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Press Release

Leaders of Houston Heroin Distribution Cell Get Life Imprisonment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON - Two Mexican nationals who resided in Houston have been ordered to prison for life following their convictions of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Pedro Herrara-Alvarado, 39, pleaded guilty May 13, 2016, while his brother - Jose Herrera-Alvarado, 33 – entered his plea Nov. 20, 2015.


Today, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon handed Pedro Herrara-Alvarado a sentence of life imprisonment. Jose Herrera-Alvarado received the same sentence in January 2017.


The court found that the brothers ran a large-scale heroin distribution network that spanned more than eight years. During that time, they distributed more than 30 kilograms of heroin to a large number of distributors based throughout Texas to include Houston, Galveston, Dallas and Ft. Worth. Judge Harmon also found the Herrera-Alvarado brothers were leaders of the drug trafficking organization and that both engaged in obstructive conduct by engaging in witness tampering of a co-defendant after their arrest. Further, various members of the organization possessed and used firearms during the course of the drug trafficking. Jose Herrera-Alvarado maintained a residence in Houston that he and his brother used to stash and process heroin.


Six other members of the Herrera-Alvarado drug trafficking organization have been sentenced to date. Demetrio Paz-Rodriguez, 54, of Houston, was also sentenced today to 151 months imprisonment. Judge Harmon previously ordered Henry Ortiz Jr., 53, Aaron Raul Cervantes, 23, Genaro Nunez, 30, all of Houston, to federal prison for 130, 38, and 72 months, respectively, while Marinette Woods, 71, of Galveston, received a 52-month-term of imprisonment. Jaime Telles-Santos, 34, a Mexican national who resided in Houston, was previously ordered to serve a 120-month-term of imprisonment.


The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey N. MacDonald is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 3, 2017

Drug Trafficking