Texas “Mexikan” Mafia Members Sentenced to Long Prison Terms
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – During sentencing hearings that occurred over the course of the last two days, several members of the Texas “Mexikan” Mafia (TMM) have been ordered to significant terms in prison for their roles in a Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The hearings began yesterday and concluded today before Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey.
Gilberto Garcia, 37, of Corpus Christi ultimately received a sentence of 222 months in federal prison. Juan Felipe Bazan, 45, of Gregory; Rogelio Ramirez, 33, of Corpus Christi, Eusebio Castillo, 37, of Taft, and Roman Jose Zapata II, 33, of Corpus Christi, received respective sentences of 216, 110, 70, and 70 months in prison. Judge Rainey ordered Pedro Gonzales, 42, of Aransas Pass, to serve a 105-month-term, while David Gonzales, 36, of Aransas Pass, will serve 84 months.
All will also serve a three-year-term of supervised release following completion of their sentences.
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners will not allow organized criminal activities to wreak havoc our local communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Field Office. “We will fight organized crime wherever it may surface and continue to hold accountable those who seek to profit through illegal means.”
All of the defendants were charged in a conspiracy involving underlying criminal activities such as narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering from Nov. 1, 2013, through May 30, 2014.
Bazan was found to be a captain of the TMM, while Ramirez and Garcia were lieutenants. Pedro Gonzales was a sergeant. The remainder were “soldiers” or associates of TMM.
At a hearing that began last week, Judge Rainey heard testimony regarding the TMM, including its rules, which are included in the TMM “constitution.” The constitution states that the TMM is a criminal organization that deals in drugs, assassination contracts, prostitution, robbery and firearms. It also states that 10 percent of the profits from any business or interest shall be contributed to the organization, which is known as “the dime” and is the TMM’s primary source of income. The TMM collects “the dime” from members, prospective members or sympathizer. TMM members and prospective members often earn their income by threatening individuals with harm if they do not pay the TMM member for protection from other threats or by extorting others who traffic in illegal drugs. TMM members, prospective members and sympathizers also earn their income by trafficking in illegal drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.
Several others were previously sentenced to varying offenses in relation to the case. Their sentences ranged from 18 months to 80 months in federal prison. Other TMM members who have pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy include David Joe Maseda Jr., 38, of Houston; Jose Mireles, 34, of Ingleside; Robert Anthony Trevino, 52, Jose Jesus Toledo, 41, Abelardo Pena, 49, all of Victoria; and Bruce Lee Cisneros, 41, of Robstown. They, as well as Daisy Cruz Ortiz, 28, of Aransas Pass, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine) with Maseda, are still pending their sentencing hearings.
With the exception of Ortiz, who had been previously released on bond, all have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to U.S. Bureau of Prisons facilities to be determined in the near future.
The FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Marshals Service; Texas Department of Public Safety; Customs and Border Protection; Victoria County Sheriff’s Office; and police departments in Corpus Christi, Port of Corpus Christi, Victoria, Portland, Aransas Pass and Ingleside all assisted in the joint investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hess is prosecuting the case.