Jury Convicts Local Man in Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 54-year-old Robstown resident has been found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin as well as conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. A jury returned the verdicts today against Rolando Hinojosa following approximately an hour of deliberation and two days of trial.
The jury heard that an undercover officer had begun purchasing heroin from the organization in April 2016. Members of the conspiracy testified that the organization was involved in two types of narcotics trafficking - local, large-scale heroin distribution in Nueces County and interstate distribution of kilogram quantities of cocaine. Hinojosa was the source of supply for both types of narcotics.
The evidence included approximately $60,000 in illegal narcotics currency which authorities discovered in Hinojosa’s work truck when he was arrested Oct. 4, 2017. On the same date, agents also found approximately $36,000 in illegal narcotics currency in his home.
The jury further heard testimony regarding a pre-paid telephone found on Hinojosa’s bedside table which demonstrated the trail of cocaine from Hinojosa to a Kentucky distributor. From further phone analysis, authorities discovered a narcotics courier who had been arrested in August 2017 returning from Kentucky with $76,000 in narcotics currency intended for Hinojosa.
That courier testified at trial that he successfully delivered several kilograms of cocaine to Kentucky in August 2017 after receiving it from Hinojosa.
Hinojosa’s defense was that the government had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury disagreed and found him guilty on all counts.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack presided over the trial and set sentencing for April 9, 2018. At that time, Hinojosa faces up to life in prison on the drug charges and a possible $10 million fine, while the money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum of 20 years and a $500,000 fine. Previously released on bond, he was ordered into custody following the verdict where he will remain pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Muschenheim is prosecuting the case.