Former Fugitive Finally Sent To Prison
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Juan Becerra Vallejo, 55, has just been handed a federal prison term following his conviction of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Vallejo, a resident alien from Mexico who resided in Weslaco, pleaded guilty March 14, 2012.
Today, U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle, who accepted the guilty plea, sentenced Vallejo to a total of 210 months in federal prison to be followed a five-year-term of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Tagle noted that Vallejo exercised management responsibility over the property, assets and activities of a criminal organization by arranging the transportation of multi-kilogram loads of marijuana and cocaine as well as millions of drugs proceeds for multiple drug suppliers.
Vallejo was indicted in 2009 at which time the court issued a warrant for his arrest. He was apprehended on Oct. 27, 2011.
The charges against Vallejo stem from a January 2005 investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). That investigation led to the discovery that Noel Exinia, of La Feria and owner of NE and Family Transport, used one of his company’s tractor trailers to deliver approximately 234 kilograms of cocaine from the Rio Grande Valley to New York City. It was later discovered that Vallejo made the arrangements with Exinia for the transportation of the narcotics load to New York City and had caused the distribution of the load to Exinia for this purpose.
He has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
As a result of the overall Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Hot Pursuit, $805,416 in illegal drug proceeds have been seized.
Exinia himself pleaded guilty after hearing four days of evidence at a jury trial in October 2005. He was later sentenced to 600 months in federal prison.
The OCDETF investigation was conducted by the DEA, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office - Narcotics Division, FBI, Border Patrol, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles Lewis and Israel Cano III.