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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

39 ‘Taste the Rainbow’ Defendants Sentence

Thirty-nine defendants charged in Operation “Taste the Rainbow” have been sentenced to a combined 415 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

The men and women, all allegedly tied to methamphetamine trafficking in and around Lubbock, were charged in a series of three indictments with an array of federal crimes, primarily distribution of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of firearms, and conspiracy, in September 2021. The final defendant, 39-year-old Jesse Martinez Jr., aka JJ, was sentenced on Wednesday to 262 months.  In plea papers, Mr. Martinez admitted that he arranged for the sale of methamphetamine to a confidential informant and directed one of his associates to deliver it.

Over the course of the investigation – which involved more than 200 personnel from nine different law enforcement agencies – officers and agents seized more than two kilogram of methamphetamine and 25 guns.  The organization was found to have distributed dozens of kilograms of methamphetamine in the Lubbock community. 

“Thanks to the hard work of literally hundreds of officers and agents, along with a few dedicated prosecutors, we are keeping 39 of Lubbock’s most violent drug traffickers off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. “We know, based on their criminal histories, that these men and women were not only dealing large quantities of drugs, but sowing fear and agony in the community. We are proud to put them behind bars.”

“We heard the concerns of the residents of Lubbock and greater West Texas, and brought every possible resource to dismantle the criminal element in this investigation. Today’s final sentencing illustrates the commitment we have to ensure people and families can live in their neighborhoods without living in fear,” said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners every day to target the diverse and dangerous threats that drive violence in our communities.”

Additional defendants include:
 

  • Oscar Alcala, Jr., 30, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison

  • Teresa Delhierro, 38, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 180 months in prison

  • Stephanie Shea Ortiz, 38, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 108 months in prison

  • Isaac Levi Hernandez, aka “Pacman,” 37, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 160 months in prison

  • Robert Rangel, Jr., 47, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 188 months in prison

  • Sergio Lopez, 41, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 175 months in prison

  • Symon Anthony Maldonado, 26, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 151 months in prison

  • Samantha Denise Rodriguez, 38, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 214 months in prison

  • Michael Joseph Ybarra, 37, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 121 months in prison

  • Christopher Ray Lovington, 35, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 324 months in prison

  • Megan Francisca Gomez, 28, plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 84 months in prison 

  • Gabriel Lee Mendoza, 30, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison

  • Jessie Luciano Salazar, aka “Lucky,” 45, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 230 months in prison

  • Ruby Alexis Banuelos, 23, plead guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 46 months in prison

  • Adriana Pena, 26, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 70 months in prison

  • Alexandria Unique Conner, 24, plead guilty to possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to 60 months in prison

  • Bobby Joe Garcia, aka “Ace,” 28, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 108 months in prison

  • Christopher Eldon Limbaugh, aka “Skittles,” 38, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison

  • Christopher Daniel Garcia, 39, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 121 months in prison

  • Bobbi Jean Hendrix, 33, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 84 months in prison

  • Alexandra Cruz, 25, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison

  • James Raul Garza, 37, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 230 months in prison

  • David Bustos, Jr., 40, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison

  • Gerald Felipe Vargas, aka “Gizmo,” 36, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 160 months in prison

  • Julie Ann Sifuentes, aka “Juicy,” 36, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 66 months in prison

  • Daniel Ramon, Jr., 41, plead guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to 60 months in prison

  • Kelsey Marie Applegate, 28, plead guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 60 months in prison

  • Toby Mack Woods, 62, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 24 months in prison

  • Katie Dshawn Montez, 28, plead guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to 60 months in person

  • Beatrice Delgado, 37, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 121 months in prison

  • Colten Shane White, 29, plead guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 33 months in prison

  • Madison Whitney Michaels, 23, plead guilty to misprision (concealment) of a felony and was sentenced to 15 months in prison

  • Mark Adam Alonzo, aka “Cinco,” 31, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 128 months in prison

  • Alejandro Antonio Mendez, aka “Ace,” 27, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 110 months in prison

  • Edilberto Reyes, aka “Pajaro” (Bird), 35, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison

  • Reynaldo Cruz, Jr., 50, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 240 months in prison

  • Yesenia Flores, 40, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 151 months in prison

  • Christopher Joshua Ruiz, 39, plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 151 months in prison

 

Those put behind bars by this operation included many violent recidivists; between them, the convicted defendants have been previously charged with 31 assaults, nine burglaries, three robberies, a murder, 24 firearm crimes, 69 serious controlled substance violations, three terroristic threats, a forgery, 12 frauds, and a child sexual assault.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Division – Lubbock Resident Agency and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation with the help of six agency partners: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, the Lubbock Police Department, the U.S. Marshals, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Long is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Erin Dooley Press Officer 214-659-8707 erin.dooley@usdoj.gov
Updated September 28, 2022