Texas Man Sentenced for Violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – RAFAEL MOLINA, age 47, a resident of Edinburg, Texas was sentenced on September 20, 2023 by Chief United States District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown to one hundred fifty-four (154) months imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and $200.00 in mandatory special assessment fees after pleading guilty to a superseding bill of information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846, and interstate transportation in aid of racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1952(a)(3) and 1953(a)(3)(A), announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.
According to court documents, in July 2018, Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) identified MOLINA as a Mexican-based drug trafficker who supplied kilogram quantities of cocaine hydrochloride to customers in the Lafourche Parish area. On February 9, 2018, agents learned that MOLINA was bound for Thibodaux, Louisiana to deliver two kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride to a customer the following day. Agents and officers established surveillance in Thibodaux and observed Molina driving a white pickup truck, as well as two individuals, identified as Gustavo Balderas and Michael Garza, in a black Chrysler 300, at a motel. Balderas and Garza entered the truck driven by Molina, and they drove away from the motel. Officers then stopped the truck, searched both vehicles, and located an ice chest containing two kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, in the Chrysler 300.
This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Homeland Security Investigations, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney André Jones of the Narcotics Unit.
Shane M. Jones
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Department of Justice