Authorities Make Numerous Arrests in Poly-Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy
McALLEN, Texas - A total of 15 people are in custody following law enforcement actions in multiple cities that began on Friday involving a drug and money laundering conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Yeyo Express targeted Gulf Cartel infrastructure and transportation cells operating in South Texas and the distribution of multiple drugs throughout the United States and returning proceeds to Mexico.
Those arrested locally include Guillermo Morales aka Don Gio, 54; Erick Alan Torres Davila aka Cachorro, 30, Elizabeth Lopez-Perez, 30, all of Edinburg; David Martinez, 42, of Mercedes; Hector Hernandez Cardenas, 52, of San Juan; Jose Gonzalez aka Lalo, and Elmer Macario Ramos, 42, both of Weslaco; Armando Tanguma, 29, of Edcouch; Andrew Martinez, 38, and Heather Segura, 34, both of La Feria; and Amairani Flores aka Lizeth, 23, of Donna.
All have made their initial appearances in McAllen federal court, at which time the government requested they remain in custody. Detention hearings are set for Thursday, Nov. 10.
Jesus Remedios Manqueros, 40, of Dallas, was also taken into custody. He made his initial appearance in Dallas and is expected to be transported to McAllen in the near future.
Three defendants were already in custody on related charges. They include Anthony Ray Sanchez, 19, of Dallas; and Mario Gonzalez, 44, and Efrain Dimas-Lopez, 46, both of Edinburg.
All are in custody on a multi-count indictment charging conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as several substantive drug possession charges. The indictment alleges the conspiracy ran from February 2013 to Nov. 1, 2016. Each defendant faces no less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison, upon conviction. Morales is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and faces another maximum 20-year-term of imprisonment.
In addition, the indictment gives notice of criminal forfeiture of three real properties located in Hidalgo County.
The OCDETF investigation and subsequent arrests were a combined effort by the DEA; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Texas Army National Guard; Air National Guards in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas; Customs and Border Protection; Border Patrol; Texas Department of Public Safety; police departments in Pharr, McAllen, Palmview, Mission, Weslaco, Dallas and San Juan; and the Hidalgo County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Pat Profit is prosecuting the case. AUSA Sarah Wilson is handling the forfeiture matters.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.