Numerous Alleged Members of Narcotics Trafficking Organization Taken into Custody
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A total of nine men have been arrested following multiple enforcement actions in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Crowley, Louisiana, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
During enforcement actions on Thursday, law enforcement arrested Jesus Hector Garza Jr., 29, of Rancho Viejo; Gelacio Flores-Flores, 31, and Mayra Rodriguez, 39, both of Los Fresnos; and Silvia Sarai Cruz, 26, and Ramon Martin Arambula, 46, both of Brownsville. They made their initial appearances last week and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Igancio Torteya on Nov. 22, 2017.
Ramon Montoya, 42, of Brownsville, was previously taken into custody in Memphis, Tennessee. Rubaldino Pecina, 36, of San Benito, was arrested in Corpus Christi, on Friday afternoon, while Juana Alcocer, 38, of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was taken into custody Saturday as she entered the United States at the Veterans Bridge Port of Entry from Mexico. Today, law enforcement arrested John Fontenot, 46, of Crawley, Louisiana. Those four defendants are expected to appear in Brownsville in the near future.
On Oct. 31, 2017, a federal grand jury in Brownsville returned a 14-count indictment against Montoya – allegedly the leader of the organization and the others, alleging drug trafficking crimes related to marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. They allegedly transported marijuana for resale and sold crack cocaine in Cameron County. The charges also include delivering cocaine to Houston and methamphetamine to Louisiana.
The charges carry varying terms of imprisonment up to life depending on the counts charged as well as possible fines up to $10 million.
This was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation spanning two years. The FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration led the investigation with assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, Border Patrol, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, and police departments in Brownsville, Harlingen and Raymondville. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.