Seven Arrested In Federal Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering Conspiracy
A Defendant Is Presumed Innocent Unless And Until Convicted Through Due Process Of Law.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A three-count indictment was partially unsealed following the arrests of several Corpus Christi residents and their appearances in federal court on various drug trafficking and money laundering charges, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Rocky Bazaldua aka “Rock,” 31; David Pete Dominguez aka “Buda,” 30; Juliann Gutierrez, 24, and Jose Fidel Guajardo aka “Garfield,” 40, made their appearance in federal court yesterday and are set for an arraignment and detention hearing on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. Ignacio Pena aka “Nacho,” 44; Manuel Pena aka “Super,” 47; and Raul Leal Martinez aka “Indio” aka “Wahoo,” 36, appeared today and are set for their arraignment and detention hearing Monday, Jan. 14, at 10:00.
The indictment remains sealed as to those charged but not yet taken into custody.
The defendants are charged with conspiring from Dec. 1, 2008, to Dec. 12, 2012, to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. A second count alleges Manuel Pena, Ignacio Pena, Martinez, Guajardo and Bazaldua conspired during that same time period to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years up to life in prison as well as a maximum $10 million fine.
Manuel Pena, Martinez and Guajardo are also charged with conspiring to launder the proceeds of distributing controlled substances. If convicted of that offense, they face another 20-year term of imprisonment and a possible $500,000 fine.
The government also gave notice in the indictment of the intention to seek forfeiture of five properties owned by Manuel Pena, Martinez or Guajardo.
This case was investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force which included Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Nueces and Kleberg County Sheriff’s Offices and the Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass and Portland Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.