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Press Release

Gang Member Gets Nearly 10 Years for Possessing Firearm

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A four-time convicted felon has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of unlawfully possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury convicted Antonio Ortiz III, 32, of Corpus Christi, in January 2015.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack sentenced Ortiz to 115 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Jack noted that his repeated violent conduct was an indication that past punishments had not made an impression.

Ortiz was a known member of the Texas Syndicate Prison Gang and had an outstanding state warrant for a drug distribution charge. In October 2014, deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service assigned to the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force learned he was staying with a girlfriend at an apartment complex in Corpus Christi and subsequently took him into custody.

At the time of his arrest, authorities discovered a loaded 9mm pistol beneath his bed. Also discovered in the apartment were two separate bundles of ammunition.

During the trial, the jury heard that while in custody following his arrest, Ortiz made phone calls to his friend discussing the location of that gun. In those calls, Ortiz can be heard berated his friend for not having hidden the gun better before his arrest.

Ortiz will remain in custody pending transfer to U.S. Bureau of Prisons facilities to be determined in the near future.

This charge was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hess is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 4, 2016