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Press Release

Four admit to roles in drug trafficking conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

LAREDO, Texas – Four Laredo residents have entered guilty pleas for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and launder money, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Cesar Mendiola, 57, Jose Angel Rodriguez, Jr., 60, Rafael Rodriguez, 63, and Jose Angel Rodriguez III, 34, all admitted to the felony charges as related to  cocaine distribution and money laundering in Laredo. 

Throughout the course of this investigation, authorities seized nearly 10 kilograms of cocaine and over $147,000 in drug proceeds.

The investigation revealed brothers Rodriguez Jr. and Rafael Rodriguez would receive kilograms of cocaine from a source in Mexico and provide that cocaine to Mendiola for further distribution in and around Laredo. Rodriguez III kept records of transactions and drug proceeds for his father, Rodriguez Jr.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing Sept. 7. At that time, Mendiola and Rodriguez Jr. face up to life in federal prison. Rafael Rodriguez and Rodriguez III could receive up to 40 and 20 years, respectively.

Mendiola, Rodriguez Jr. and Rafael Rodriguez remain in custody while Rodriguez III was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation with the assistance of the Webb County District Attorney’s Office, the Webb County Sheriff’s Office and the United Independent School District Police Department. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.

Updated June 7, 2023

Drug Trafficking