Robstown Based Heroin Conspiracy Dismantled
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The final member of a 10-defendant heroin and money laundering conspiracy has pleaded guilty, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jesus Gutierrez, 46, of Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and conspiracy to launder money.
The court learned today that the defendants had been part of a significant, long-term heroin distribution ring operating in Robstown. Evidence also showed that on Oct. 4, 2017, authorities seized approximately a kilogram of heroin and almost $100,000 during the arrests related to this investigation.
The evidence presented during today’s plea demonstrated that Gutierrez and his nephew, Enrique Gutierrez Jr., regularly obtained kilogram quantities of heroin during the conspiracy which was then distributed via the other defendants. The overall scope of the conspiracy was estimated to be between 10-30 kilograms of heroin. The conspiracy operated between April 2016 and October 2017, according to the evidence presented to the court.
Previously, Gutierrez Jr., 31, of Sandia, Louie Molina, 36, of Robstown, Arturo Garcia, 55, of Mathis, Michael Flores, 36, of Robstown, and Jesus Leal Jr., 34, of Robstown, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. Gutierrez Jr. also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder drug money as did Renee Gutierrez, 37, of Corpus Christi. Tim Molina, 34, of Robstown, Sakhone Chanhrattana, 35, of Jarrell, and Javier Ramirez, 52, of Alice, entered their pleas to possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Sentencing for Gutierrez has been set before Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos for Aug. 8, 2018. At that time, he faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for the conspiracy and a maximum of 20 years for the money laundering.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Muschenheim is prosecuting the case.