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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 26, 2019

Houston Heroin Distributor Convicted after Taking Over Family Drug Trafficking Business

HOUSTON – A 34-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Victor Manuel Morales-Moreno pleaded guilty Oct. 2, 2018, admitting to conspiring to distribute heroin to street level dealers and users for more than two years.

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen handed Morales-Moreno a 210-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the prison term. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Moreno was the leader of a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing kilogram quantities of methamphetamine and heroin imported from Mexico.

Morales had relocated to Houston from California to take over a heroin trafficking ring following the arrests and incarceration of his relatives Jose Herrera-Alvarado and Pedro Herrera-Alvarado. The Herrera-Alvarado brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and were  later sentenced to life in federal prison.

Erasto Aguirre-Suarez, 52, a Mexican national, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. He admitted he moved to Texas with Morales-Moreno to assist him in the daily operations of the heroin business. A third co-defendant, Valentin Anthony Cardenas, 35, of Houston, previously entered his plea possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Aguirre-Suarez and Cardenas previously received respective terms of 114 and 84 months.  

They all have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.   

The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey N. MacDonald is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated August 26, 2019