Jury convicts man for crack cocaine conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury in Corpus Christi has convicted 26-year-old local man for conspiring to distribute narcotics and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before convicting Jonathan Rodriguez, Corpus Christi, following a three-day trial.
At trial, the jury heard that Rodriguez was a co-conspirator in a multi-person crack cocaine trafficking scheme. From 2016 to 2019, Rodriguez managed a Corpus Christi residence from where drugs were distributed.
In May 2019, law enforcement responded to reports of gunfire between rival drug dealers at the property. A search of the residence revealed various amounts of crack cocaine and meth.
The jury also heard that Rodriguez had maintained a commercial storage unit in Corpus Christi. A search of the unit revealed $1.26 million in U.S. currency, more than 600 grams of cocaine, 52 rifles, shotguns and pistols.
At trial, the defense attempted to convince the jury Rodriguez was merely a narcotics user, not a distributor and the evidence was insufficient. However, they saw video evidence of Rodriguez distributing narcotics within the house and surveillance footage at the commercial storage unit.
The jury did not believe defense claims and found him Rodriguez guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge Davis S. Morales presided over trial and set sentencing for June 29. At that time, Rodriguez faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Rodriguez has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Corpus Christi Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Marck and Dennis E. Robinson prosecuted the case.
Updated April 6, 2022