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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Another Sentenced In Marijuana Conspiracy Using Boats To Navigate The Intra-coastal Waterway

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Alberto Lopez, aka Alberto Lopez-Reyna, 40, of Roma, has been ordered to prison for nearly seven years following his conviction of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 100 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Lopez entered into a written plea agreement Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Lopez a term of 80 months in prison.  Lopez will also be required to serve a term of five years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

From November 2010 until his arrest in December 2012, Lopez facilitated the transportation of large amounts of marijuana concealed in the hulls of altered shallow-bottom fishing boats from Port Mansfield to Corpus Christi via the intra-coastal waterway in an effort to circumvent the United States Border Patrol checkpoints in Falfurrias and Sarita.

He admitted his role in supplying various loads of marijuana over the course of the conspiracy and mapping out boat docks in the Corpus Christi area that would be used to retrieve the marijuana-laden vessels for further transportation to Houston. The government detailed how four loads of marijuana were intercepted and a total of 1,600 kilograms of marijuana were seized over the last two years. 

Members of the conspiracy who served as drivers include Lombardo Zarate, 50, Rogelio Mendoza, 38, Glen Dial, 57, Luz Ramirez, 26, and Hector Perez-Gonzales, 40, all of whom have previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judges in Corpus Christi and have either been sentenced to terms of imprisonment at the Bureau of Prisons. Also sentenced in this case was Michael “Mickey” Pena, who was convicted by a jury in February 2013. He was sentenced last month to 97 months in prison.

Lopez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case is the result of a two-year investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Kingsville Narcotics Task force. Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 30, 2015