Armed drug trafficker/gang member sent to prison
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 39-year-old Corpus Christi resident and Texas Syndicate member has been ordered to federal prison for trafficking cocaine and possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. John Mendez aka John Manuel Mendez pleaded guilty May 31.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Mendez an 18-month sentence for the drug charges. He also received an additional 60 months for the firearms offense which must be served consecutively for a total sentence of 78 months in federal prison. The sentence will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the defendant’s extensive criminal history.
From approximately May 1 - Aug. 25, 2018, Mendez was involved in a cocaine conspiracy. On June 25, 2018, local law enforcement conducted a routine traffic stop which resulted in the discovery of cocaine and marijuana. They also found two firearms - a .40 caliber rifle in the vehicle’s front seat and a .357 caliber handgun found on the ground near the vehicle.
He was released on bond, during which time another traffic stop led to the discovery that Mendez possessed additional cocaine for distribution. Social media evidence also demonstrated extensive drug trafficking and firearms activity.
Mendez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Corpus Christi Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Manning is prosecuting the case.