News and Press Releases

Leader of Crack Distribution Ring Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

May 21, 2013

McALLEN, Texas – Mexican Nationals Emmanuel Barrientos, 33, and Juan Trevino, 38, have been ordered to prison following their convictions in relation to a crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The two men pleaded guilty on March 4, 2013.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed Barrientos a sentence of 168 months for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Convicted of possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, Trevino was sentenced to 82 months of federal imprisonment. Barrientos also received a five-year-term of supervised release.

In August 2011, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Rio Grande City Police Department launched an investigation into a crack cocaine distribution network in Rio Grande City. Following an investigation that included 20 drug transactions involving informants and undercover agents that resulted in the seizure of more than 180 grams of crack cocaine, a federal grand jury indicted 11 Rio Grande City residents including the defendants on Nov. 13, 2012. The investigation revealed the crack cocaine distribution network relied upon the use of at least four residential homes in Rio Grande City where drug buyers could purchase crack cocaine around the clock. 

The evidence presented during the hearing today showed Barrientos led the crack distribution ring that included Trevino, Esteban Trevino and Alfredo Barrientos. The group sold large quantities of crack from two adjacent residences in Rio Grande City. In handing down these sentences, Judge Alvarez noted the harm the defendants had inflicted upon their community and strongly admonished them for dealing drugs from their residences in the midst of their families including small children.

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

The remaining nine defendants ensnared in the year-long investigation have been convicted. Today, Judge Alvarez also sentenced Jose Huerta, 29, and Eliza Escobar, 30, to 12 months in federal custody. Escobar also received a two-year-term of supervised release.

Nancy Cantu, 32, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release by U.S. Chief District Court Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Melissa Wolf, 48, received 33 months of incarceration from Judge Hinojosa followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. Israel Pena, 23, Luciano Lopez III, 46, and Nancy Clarke, 39, await sentencing before Judge Hinojosa on Aug. 16, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. Israel Pena, 23, is scheduled for sentencing on June 5, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. Barrientos and Esteban Trevino are scheduled for sentencing before Judge Alvarez on July 11, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.  

This case was investigated by the DEA and the Rio Grande City Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Grady J. Leupold and Jason Honeycutt.

 

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