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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 7, 2021

Lil’ Rob gets significant sentence in federal firearms and drug trafficking case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 36-year-old Corpus Christi gang member with a lengthy criminal history has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of firearms and drug trafficking offenses, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

A federal jury convicted Robert Loya aka Lil’ Rob May 20 for possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a pistol and a stolen .50 caliber long-range rifle following a two-day trial and approximately 45 minutes of deliberation. He is a convicted felon and ranking member of the Texas “Mexikan” Mafia.

Today, U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton handed Loya a total sentence of 360 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard that Loya had continued his drug trafficking activities, even after his arrest, by directing a female accomplice to smuggle narcotics into the facility where he was incarcerated.  

Authorities obtained information through an unrelated investigation in Laredo that led to the execution of a search warrant at Loya’s residence Feb. 21, 2020. At that time, law enforcement seized two firearms, assorted ammunition and over seven kilograms of meth. The jury also heard that Loya was on federal supervised release for a previous firearms conviction at the time of the search. However, he had not provided his supervision officer with his actual address, falsely claiming to live with his parents next door.

After the search, Loya fled the area and remained a fugitive for almost three months before his arrest May 13, 2020, in Corpus Christi near his girlfriend’s home.

He has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Corpus Christi Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Molly K. Smith and Brittany L. Jensen prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated October 7, 2021