News and Press Releases

Mission Man Handed 20 Years for Cocaine Conspiracy

Dec. 3, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Ramiro Basaldua, 56, of Mission, has been sentenced to federal prison for 240 months as a result of his conviction on  one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Basaldua entered a guilty plea on Sept. 1, 2011, and today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed him the 20-year sentence which will be followed by five years of supervised release.

On Feb. 22, 2009, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized approximately 190 kilograms of cocaine following a traffic stop of a tractor-trailer near San Juan. The driver was Devadip Espericueta. The investigation, which was part of Operation Hauling Ice, revealed Espericueta had been hired by Basaldua and Gilbert Guerra to drive the narcotic-laden vehicle from the Rio Grande Valley to New York.  

Basaldua has been in custody since the time of his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Espericueta and Guerra have already been sentenced in this case and are serving their prison terms.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the DEA in conjunction with the San Juan Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney James Sturgis prosecuted the case.