Dallas Man, Who Pleaded Guilty To Role In Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy Linked To Los Zetas Cartel, Is Sentenced To 84 Months In Federal Prison
DALLAS — Omar Guerrero Acosta, aka “Pilas,” 30, of Dallas, was sentenced late last week by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 84 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in February 2013 to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He was also ordered to forfeit a vehicle, approximately $209,493 in cash and jewelry that had been seized. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Acosta is one of 13 defendants indicted in September 2011 for running a cocaine distribution conspiracy in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that was linked to the Los Zetas cartel. Acosta is the tenth and last defendant convicted in the case to be sentenced; two defendants remain fugitives and charges against another were dismissed. Convicted defendants and their sentences are:
Cesar Alonzo De La Rosa Jordan, aka “Gordo,” 30, 78 months
Rosendo Chappa, Jr., aka “Borado,” 39, 87 months
Joel Alejandro Rodriguez, aka “Joe,” 51, 98 months
Arturo Picaso, aka “Flaco,” 32, 152 months
Ricardo Morales, Sr., 52, 70 months
Ricardo Morales, Jr., aka “Rica,” 27, 3 years’ probation
Jose Luis Rodriguez, aka “Mas,” 41, 37 months
William Savala, aka “Will,” 39, 51 months
Reynaldo Facundo, 32, 63 months
Acosta admitted that beginning in January 2011, cocaine supply sources in Mexico began importing multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into the U.S. through border checkpoints near Laredo. Acosta admitted that couriers hired by the drug suppliers in Mexico delivered the cocaine to him and once the drugs arrived in Dallas, he and others maintained care, custody and control of the drugs at “stash” locations throughout the Dallas area. The total amount of cocaine that was reasonable foreseeable to him during the time of the conspiracy was more than 100 kilograms.
In July 2011, for example, Acosta’s supply source delivered approximately 119 kilograms of cocaine to him and, subsequently, multi-kilogram quantities were distributed to multiple customers, including co-defendant Rosendo Chappa, aka “”Borado.” Acosta admitted that on August 19, 2011, he and Chappa made arrangements for Chappa to deliver cash to Acosta in payment for seven kilograms of cocaine that Acosta had previously delivered to Chappa. On August 19, 2011, Acosta met Chappa at a department store parking garage in Dallas and collected approximately $159,000 in drug proceeds. Both Acosta and Chappa were arrested. After Acosta was arrested, law enforcement searched an apartment on Noel Road that he used, and they seized approximately six kilograms of cocaine and an additional $48,000 in drug proceeds that belonged to Acosta.
The FBI began its investigation into this large-scale drug trafficking organization, the Morales-Picaso Drug Trafficking Operation (MPDTO), as a result of intelligence gathered from the “Operation Greedy Grove” investigation and prosecution which targeted a large-scale cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana distribution organization known for its violence. Operation Greedy Grove culminated in September 2010 with the arrest of 28 individuals on federal and state drug charges. Law enforcement officers seized approximately three kilograms of cocaine, 14 firearms and $210,000 in U.S. Currency and assets. The 16 defendants charged federally in that case have all pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the conspiracy have been sentenced, including defendant Gary Montgomery, who shot a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent during his arrest. Montgomery was sentenced to 348 months in federal prison.
The investigation revealed that the MPDTO was involved in the illegal importation of approximately 100 kilos per month from Mexico. Once the cocaine was smuggled across the border, the loads were distributed to members of the MPDTO in exchange for large sums of cash, which were then vacuum-sealed in bags, concealed in vehicles and transported back to Mexico. During the course of this investigation, law enforcement seized more than 36 kilograms of cocaine, seven firearms, 14 vehicles and nearly $300,000 cash, which was forfeited to the U.S.
This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert was in charge of the prosecutions and Assistant U.S. Attorney John de la Garza handled the forfeitures.