Six Valley Men Arrested for Alleged Marijuana Trafficking Conspiracy
|June 8, 2012|
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Six men have been arrested as a result of an the efforts of a Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The five-count indictment was returned under seal May 23, 2012, has been partially unsealed as the defendants were taken into custody.
Just a short time ago, Jesus Gregorio Lopez, 63, of Mission, Texas, was taken into custody, while Flavio Tamez, 47, and Jesus Marroquin, 49, both of Rio Grande City, Texas; Alejandro Garza, 42, Roberto Garza, 40, both of Mission, and Adrian De la Garza, 41, of Sullivan City, Texas, were arrested yesterday. The indictment remains sealed as to those charged but as yet in custody.
Lopez is expected to appear this afternoon in Corpus Christi before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellington at which time the United States will seek his continued detention without bond pending trial of this case. De la Garza appeared in Houston yesterday afternoon, Alejandro Garza appeared in Lubbock today and the remaining defendants made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Peter Ormsby in McAllen, Texas, this morning. All were ordered to remain in custody pending further criminal proceedings.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana, for which they all face at least 10 years and up to life in prison. Alejandro and Roberto Garza are also charged with possession with the intent to distribute 503 kilograms of marijuana, which carries a penalty of an additional 5-40 years imprisonment, while Marroquin faces up to 30 years in prison upon conviction of loan fraud. That charge stems from an allegation that he made a false statement regarding his income for the purpose of obtaining a loan with State Farm Insurance Bank, an FDIC insured bank.
Also included in the indictment is a notice to Tamez and Lopez of the government’s intent to criminally forfeit three pieces of real property located in Starr and Brooks Counties and intent to seek personal money judgments in the amount of $500,000 against Alejandro and Roberto Garza and Tamez.
During the arrests in this case, agents also executed four separate search warrants in Rio Grande City and Mission, Texas, at which time several pieces of jewelry were seized as well as a vehicle that allegedly had drug residue as well as a hidden compartment. Also, a search warrant was executed at a South Texas bank for the contents of a safety deposit box which contained more than $213,000 in United States currency and various pieces of jewelry. The government will seek forfeiture of the currency and the jewelry as well.
The OCDETF investigation was conducted in Corpus Christi lead by Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Texas Department of Public Safety, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection and the United States Marshals Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie K. Hampton.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.