Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header

May 30, 2012

(713) 567-9388

Edinburg Man Handed 20 Years for Cocaine Conspiracy

McALLEN, Texas - Raul Cruz, of Edinburg, Texas, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and money laundering conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Cruz, 52, previously entered a guilty plea on July 31, 2009. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed Cruz respective 240-month sentences on each of the drug and money laundering convictions. The two sentences will be served concurrently for a total of 20 years. Following completion of that sentence, Cruz will serve a 10-year-term of supervised release.

Documents in support of his guilty plea indicated that from 2006 to 2008, Cruz and others operated a drug and money laundering ring responsible for distributing thousands of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana, hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine, as well as laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds. Cruz orchestrated the transportation of the narcotics from the Rio Grande Valley area to Atlanta, Ga., Chicago, Ill., and elsewhere via semi tractor-trailers. The currency proceeds which returned from these locations were then used to purchase various properties and assets, including the San Carlos Mud Pit. During the investigation, agents seized several loads of narcotics and currency, including 408 kilograms of cocaine and 27 kilograms of methamphetamine near Robstown, Texas, on March 12, 2007; 1,004 kilograms of cocaine near Edinburg, Texas, on July 18, 2007; 330 kilograms of cocaine near Atlanta on Aug.31, 2007; and $927,890 near Edinburg on Dec. 11, 2007.

Cruz will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Hidalgo County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney James Sturgis prosecuted the case.