13 Suspected Drug Traffickers with Cartel Ties Arrested in Bust
Thirteen individuals were arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges following a bust led by the FBI Wednesday morning, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today.
According to criminal complaints unsealed this afternoon, the defendants -- Juan Hernandez, Humberto Morales, Marcos Dominguez, Adolfo Ortiz, Albert Martinez, Alejandro Navarrete, Oscar Hernandez, Rebecca Mier, Leoncio Aguilar, Josue Coy, Fidel Alain Martin-Sosa, Yuniel Eduardo Lima Rivero, and Henry Alberto Echarte Rivero – conspired to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin over a nearly five-year period, beginning in March 2014.
According to Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigators, the conspirators -- who had ties to the Los Zetas and the New Generation Jalisco Mexican cartels -- had a fluid hierarchy that evolved over time. Some of the money derived from the sale and distribution of the drugs were used to purchase additional drugs, while other drug money was sent to Mexico.
The investigation culminated yesterday, when FBI agents raided a home just across the street from a Grand Prairie elementary school, seizing 380 grams of heroin, a shotgun, and approximately 5 kilograms of methamphetamine. Additional agents seized seven firearms and ounce quantities of cocaine from two houses in Dallas. Agents in Carrollton, assisted by Carrollton Police Department seized 3 kilograms of methamphetamine that defendants Lima Rivero and Echarte Rivero attempted to discard.
In total, law enforcement also seized approximately $24,800 in U.S. currency.
A complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged made under oath before a magistrate judge. The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty through due process of law.
If convicted, defendants face up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5,000,000 fine.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Texas Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, Carrolton Police Department, Grand Prairie Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Farmers Branch Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn Smith and Laura Montes are prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.