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April 12, 2010

LEADER AND MEMBERS OF CORPUS CHRISTI METHAMPHETAMINE TRAFFICKING RING SENTENCED TO PRISON

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Seven of 10 members of a methamphetamine trafficking ring, including its leader, previously convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of the drug in the Corpus Christi area have been sentenced to prison terms for their respective roles in the illegal organization, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

The investigation leading to the charges and ultimately the conviction of a total of 10 defendants is the result of a mulit-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation involving the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Corpus Christi Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

United States District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack sentenced each of the following Corpus Christi residents at a hearing which concluded on Friday evening as indicated below (the sentences will all be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release): 

Defendant

Age

Term of imprisonment

Hector Yzaguirre

51

324 months

Carlos Amador

35

292 months

Moses Leyva

28

262 months

Enrique Tobon Jr.

32

220 months

Jacob Maldonado 

40

120 months

Ronald Coulombe

51

140 months

Manda Wyatt 

43

95 months

Yzaguirre was the leader of this drug trafficking organization, which distributed more than 15 kilograms of methamphetamine from January 2007 to Dec. 1, 2009, all in the Corpus Christi area. This organization is believed to have begun operating in Corpus Christi when the Maldonado drug trafficking business was dismantled by federal law enforcement in the 1990s. 

Yzaguirre was receiving large quantities of the methamphetamine from Mexico and selling ounce and pound quantities to co-conspirator members of his organization who in turn distributed the contraband in Corpus Christi.

An eighth defendant, Felix Valdez, 31, also of Corpus Christi, was sentenced on April 8, 2010, to 168 months in prison to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. The last two defendants, Leonard Morales, 36, and  Virginia Mendez, 45, are scheduled to be sentenced on April 15 and May 5, respectively.

All of the defendants were convicted in December 2009 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

All defendants have been held without bond prior to sentencing. 

Assistant United States Attorney Julie Hampton is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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