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Federal And State Authorities Arrest El Paso-Based Drug Trafficking Organization On Federal Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2013

United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan announced today that  16 El Paso, Texas defendants have been arrested, based on a 41-count federal indictment charging violations of federal drug and gun laws.

Those arrested and charged by indictment include: Gabriel Fierro, age 41; Jesus Aguiniga, age  29; Adrian Uriel, age 36; Jerry Urbina, age 43;  Raul Adrian Chavira,   age 30; Daniel Fierro,  age 39;  Roberto Mendez, age 44;  Jaime Aguilar, age 30 ; Javier Alarcon,  age 46; Cesar Chavarria,  age 31; Marco Antonio Morales, age 37; Evelyn Bencomo, age 22;  Angela Marie Webb,  age 31; Sharday Vince, age 28;  Billy Jack Barrow,  age 31;  Caleb Jordan McCreless, age 23. Two defendants are fugitives.

A federal grand jury indictment, returned on April 17, 2013, and unsealed today, alleges that from January 2010 to April 2013, all 18 defendants conspired to possess with the intent to distribute in excess of five (5) kilograms of cocaine.   Gabriel Fierro, Jesus Aguiniga, Adrian Uriel, Jerry Urbina, Raul Adrian Chavira, Daniel Fierro, Cesar Chavarria, Marco Antonio Morales, Caleb Jordon McCreless, Evelyn Bencomo,  and Angela Maria Webb are all charged with possession with intent to distribute and/or distribution of cocaine.  Gabriel Fierro, Jesus Aguiniga, Daniel Fierro, Angela Marie Webb, Evelyn Bencomo, Roberto Mendez, and Jerry Urbina are charged with Maintaining a Drug Involved Premise.  Jesus Aguiniga, is charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute and/or Distribution of Cocaine and Maintaining a Drug Involved Premise within 1000 feet of a school. Gabriel Fierro and Javier Alarcon are also charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

Upon conviction,  all  defendants face a minimum mandatory of 10 years to  life imprisonment on the conspiracy charge; up to 20 years imprisonment on the possession with the intent to distribute and/or distribution of cocaine; up to 20 years on maintaining a drug involved premises;  up to 40 years imprisonment on possession with the intent to distribute and/or distribution of cocaine and  maintaining a drug involved premises within 1000 feet of a school; and up to 10 years imprisonment on the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

In addition to the arrests, five (5) residences in El Paso were searched pursuant to federal search warrants.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan stated, “The arrests today are the culmination of an aggressive joint investigation by the DEA and FBI, as well as, numerous local, state, and federal partners, to rid the city of El Paso of firearm offenders and drug dealers".  

“Cocaine destroys the lives of its abusers and has far-reaching negative effects in the areas where it takes hold.  By targeting local distribution networks, such as the one in this investigation in the El Paso area, DEA and its law enforcement partners are holding drug dealers responsible for the harm they cause.  We will continue to work together to pursue those who threaten our communities through the smuggling and distribution of illegal and dangerous drugs,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit. 

Other agencies assisted in this investigation to include the El Paso Sheriff’s Office, El Paso Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Service, Anthony Police Department , United States Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Juanita Fielden.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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