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Press Release

Mathis dealer sent to prison after attempting to dispose of two duffel bags full of narcotics and cash

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 45-year-old man has been sentenced for possession with intent to distribute meth, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Roberto Rivas aka Scarface pleaded guilty Jan. 3, 2023. 

U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton has now ordered Rivas to serve 180 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence regarding his lengthy criminal history which began when he was just 12 years old including the facts surrounding his arrest and his role in narcotics trafficking in Mathis. The court also heard how Rivas was a poly-substance, multi-kilogram narcotics distributor who had been operating for years in the Mathis area. 

The investigation began when Rivas sold meth to an informant for law enforcement. When authorities executed the arrest warrant for that sale, Rivas attempted to flee by running out of the back of his girlfriend’s house and hiding in the brush. 

Rivas then attempted to dispose of two duffel bags containing almost four kilograms of cocaine, over 2.5 kilograms of meth, 133 grams of heroin, 600 grams of marijuana and more than $90,000 in cash by throwing the additional evidence into the brush. The estimated street value of the cocaine and meth was approximately $114,000.   

However, law enforcement located Rivas and the duffel bags, and he was subsequently charged and pleaded guilty to the larger quantity of narcotics he attempted to throw away. 

Additionally, while executing a search of the residence, authorities located a hidden closet concealed as a bookshelf. Rivas admitted he had it built in the house to help him hide from authorities when they came to arrest him. 

Rivas’ girlfriend was also charged and convicted of harboring a fugitive for her role in helping him evade arrest in her home.

Rivas will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance the U.S. Marshals Service, Sheriff’s Offices in Live Oak and San Patricio Counties, George West Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara J. De Peña prosecuted the case.

Updated March 28, 2024

Drug Trafficking