Law Enforcement Officials Among 15 Charged in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
HOUSTON – A grand jury sitting in Houston has returned an 11-count indictment against several individuals to include current or former law enforcement officers, in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Daniel Polanco, 34, and Edinburg Police Officer Hector Beltran, 40, both of Edinburg, surrendered to federal authorities today. Former Houston Police Officer Marcos Esteban Carrion, 38, of Sugar Land, was already in custody on unrelated charges and is expected to make an initial appearance in the near future. A summons has also been issued for former Precinct 7 Deputy Constable Juan Ignacio Leal, 36, of Houston, who is expected to appear in Houston federal court May 31.
Also charged are Noe Arnoldo Moczygemba, 42, and Carlos Aaron Oyervides, 41, both of Houston; Angel Alberto Lopez-Rodriguez, 42, a Mexican national residing in Mission; Dimas DeLeon-Rios, 41, a Mexican national of Edinburg; Carmen Meyer, 60, and Maritssa Salinas, 38, both of Mission; Mario Alejandro Solis, 37, a Mexican national residing in San Juan; Martin Peña, 59, a citizen of the Dominican Republic residing in Houston; Ruben Angel Nava-Perez, 29, a Mexican national residing in Katy; and Francisco Arizmendiz-Lugo, 51, and Jesus Alejandro Martinez-Lopez, 37, both of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Lopez-Rodriguez, DeLeon-Rios, Oyervides, Meyer, Solis, Peña and Nava-Perez are currently in custody and set to make an appearance May 31, 2016, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston. Moczygemba and Salinas are also expected to be in custody in the near future.
Arizmendiz-Lugo and Martinez-Lopez are considered fugitives and warrants remain outstanding for their arrests. Anyone with information about their whereabouts are asked to contact DEA at 713-693-3000.
The superseding indictment, returned May 18, 2016, charges all 15 with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Each defendant also faces varying numbers of charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Lopez-Rodriguez is charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $10 million fine on each count of conviction.
The four-year Organized Crime Drug Task Force Investigation dubbed Operation Blue Shame was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anibal J. Alaniz is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.