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Nov. 16, 2012

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Two Arrested In Multi-Million Dollar Cocaine Conspiracy

LAREDO, Texas – A four-count federal indictment has been partially unsealed following the arrest of one Laredo resident and one Nuevo Laredo resident on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute and international money laundering, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

A sealed indictment was returned by a grand jury on Nov. 6, 2012. The indictment alleges the drug trafficking organization transported more than 200 kilograms of cocaine from 2010 to 2011, much of which was intercepted by authorities en route to Dallas. Jose Gomez-Ramirez, 30, was arrested after crossing into the United States from Mexico, and subsequently, Carlos Alberto Gonzalez, 35, was also arrested for his role in the conspiracy.

It is alleged that Gomez-Ramirez and Gonzalez coordinated the transportation of drugs from Mexico to Dallas and the surrounding areas. Gomez-Ramirez is alleged to have been connected to a 123.4 kilogram seizure of cocaine on Feb. 11, 2011, while Gonzalez has been linked to the attempted transportation of $1,479,660 and a sub-machine gun with a suppressor from Atlanta, Ga., to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

If convicted of the conspiracy, both defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. The United States is also seeking a money judgment in the amount of $5,303,660 based on the amount of cocaine transported by the organization during the span of the conspiracy.

The case is the result of a four year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation dubbed Operation Roadblock led by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney James Hepburn is the handling the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.