Grand Jury Indicts Texas Nightclub Magnate, Two Former Dallas Police Officers and Others on Structuring and Drug Charges
DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas has indicted eleven defendants, including Alfredo Navarro Hinojosa, 57, of Dallas, Texas, on felony charges stemming from their involvement in laundering money and the distribution of cocaine at several North Texas nightclubs, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
The indictment supersedes an earlier indictment returned in the case. Eight defendants were charged in that indictment with various felony drug offenses. Four of those defendants have pleaded guilty, three remain fugitives and one is awaiting trial.
The thirty-three count superseding indictment returned yesterday charges Hinojosa, along with, Miguel Casas, 47, of Dallas; Martin Salvador Rodriguez, aka “Chava,” 55, of Dallas; Humberto Baltazar Novoa, 39, of Dallas; Eddie Villarreal, 48, of Carrollton, Texas; Craig Woods, 60, of Dallas; Eloy Alvarado Montantes, aka “Don Loy,” 36, of Grand Prairie, Texas; Jose Omar Santoyo Salas, aka “Omar Salas,” 32, of Arlington, Texas; Erick Johan Lopez Cuellar, aka “Erick Lopez,” 30, of Fort Worth; Raul Nunez, aka “Junior,” 25, of Grand Prairie, Texas; and Cesar Mendez, 27, of Dallas.
According to the superseding indictment, between 2014 and 2016 Hinojosa owned over forty nightclubs – including the Far West nightclub (Dallas), the OK Corral nightclub (Fort Worth), the OK Corral nightclub (Dallas), and the Medusa nightclub (Dallas) – and other businesses in Texas and elsewhere that brought in approximately $107 million in revenue. Hinojosa’s businesses dealt in large volumes of cash, which Hinojosa used as a means for hiding the true nature of certain cash deposits by using shell companies, making unusual deposits and transfers, and transporting cash from location to location. Hinojosa and Novoa also engaged in business transactions with bands who traveled back and forth to Mexico. These transactions included attempts to launder money for at least one band or for entities that were using the band.
In an effort to promote and guarantee profits at his nightclubs, including the Dallas OK Corral nightclub, Dallas Far West nightclub, and Fort Worth OK Corral nightclub, Hinojosa and his mangers – including Casas and Rodriguez – openly allowed cocaine to be sold to nightclub patrons. Certain selected dealers were permitted to sell approximately 100-200 baggies of cocaine each weekend at the nightclubs, resulting in multiple kilograms of cocaine being sold through the clubs for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The superseding indictment includes nineteen counts against Hinojosa, Casas, and Rodriguez for managing a drug premises at three of the nightclubs noted above.
Villarreal and Woods were both officers of the Dallas Police Department between September 1994 and October 2015, and October 5, 1981, and March 4, 2017 respectively. During portion of these time frames, both Villarreal and Woods also worked as security consultants or guards for Hinojosa. According to the superseding indictment, both Villarreal and Woods improperly used their positions as Dallas Police Officers to benefit Hinojosa.
Novoa, who worked with Hinojosa and as a band promoter, was charged with conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements and making a false statement in an immigration document. The superseding indictment alleges that the remaining defendants – Montantes, Salas, Cuellar, Nunez, and Mendez – were connected to and involved in drug distribution.
The superseding indictment includes references to recordings taken in Hinojosa’s headquarters, in which he discusses laundering funds and cleaning money.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.
Following the return of the superseding indictment, the parties filed executed plea documents for Hinojosa, Villarreal and Woods. According to the documents, Hinojosa has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy to manage a drug premises and conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements. Per his plea agreement, Hinojosa has agreed to forfeit $200,000, a Ferrari F355, a Land Rover Range Rover, a Hummer H2, a Mercedes-Benz, and a Gillig Motorhome.
Both Villarreal and Woods have each agreed to plead guilty to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Dallas Police Department, Internal Revenue Service, Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorneys P.J. Meitl, Errin Martin, John DelaGarza, and Jamie Hoxie are in charge of the prosecution.
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