Couple Handed Lengthy Sentences in International Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy
|Jan. 29, 2013|
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Norma Alicia Gallegos, 30, and her husband Jose Carlos Aguilar, 32, have been sentenced for their roles in a large-scale international cocaine trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gallegos aka “La Muchacha” and Aguilar, both of Harlingen, entered pleas of guilty Feb. 28, 2012, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Today, U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle, sentenced Gallegos to a total of 112 months in federal prison noting her lack of criminal history. Aguilar will serve 168 months of imprisonment.
At the hearing, additional testimony was presented including that Gallegos was the highest ranking member of the Gallegos Drug Trafficking Organization in the United States and worked closely with the Gulf Cartel in Mexico to move cocaine into the United States. Gallegos utilized her family members, including her sister Conchita Gallegos, brother Erik Gallegos and husband, to transport the cocaine she received from Mexico to various points in the United States including Houston and St. Louis, Mo.
Gallegos arranged for the Gulf Cartel to deliver drugs to her and then arranged for her own family members and drivers to assist with the transport of the drugs to the interior of the United States. On June 6, 2011, approximately 25 kilograms of cocaine from the Gallegos Drug Trafficking Organization was intercepted en route from Harlingen to St. Louis by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
On Dec. 10, 2011, another five kilograms of cocaine was tracked by DEA agents as it was transported from Houston to St. Louis which led to the arrests of nearly all of the leadership of the Gallegos Drug Trafficking Organization.
The 30 kilograms of cocaine was all intended for members of the Black Mafia Family Street Gang - a nationally present and highly organized street gang responsible for numerous drug related and violent crimes throughout the United States. Members of the Black Mafia Family are responsible for the distribution of a significant amount of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the St. Louis area.
Conchita Gallegos, of Houston, also pleaded guilty and will serve 38 months in prison. Erik Gallegos, of Harlingen, and others were prosecuted in the Eastern District of Missouri and have already been sentenced to federal prison. Additionally, numerous members of the Black Mafia Family of Saint Louis and their associates have been arrested and are pending prosecution in the Eastern District of Missouri in connection with this case.
The investigation leading to the criminal charges was a joint effort between DEA in both Brownsville and Saint Louis, as well as the Harlingen and Saint Louis County Police Departments and the Franklin County, Mo., Drug Task Force.
Assistant United States Attorney Holly D’Andrea prosecuted the case.