Texas Mexican Mafia General Heads to Federal Prison for Nearly 13 Years
|Jan. 14, 2014|
HOUSTON - Eric Gomez aka Valla, a general in the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang, has been ordered to prison for his role in the distribution of heroin, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Gomez, 37, of San Antonio, pleaded guilty Sept. 11, 2013.
Gomez was charged along with 25 members or associates of the notorious Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) prison gang with trafficking in heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine as well as firearms violations, distributing explosive materials and violent crimes in aid of racketeering in October 2012. Court records showed the TMM gang made money by trafficking heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and by selling firearms.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Gomez a sentence of 151 months in federal prison. In handing down the sentence, Judge Atlas noted that the heroin quantity was as significant as any case in her 18 years on the bench.
The TMM formed in the early 1980s in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. During a four-year-period from 2008 through October 2012, the TMM procured illegal drugs and distributed the drugs to numerous associates involved in drug trafficking in order to carry out the business of the gang. Gang members also sold numerous assault rifles and other guns to FBI sources as well as detonation cord. Gomez himself facilitated the sale of 5.5 kilograms of heroin to a FBI confidential source from December 2011 - January 2013.
In addition to Gomez, 22 others have also pleaded guilty in the case to date. Among those include Houston residents Robert Arechiga, 35, Francisco Galvan, 47, Alexander Garcia, 41, George Maldonado, 46, Carlos Romero, 32, and Juan Sarmientos, 46. Also convicted include Valentin Ayala-Gutierrez, 52, Gilbert Gonzalez, 43, Jose Cerda, 27, and Enrique Bravo, 39, all of San Antonio; Ruben Esparza, 36, of Robstown; Jorge Montemayor, 37, and Michael Villarreal, 33, both of Baytown; Alvin Valadez, 43, of Seguin; and Ernesto Villarreal, 36, of Corpus Christi. Also pleading guilty were Juan Deluna, 43, Adam Guzman, 45, Jorge Montemayor, 37, Johnny Reyes, 52, Ricardo Sanchez, 34, Tony Valdez, 38, and Armando Villarreal III, 25.
Gomez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future
The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, police departments in Baytown and Houston and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Tim S. Braley and Mark Donnelly are prosecuting.