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Press Release

Texas Chicano Brotherhood general sent to prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

VICTORIA, Texas – A 53-year-old resident of Harlingen has been ordered to prison for his role in a cocaine conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.  

Tony “Klownman” Torres, a general within the Texas Chicano Brotherhood criminal organization, pleaded guilty Nov. 8 , 2022, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey ordered Torres to prison for 10 years to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.

The Texas Chicano Brotherhood is a prison gang operating primarily in the Rio Grande Valley. Many members of the criminal organization have been convicted of crimes that include murders, home invasions, kidnappings and drug trafficking.

“Gangs like the Texas Chicano Brotherhood often rely on trafficking deadly narcotics to fund their operations and other illicit criminal activities,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mario Trevino of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Corpus Christi. “By working alongside our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to disrupt their drug trafficking operations, we are able to keep these deadly poisons from destroying countless lives and prevent the gang from raising the criminal proceeds that they need to reign terror on our local communities.”

The investigation began in 2016 and revealed the drug trafficking operation involved the distribution of over five kilograms of cocaine. It led to the identities of at least 70 Texas Chicano Brotherhood members and exposed the organization’s rank and structure.

Torres was one of two generals and oversaw the groups criminal activities in the “free world” after they were released from prison. Torres was found to have distributed cocaine in the Harlingen area as his part of the overall conspiracy.

Ultimately, law enforcement conducted a search warrant at his residence which resulted in the seizure of a .357 Smith & Wesson revolver. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited per federal law of possessing a firearm or ammunition.  

Torres has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Torres is the third high-ranking member of the gang to be sentenced in the case. In 2020, Judge Rainey sentenced Ricardo Garcia, Rio Grande City, to a 20-month-term of imprisonment, while Rafael Diaz, also of Rio Grande City, received a sentence of 145 months. Garcia and Diaz are a major and captain, respectively, in the Texas Chicano Brotherhood organization.

HSI conducted the investigation along with Texas Department of Public Safety; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Border Prosecution Unit from the Starr County and Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office and Texas Office of the Attorney General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patti Hubert Booth and David Paxton prosecuted the case.

Updated January 10, 2023

Drug Trafficking