Nine Charged In Federal Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering Conspiracies
A Defendant Is Presumed Innocent Unless And Until Convicted Through Due Process Of Law.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Several individuals have been taken into custody following the return of two separate, but related federal indictments alleging various drug trafficking and money laundering charges, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The first sealed indictment, returned Aug, 28, 2013, was unsealed this morning upon the arrests of Roberto Ruiz aka “Bobby,” 37, Mario Enrique de la Fuente, 36, Leonel Mendoza Diaz aka “Masacuata,” 39, and Jose Luis Guerrero aka “Pana,” 40, all of Brownsville. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice B. Ellington in Corpus Christi tomorrow. Rodolfo Ruiz Jr. aka “Pollo,” 25, also of Brownsville, is charged in the indictment but not as yet in custody.
Two others - Peter Morales aka “Pirucha,” 30, of Houston, and Ricardo Roberto Olivas aka “Bugs,” 41, of Brownsville, are also charged but currently in state custody. They are expected to make an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in Corpus Christi on the federal charges in the near future.
The defendants are charged with conspiring from Jan. 1, 2005 to Aug. 28, 2013, to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. If convicted of this offense, all face a minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment and a possible $10 million fine.
In addition, Roberto Ruiz, Rodolfo Ruiz, de la Fuente and Guerrero allegedly conspired during the same time period to launder the proceeds from distributing controlled substances and also face, upon conviction, a maximum 20 years imprisonment and $500,000 fine.
The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture of a property owned by Roberto Ruiz.
A separate indictment, returned Sept. 11, 2103, and unsealed today, charges Ricardo Estrada aka “Ricky,” 30, and Alfredo Reyes Jr., 32, both of Brownsville, with possessing and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 11.06 kilograms of cocaine. Estrada was taken into custody while Reyes is currently considered a fugitive. If convicted, they also face up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.
Warrants remain outstanding for the arrests of Reyes and Rodolfo Ruiz. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-877-WANTED2 (1-877-926-8332).
The investigation into these indictments are being conducted through a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Cameron and Willacy County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Brownsville, Port Isabel, Harlingen and San Benito Police Departments. The cases will be prosecuted in Corpus Christi by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.