Two men sent to prison in meth trafficking conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
McALLEN, Texas – Two men charged in connection to multiple tractor trailers loads with meth have been ordered to prison, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Dorian Hazel Ruiz-Chavez, 36, a citizen of Mexico unlawfully in the United States, pleaded guilty Oct. 25, 2022, while Mario Alberto Ortiz, 43, Edinburg, plead guilty Oct. 3, 2022.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Ruiz-Chavez to serve 190 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. Ortiz was ordered to serve a 168 months in federal prison and further ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that Ortiz owned a tractor trailer transport company and used his legitimate tractors to help transport narcotics. In sentencing Ruiz, the court noted he had direct contact with the Mexican suppliers. Even though law enforcement had seized large narcotics loads, it did not deter him from again transporting large quantities of 100% pure meth.
Judge Alvarez previously sentenced Luis Ramos, 35, Donna, to 70 months for his involvement.
Roel Longoria, 34, Edinburg, pleaded guilty June 23, 2022, for his role and is scheduled for sentencing May 17.
In September 2020, law enforcement initiated an investigation into a drug trafficking organization in the Rio Grande Valley. They were believed to be involved with the importation of narcotics from Mexico utilizing commercial tractor trailers with hidden compartments.
Ruiz-Chavez would coordinate with a Mexican narcotics supplier who would send the tractor trailers across into the United States. Once there, Ruiz-Chavez worked with additional individuals to store and transport the trailers further north. Longoria and Ortiz were tasked with finding willing drivers to transport the narcotics-laden trailers after they entered the United States.
On Nov. 12, 2020, law enforcement seized a tractor trailer after it entered the United States through the Laredo Port of Entry. The trailer contained 119 kilograms of meth within a hidden compartment. On April 26, 2021, law enforcement again seized a tractor trailer after it entered the United States through the Pharr Port of Entry. The trailer contained 90 kilograms of meth within a hidden compartment. Both trailers were supposed to be transported at the direction of Ruiz-Chavez.
Following the seizures, the organization changed tactics and began to transport narcotics in smaller loads within passenger vehicles.
On May 12, 2021, Ramos received 42 kilograms of meth and was to transport it the following day in his personal vehicle. However, authorities stopped him and took him into custody. Ortiz recruited Ramos to transport the narcotics.
Ruiz-Chavez and Ortiz have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia prosecuted the case.
Updated March 7, 2023