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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Friday, July 25, 2014

Three Sentenced For Money Laundering And Drug Trafficking Crimes

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Three Brownsville residents have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Roberto Ruiz aka Bobby, 38, Rodolfo Ruiz Jr. aka Pollo, 26, and Jose Luis Guerrero aka Pana, 41, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and conspiring to launder the drug proceeds.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Roberto Ruiz to 140 months, while Rodolfo Ruiz and Guerrero received respective sentences of 100 and 160 months. All will also have to serve five years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms. As part of his plea agreement, Robero Ruiz agreed to forfeit his interest in his residence in Brownsville.

In assessing her sentence, Judge Ramos noted the length of the conspiracy, which was Jan. 1, 2005, to Aug. 28, 2013. She also noted that Roberto Ruiz had a leadership role in the organization. Guerrero, she noted, had an extensive criminal history.

Also charged and convicted were Peter Morales aka Pirucha, 31, of Houston, and Leonel Mendoza Diaz aka Masacuata, 39, of Brownsville. They pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy and were previously sentenced to 135 months in prison. Ricardo Olivas aka Bugs, 42, and Mario de la Fuente, 37, both of Brownsville, also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the conspiracies and will be sentenced at a later date.

All defendants have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case was investigated through a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, sheriff’s offices in Cameron and Willacy Counties, as well as police departments in Brownsville, Port Isabel, Harlingen and San Benito. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.

Updated April 30, 2015