morgart with access device fraud related to counterfeit and unauthorized credit card numbers, fraud related to identification documents and aggravated identity theft read more

Aug. 12, 2011 - Guerrero
Ft. Worth Resident Sentenced to Prison For Trafficking Cocaine

LAREDO, Texas – A 51-year-old Mexican national and a legal permanent resident of the U.S. has been sentenced to prison for possessing with intent to distribute more than 40 kilograms of cocaine read more

Aug. 11, 2011 - Macapaz et al
Businessmen, Loan Officer and Title Company Attorney Indicted for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering in a Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON – Two Houston businessmen, a mortgage company loan officer and a title company attorney and escrow officer have been indicted for their alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud residential mortgage lenders of more than $22 million in loans read more

Aug. 11, 2011 - Fuentes et al
Anti-Gang Effort Leads to Indictment of MS-13 Gang Members

HOUSTON – A sealed four-count indictment charging seven members or associates of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) Street Gang with racketeering and the commission of three violent acts - three murders - in aid of racketeering has been unsealed following the arrest of the men charged read more

Aug. 10, 2011 - Ballow
Harris Dempsey “Butch” Ballow Sentenced to Statuatory Maximum Prison Term For Money Laundering

HOUSTON – Convicted money launderer Harris Dempsey “Butch” Ballow, 68, formerly of Galveston County, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge David Hittner to 10 years in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution to his victims read more

Aug. 10, 2011 - Villarreal
Former LPD Officer’s Co-conspirator Sentenced to Prison

LAREDO, Texas – The drug trafficker who conspired with a former Laredo Police officer to distribute cocaine has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole read more

Aug. 10, 2011 - Valle
Local Attorney Pleads Guilty to Helping former Judge Abel Limas Misuse and Abuse his Court For Personal Gain

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A local attorney has admitted to aiding and abetting former State District Court Judge Abel Limas’ unlawful use of his court for his and Limas’ benefit read more

Aug. 9, 2011 - Cardona
Luis Andres Cardona Indicted for Production of Child Pornography

McALLEN, Texas – A McAllen grand jury has indicted Luis Andres Cardona, 53, for production of child pornography read more

Aug. 9, 2011 - Garcia
Webb County Deputy Constable Indicted for Accepting Bribes

LAREDO, Texas - A Webb County Deputy Constable has been arrested following the return of an indictment by a Laredo grand jury accusing him of accepting bribes in his official capacity and accessing protected computer information read more

Aug. 8, 2011 - Cisneros
Local Bail Bondsman Convicted of Paying Bribe to Former State District Judge Limas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A local bail bondsman charged for his role in former State District Court Judge Abel Limas’ scheme to solicit and accept bribes in exchange for official action has been convicted read more

Aug. 5, 2011 - Revis
Recruiter in Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the Anti-Kickback Statute

HOUSTON – An accused recruiter in a multi-million dollar health care fraud scheme scheduled for trial on Monday, has instead pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute read more

Aug. 5, 2011 - Rosales
32-Year Old Houston Man Indicted for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography Ordered Held Without Bond

HOUSTON – A 32-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography read more

Aug. 5, 2011 - Randle
Houston Woman Pleads to Theft of Public Money

HOUSTON - Mary Kirby-Randle, aka Mary Ellis Randle, 63, of Houston, has pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public money read more

Aug. 4, 2011 - Villarreal
Former Compass Bank International Banking Officer Indicted

LAREDO, Texas - A federal grand jury has indicted a former employee of Compass Bank in Laredo, Texas, for bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering and unlawful monetary transactions arising from an alleged scheme involving more than $8 million in losses to bank customers read more

Aug. 4, 2011 - Martinez
Former Laredo Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Drug Trafficking

LAREDO, Texas – Former Laredo Police Department (LPD) officer Pedro Martinez III was sentenced to prison today by Senior U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine read more

Aug. 4, 2011 - Washington
Nursing Home Administrator Arrested for Health Care Fraud and Taking Kickbacks

HOUSTON –  An employee of a Houston area nursing home has been arrested as a result of the return of a sealed indictment by a Houston grand jury chaging him with conspiracy, health care fraud and violations of the anti-kickback statute arising from a scheme to unlawfully bill federal health care programs for ambulance transport read more

Aug. 4, 2011 - Beas
Former Pharr Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Bribery

McALLEN, Texas - Jaime Beas, 34 of Pharr, Texas, has been sentenced to 144  months imprisonment for his conviction of extortion under color of official right read more

Aug. 2, 2011 - Scott
Postmaster Overseas at Army Camp Post Office Arrested for Theft of Public Funds

HOUSTON - Delmus Eugene Scott Jr. has been charged with one count of theft of public funds in connection with his civilian duties at an overseas army post read more

Aug. 2, 2011 - DEFY
50 Laredo Kids Return From Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) Camp

LAREDO, Texas - Fifty kids from Laredo returned home Friday from their week-long Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) summer camp read more

Aug. 1, 2011 - Wilbourn et al
Robbers Who Terrorized Bank Tellers with Guns Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms

HOUSTON - Houston residents Michael A. Wilbourn, 25, Michael J. Washington, 30, Ronald D. Thomas, 29, and Kenneth R. Randle, 23, will all be serving lengthy prison terms without parole for robbing the First National Bank on South Gessner Road in Houston on Oct. 14, 2010 read more

Aug. 1, 2011 - Mims
Cuero, Texas, Man Convicted of Unemployment Insurance Fraud

VICTORIA, Texas – Frederick Dwayne Mims, 46, of Cuero, Texas, has been convicted of mail fraud arising from a scheme to defraud the Unemployment Insurance Program read more


Justice 101
USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Community Outreach

We are currently accepting applications for Law Student Interns. Click for more info.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for law enforcement agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.