Three Receive Lengthy Sentences For Roles In Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy
DALLAS — Following their guilty pleas earlier this year, three members of a cocaine distribution conspiracy have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison sentences, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Today, U.S. District Judge John McBryde sentenced Sergio Castillo-Guerra, 28, and Juan Rangel, 44, to 210 months and 240 months, respectively, in federal prison. Last week, Judge McBryde sentenced the other defendant convicted in the case, Mario Morones-Ramirez, 29, to 168 months in federal prison. Each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
According to documents filed in the case, law enforcement learned that Sergio Castillo-Guerra would be traveling from Mexico to the Fort Worth area in May 2014, and that he already had eight kilograms of cocaine for sale that was stashed in a ranch house in the area. On May 21, 2014, law enforcement established surveillance at a restaurant in Fort Worth and observed Castillo-Guerra, travelling with two other men, arrive in a van bearing Coahuila, Mexico, handicap license plates. Castillo-Guerra called co-conspirator Rangel, who agreed to deliver kilograms of cocaine to the restaurant for delivery. Rangel called co-conspirator Morones-Ramirez and instructed him to deliver the eight kilograms of cocaine to the restaurant.
A short time later, Morones-Ramirez arrived at the restaurant in a red Ford pick-up truck. He, Castillo-Guerra, Rangel, and a witness met at the back of truck and discussed the sale. The witness was shown eight kilograms of cocaine contained in a black trash bag in the bed of the truck. Shortly thereafter, special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested the three defendants and the cocaine was seized.
Rangel advised agents that he rented a “ranchito” near Alvarado, Texas, that was used as a stash house for his boss who resided in Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. Special agents searched the “ranchito,” in Venus, Texas and found an additional nine kilograms of cocaine, more than $300,000 in cash, a loaded pistol with an additional loaded magazine, drug distribution ledgers and a money-counting machine.
ATF investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Worley prosecuted.