Five Laredoans Convicted in Conspiracy to Transport Cocaine
|Jan. 14, 2013|
LAREDO, Texas – Alberto Sauceda, 38, Salvador Rodriguez-Fajardo, 38, Ricardo Garza, 39, Moises Andrade, 20, and Laura Rodriguez, 42, all of Laredo, have been convicted for their roles in a cocaine conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
All five were named in a sealed indictment returned by a grand jury on Aug. 28, 2012, which alleged the drug trafficking organization transported five kilograms or more of cocaine since 2008. The organization transported cocaine from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, to Houston and Miami on a regular basis. Last week, Rene Cardenas, 36, of Miami, Fla., also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.
In the guilty plea today, Sauceda admitted to the possession of more than four kilograms of cocaine in his Ford F-150 in January 2010. That same vehicle, as well as another vehicle registered to Sauceda, were utilized in the delivery of two to three kilograms of cocaine by Garza on three occasions in July 2011 to Rodriguez-Fajardo at a Home Depot parking lot. Rodriguez-Fajardo stored the cocaine in a secret compartment located behind a stove in the house he shared with his wife, Rodriguez.
Rodriguez assisted Rodriguez-Fajardo in carrying out the conspiracy. On one occasion, she traveled to St. Augustine Square in Laredo to collect money for him and another person as payment for their services.
Andrade admitted to his role in the transportation of one cocaine load on Aug. 7, 2011, for which he received $500.
Each defendant faces 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 $2,408,204. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo accepted the pleas and has set sentencing for April 30, 2013.
The case is the result of a two-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation dubbed Silver Fox Hunt led by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys James Hepburn and Elizabeth Rabe are handling the case.