Heroin Traffickers Handed Significant Federal Prison Terms
HOUSTON – Two Texas men have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of possession with intent to distribute heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jose Jony Romero, 41, of Houston, and Ricardo Rodriguez, 31, of Laredo, pleaded guilty April 26 and 24, 2018, respectively.
Today, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ordered Romero to serve 188 months in federal prison based on his responsibility for 35 kilograms of seized heroin in addition to six kilograms of methamphetamine since 2015. Rodriguez received a 120-month-term of imprisonment for his participation in transporting the heroin to Houston.
The investigation began in October 2015. The investigation revealed Romero was planning to deliver methamphetamine to several individuals in Houston. After leaving Romero’s residence, authorities stopped their vehicle. Inside, law enforcement discovered a cardboard box with Tupperware containers containing approximately six kilograms of methamphetamine. Romero’s fingerprints were also found on the containers.
In March 2017, law enforcement stopped Rodriguez on interstate 10 in Fayette County. In the toolbox in the truck’s bed was were five wooden blocks which contained black tar heroin. Further investigation led authorities to discover the phone number Rodriguez called to finalize the delivery belonged to Romero. He was arrested as the heroin was delivered to him.
Agents opened the five wooden blocks and found 16 packages of narcotics, which totaled 32 kilograms of heroin and nearly one kilograms of methamphetamine. Inside Romero’s apartment, authorities also discovered an additional three kilograms of heroin and packaging material.
Romero has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Previously released on bond, Rodriguez was permitted to remain on bond.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Houston Police Department and Fayette County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation with assistance from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe is prosecuting the case.