Laredo Couple Enter Pleas In Mexican Mafia Case
LAREDO, Texas - Carlos Contreras, 33, and his wife Ana Rosa Contreras, 31, have entered guilty pleas in relation to a massive drug trafficking and money laundering case involving members of the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The two Laredo residents were charged along with several other members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia in an indictment alleging conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and money laundering.
Carlos Contreras entered a plea today to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 10 kilograms of heroin, while his wife pleaded guilty to money laundering. Both have admitted to purchasing their residence in the prestigious Lakeside subdivision with the proceeds of drug sales. As a result of their pleas, the government is seeking the forfeiture of the residence, valued at more than $300,000.
Mr. Contreras faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. His wife could receive up to a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and $500,000 fine, or twice the pecuniary gain.
To date, the 21 defendants arrested thus far in the investigation have all entered guilty pleas before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia and are pending sentencing at varying times before U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana. The indictment remains sealed as to those charged but not as yet in custody.
The indictment is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation named “Operation X3,” investigated by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. They were assisted at different times by the U.S. Marshals Service, police departments in Laredo, Austin and San Marcos, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety - Criminal Investigations Division and the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andy Guardiola and James Hepburn.