Roma Man Convicted Of Marijuana Conspiracy Using Boats To Navigate The Intra-coastal Waterway
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Alberto Lopez, aka Alberto Lopez-Reyna, 39, of Roma, has entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 100 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Lopez entered into a written plea agreement before Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack just a short time ago in Corpus Christi.
From November 2010 until his arrest in December 2012, Lopez facilitated the transportation of large amounts of marijuana concealed in the hulls of altered shallow-bottom fishing boats from Port Mansfield to Corpus Christi via the intra-coastal waterway in an effort to circumvent the United States Border Patrol checkpoints in Falfurrias and Sarita.
He admitted his role in supplying various loads of marijuana over the course of the conspiracy and mapping out boat docks in the Corpus Christi area that would be used to retrieve the marijuana-laden vessels for further transportation to Houston. The government detailed how four loads of marijuana were intercepted and a total of 1,600 kilograms of marijuana were seized over the last two years.
Members of the conspiracy who served as drivers include Lombardo Zarate, 49, Rogelio Mendoza, 37, Glen Dial 56, Luz Ramirez, 25, and Hector Perez-Gonzales, 39, all of whom have previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judges in Corpus Christi and have either been sentenced to terms of imprisonment at the Bureau of Prisons or await sentencing.
Lopez faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in prison as well as a possible $5 million fine and a substantial money judgment. Sentencing will be before Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack on a date yet to be determined.
This case is the result of a two-year investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Kingsville Narcotics Task force. Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston is prosecuting the case.