Federal Grand Jury Indicts Seven In Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
One Defendant Also Faces Firearms Charges
LUBBOCK, Texas— A federal grand jury returned a four count indictment late yesterday charging seven defendants for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Each of the following defendants is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine:
Manuel Carrillo Ortiz, 38
Martin Cardona Gutierrez, 46
Refugio Navarrete Gutierrez, 34
Efren Fabela Lopez, 34
Gisselle Lujan, 26
Jerardo Salcedo Garcia, 27
Javier Lopez Lujan, 47
Defendants Manuel Ortiz, Martin Gutierrez, Refugio Gutierrez and Efren Lopez are also each charged with one substantive count of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and aiding and abetting.
Defendant Martin Gutierrez is also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
All of the defendants, except for Javier Lopez Lujan, are in custody. Javier Lopez Lujan remains at large. A date has not yet been set for them to make their initial appearance in federal court.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the statutory maximum penalties are: conspiracy - life in prison and a $10 million fine; possession - life in prison and a $10 million fine; felon in possession of a firearm - 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime - life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The investigation is being conducted by the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Midland Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Border Patrol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Cunningham is in charge of the prosecution.