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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Laredoan Sentenced To 10 Years For Marijuana Conspiracy

LAREDO, Texas – Jesus Alberto Rodriguez, of Laredo, has been ordered to prison for possessing with intent to distribute 426 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. He pleaded guilty in October 2012. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo sentenced Rodriguez, 36,to 121 months in federal prison to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release.

In the summer of  2010, Rodriguez discussed with a confidential source about moving a large quantity of marijuana. The discussions concerned Rodriguez obtaining transportation for marijuana he said was coming from the Zapata area to Laredo, the risk due to law enforcement observation in the area and the confidential source acquiring a driver and a means of transportation to get the marijuana to Dallas. As a result of these discussions, Rodriguez arranged to deliver the marijuana, which was going to be approximately 700 to 800 pounds, to the parking lot of a local toy store on San Bernardo Street in Laredo in two separate trucks on July 6, 2010.

Accordingly, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) undercover agent waited in the parking lot, posing as a driver working for the source. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez said the delivery was going to be in two parts:  one truck was going to contain 21 bundles and the other was going to have 10 for a total of 31 bundles of marijuana. The agent then witnessed a white Ford F-250 pull into the parking lot next to the agent. The driver of the Ford F-250 was later identified as a co-defendant, Juan De Dios Cardenas.

De Dios Cardenas told the agent that after he delivered the load, to return to the parking lot where he was going to receive another truck load of marijuana. The agent then got inside the truck and drove to a nearby warehouse, at which time several DEA agents unloaded a total of 21 bundles of marijuana.

The undercover agent then returned to the same parking lot with the empty Ford F-250. When he did, he came upon a black Chevrolet Tahoe driven by another co-defendant, Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Vargas. De Dios Cardenas then got into the Ford F-250 passenger seat with the undercover agent and directed him to a movie theater a short distance away, where the second load vehicle was located. There, De Dios Cardenas pointed out a parked red Ford Explorer in the parking lot which contained the second part of the load of marijuana delivery that Rodriguez had arranged.

DEA Agents weighed and tested the bundles and determined the total weight to be 432.6 kilograms.

At the time of his guilty plea, Rodriguez admitted he had made telephone calls arranging for the delivery of the marijuana.
During the hearing today, Judge Marmolejo Garcia determined Rodriguez was a manager or supervisor of this July 2010 load and was held accountable in relevant conduct for three other loads of marijuana totaling more than 5,500 kilograms from March through June 2008.

Rodriguez was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. De Dios Cardenas and Gonzalez-Vargas have each also entered pleas and were sentenced to 60 and 63 months, respectively.

The case was investigated by the DEA and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roberto F. Ramirez.

Updated April 30, 2015