NDTX Round-Up October 8, 2019
SENTENCING – Sylvia Diaz
On September 30, Sylvia Diaz was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in federal custody, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to acquire a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer by false or fictitious statement. She and her codefendant purchased in total 160 firearms in 50 separate transactions for a buyer in Mexico. Diaz falsely claimed on the corresponding paperwork that she was the actual buyer. This case was prosecuted by AUSA Cathy Richardson and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
GUILTY PLEA - Joshua Blake Browning
On October 1, Joshua Blake Browning, 38, pled guilty to escape from custody. Browning was serving an 8 years and 10 month sentence for the crime of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He escaped from a Federal Prison Camp in Seagoville by running when asked to forfeit a cell phone in his possession. Browning faces up to five years in federal custody, consecutive with his current sentence. This case is prosecuted by AUSA Suzanna Etessam and was investigated by the United States Marshal Service.
GUILTY PLEA – Robert Darren Moore
On October 1, Robert Darren Moore, 35, pled guilty to bank robbery. Moore admitted to robbing a BBVA Compass Bank within a Tom Thumb, a Bank of America, and a Texas Star Bank within nine days. Moore faces up to 25 years in federal custody. This case is prosecuted by AUSA Damien Diggs and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Addison Police Department, Richardson Police Department, and Sherman Police Department.
GUILTY PLEA - Luis Alexander Vargas
On October 1, Luis Alexander Vargas, 31, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Vargas was apprehended in a white van and attempted to escape on foot. He was quickly arrested and the officers found 62 kilograms of methamphetamine in the vehicle. Vargas faces up to 40 years in federal custody. This case was prosecuted by AUSA Linda Requenez and investigated by the Irving Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
SENTENCING – Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata
On October 3, Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata, 22, was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in federal custody for conspiracy to possess methamphetamine. Zapata and his co-conspirators agreed to bypass security at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport with what they believed to be 10 kilograms of methamphetamine. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the Dallas Police Department. The case was prosecuted by AUSA George Leal, AUSA John De La Garza, and AUSA John Kull.
SENTENCING – Christian Davis Cruz-Rodriguez
On October 3, Christian Da Cruz-Rodriguez, 24, was sentenced to 5 years and 5 months in federal custody for conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Cruz-Rodriguez told undercover agents about different methods to smuggle contraband into aircraft at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He agreed to smuggle 6 kilograms of methamphetamine at the request of the undercover agents. The investigating parties on this case were the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the Dallas Police Department. The prosecuting attorneys were AUSA George Leal, AUSA John De La Garza, and AUSA John Kull.
GUILTY PLEA - James Dick Biggs
On October 1, James Dick Diggs, 55, pled guilty to unarmed bank robbery. In April of 2019, Diggs robbed two different banks in Dallas by threatening employees. Biggs faces up to 20 years in federal prison. This case was investigated by AUSA Melanie Smith and prosecuted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
GUILTY PLEA – Christopher Cousins
On September 30, Christopher Cousins, 28, pled guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. In February 2018, Cousins and his two coconspirators entered a Sprint Store in Garland, brandishing a firearm. The conspirators stole smartphones and cash for a total value of over $13,000. Cousins faces up to 60 years in federal custody. This case was investigated by the Dallas Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is prosecuted by AUSA PJ Meitl.