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Press Release

Local Businessmen On Bond Following Arrest For Possession With Intent To Distribute 100 Kilograms Or More Of Marijuana

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

Joel Valencia Salazar Owns Primo Produce in Dallas

DALLAS — Two men, who were arrested Friday on federal drug charges, made their initial appearance in federal court in Dallas before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver, who released each of them on a personal recognizance bond. Gabriel Delgado, Jr., 35, of Dallas and Joel Valencia Salazar, 38, of McKinney, Texas, are charged in a federal criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Salazar, according to the criminal complaint, is the owner of Primo Produce, located on Ladybird Lane in Dallas. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to the complaint, on January 11, 2013, after inspecting suspicious freight pursuant to a state search warrant at the Averitt Express freight company warehouse in Grand Prairie, Texas, law enforcement located approximately 122 kilograms of marijuana in a shipment that had just arrived at the facility from Brownsville, Texas. The marijuana was hidden in large plastic storage bins that were placed inside cardboard boxes. The shipment’s bill of lading stated that the freight contained 10 containers of scales and metal plates.

According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, Averitt Express had contacted an individual about picking up the freight at the dock, and the individual was informed that there was an outstanding balance of more than $600 that would have to be paid before the freight could be released. Shortly thereafter, an individual, driving a box truck, arrived at Averitt Express and parked. Afterwards, a Chevrolet Tahoe pull up behind the box truck and that driver exited the vehicle, approached the driver of the box truck and handed the driver some papers. The box truck then entered Averitt Express, where the driver paid for the freight. While he was awaiting loading instructions, he was approached and detained by officers. Law enforcement officers who were located outside the business approached and detained the two men inside the Tahoe, which had remained parked across the street from Averitt Express. The Tahoe’s driver was identified as Delgado and the passenger was identified as Salazar.

Delgado said he was being paid $500 to coordinate picking up the freight and delivering it to a warehouse on Ladybird Lane in Dallas. Salazar said that he agreed to allow Delgado to use his warehouse in exchange for $500.

A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. The penalty for the offense charged, however, is not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fort Worth Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taly Haffar is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 22, 2015