Quiroga Brothers Sentenced in Drug and Bulk Cash Smuggling Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
LAREDO, Texas – Two brothers have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to smuggle bulk cash from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Mario Luis Quiroga Trevino, 43, a Mexican national who was illegally residing in Laredo, his brother Javier Quiroga, 48, of Laredo, pleaded guilty Nov. 6, 2018.
Today, Visiting U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle sentenced Quiroga to a total of 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court noted that although not as highly-involved in the conspiracy as was his brother, Quiroga could not justify being a minor player. He engaged in continuing criminal activity over several months and played a role in storing, transporting and delivering cocaine as well as recruiting a driver to transport a load of cocaine to the Houston area.
The court sentenced Trevino April 9, 2019, to 120 months on the drug conspiracy and 60 months for the other charge to run concurrently. In imposing the sentence, the court found him to be an organizer, leader and manager. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his term of imprisonment.
The two brothers were involved in the conspiracy which spanned from April 1, 2015, to on or about Oct. 16, 2015.
The investigation identified the brothers’ involvement in three seizures related to the overall conspiracy. The first occurred April 1, 2015, when Quiroga, at the direction of his brother, delivered more than two kilograms of cocaine at a gas station on Mines Road in Laredo.
Then, on Oct. 21, 2015, Trevino coordinated with his brother to transport more than 20 kilograms of cocaine from Laredo to the Houston area. Authorities observed Trevino delivering the cocaine to Quiroga’s residence in Laredo. Quiroga then delivered the narcotics to another individual who arranged to have the cocaine transported to Houston for delivery. Law enforcement seized the 20 brick of cocaine which had an estimated value of approximately $500,000.
The third incident involved the seizure of $12,000. According to their admissions at the time of their pleas, Quiroga traveled to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, to pick up $12,000 at his brother’s direction. Quiroga then smuggled it into the United States through the port of entry at Laredo. Quiroga then transferred that money to someone who had secured a truck driver to transport a load of cocaine from Laredo to the Houston area.
Trevino has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Quiroga was allowed to remain on bond pending surrender at a later date.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Lou Castillo is prosecuting the case.
Updated April 10, 2019