Defendants Sentenced for Roles in Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy
ABILENE, Texas — Four defendants who have been convicted for their respective roles in a marijuana distribution conspiracy have been sentenced this week, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Three of those defendants, who were convicted after a five-day jury trial in February 2015, were sentenced yesterday, and one, who pleaded guilty to his role, was sentenced today.
Chief U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis sentenced Abilene, Texas, residents Jose Cavazos, 51, to 108 months in federal prison; Travis Kyndall Longoria, 22, to 120 months in federal prison; and David Rodriguez, 25, to 30 months in federal prison. Today, Judge Solis sentenced Brandon Johnson, 35, of Sweetwater, Texas, to 90 months in federal prison.
Daniel Longoria, 49, of Abilene, who was also convicted at trial, will be sentenced later, as will Fabricio Abelardo Perez, 43, of Abilene, who pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy.
Daniel Longoria, Cavazos, and Travis Longoria were each convicted at trial on an indictment charging one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Rodriguez was found guilty at trial of the lesser charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana. In January 2015, Perez and Johnson each pleaded guilty to the indictment.
According to evidence presented at trial and filed court documents, the investigation into the Daniel Longoria Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) began when the Abilene Police Department learned that, since 2004, Daniel Longoria had been distributing marijuana from his business, Abilene Automotive and Performance. Daniel Longoria concealed marijuana in speaker boxes, and placed the speakers in vehicles so that the marijuana could be distributed throughout Abilene. Daniel Longoria also used vehicles that had been left at his business to conceal and transport large sums of bulk cash back to the DTO’s supply source in Mexico. All six defendants conspired together and worked together to transport and distribute large quantities of marijuana in Abilene.
The Abilene Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Williams prosecuted.