Heroin And Methamphetamine Traffickers Convicted
LAREDO, Texas - Edgar Loera and Miguel Angel Vives-Macias have been convicted by a federal jury of multiple counts in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving heroin and methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury returned its verdicts late today after a five-day trial and less than four hours of deliberation.
Loera, 31, of Mira Loma, Calif., and Vives-Macias, 34, of San Antonio, were convicted of conspiracy to import and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances as well as importation and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Prior to trial, 10 others had pleaded guilty in relation to the conspiracy.
During trial, jurors heard testimony from several co-conspirators who detailed several instances of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking from Mexico to Laredo, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas as well as distributions to California, Illinois and Washington. The government also presented numerous vehicle title histories from California and Texas as well as vehicle and passenger crossing records from the ports of entry along the entry U.S.-Mexico border.
Testimony of several witnesses, including the 10 co-defendants, tied Loera and Vives-Macias to the trafficking organization between 2011 and 2012. Their testimony implicated both with recruiting drivers and couriers for the drugs in California and Texas.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for June 2, 2014, at which time both face up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine. They will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney José Angel Moreno prosecuted the case.