Rip Crew Member Sentenced to Federal Prison
McALLEN, Texas – The first defendant involved in a rip crew responsible for multiple home invasions and carjackings to steal narcotics in Hidalgo County has been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jorge Antonio Calvo-Ayala, 25, of Pharr pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Calvo-Ayala to serve 95 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court considered Calvo-Ayala’s role in a April 2017 home invasion in San Juan, in which members of the rip crew conducted a home invasion armed with firearms to steal more than seven kilograms of cocaine. Judge Alvarez stated that the members’ violent conduct will likely traumatize and haunt the eight-year-old child that was present during the home invasion.
Additional members of the rip crew are also responsible for a June 2015 carjacking in Mission, a February 2016 home invasion in Hidalgo, a July 2016 carjacking of an 18- wheeler in Edinburg, a November 2016 shoot-out involving an attempted carjacking in McAllen, a January 2017 carjacking in Palmview, a March 2017 carjacking in McAllen, an April 2017 home invasion in Mission, an April 2017 carjacking in Pharr, an April 2017 home invasion in San Juan, a June 2017 home invasion in McAllen, and a July 2017 home invasion in Mission. The members of the rip crew conducted each of the home invasions or carjackings in hopes of stealing controlled substances, primarily cocaine, from other individuals.
Those who have also pleaded guilty in the conspiracy and are pending sentencing include Danny Cano, 30, Antonio Javier Gomez aka “Little T,” 28, Marlyn Gonzalez, 39, and Arturo Vargas aka “Petu” or Cholo,” 35, all of Mission; Mexican nationals Miguel Marin Cerda aka “Tigre,” 30, Jose Garcia-De La Torre aka “Coco,” 22, Carlos Guadalupe Aquino-Pacheco aka “Tomy,” 20, Alfredo Avalos-Sanchez aka “Chore,” 26, Gustavo Angel DeLeon-Covarrubias aka “Tripa,” 19, and Jose Arturo Reyes-Sanche aka “Gordo,” 19; along with Juan Antonio Flores aka “Paisa,” 27, of Weslaco.
The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Crime Lab and police departments in McAllen, Pharr, San Juan, Mission and Palmview. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roberto Lopez Jr. and K. Alejandra Andrade prosecuted the case.