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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 16, 2014

34 In Custody In Connection With Austin-Based Drug Distribution Operation

Federal and state authorities have arrested 24 individuals, including Austin lawyers Richard Patrick Fagerberg, age 45, and David Ramos, age 39, for their roles in a cocaine and methamphetamine distribution operation announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division. 

Two related federal grand jury indictments, unsealed this afternoon, charges those arrested, as well as ten others who were already in custody prior to today, with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.  A list of the defendants is below. 

According to the indictments, the defendants have allegedly participated in a conspiracy to distribute various amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine since May 2013.  During this 16-month-long operation, authorities have seized approximately 87 kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of methamphetamine, four firearms, close to $1.5 million in criminally derived assets in connection with this investigation.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities.  DEA, and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in Austin and throughout Texas, will remain relentless in our pursuit of the vicious criminal individuals and drug trafficking organizations who threaten our safety and stability. These arrests send a strong and unified message that these crimes will not be tolerated in our communities and those who commit these offenses will be brought to justice,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit.

Upon conviction, the defendants face statutory penalties of between ten years and life imprisonment or between five and 40 years imprisonment. 

“Organized crime and drug trafficking are a serious threat to public safety in Texas, and DPS vigilantly works alongside our law enforcement partners to detect, deter and dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in our communities,” said DPS Regional Commander Freeman Martin. “This long-term investigation is an ideal example of how law enforcement at all levels works together to put suspected criminals behind bars and protect Texans.”

These charges and arrests resulted from an investigation conducted by the Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.  The Austin HIDTA Task Force is made up of investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Park Police Department and the Georgetown Police Department.  Other agencies participating in today’s arrests include Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Marshals Service, Round Rock Police Department, Travis County District Attorney’s Office and the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Marshall and Dan Guess are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government. 

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.




ARRESTED YESTERDAY (24)

CASE #          NAME                                                  AGE   RESIDENCE        STAT. PENALTY

A14cr292        DAVID DEPAZ                                                       22        Austin, TX                  10 years to life
A14cr292        HECTOR MAYORGA                                          23        Austin                          10 years to life
A14cr292        ALVARO SALINAS                                              46        Austin                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        ARTHUR VILLALOBOS                                    34        Taylor, TX                   5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        JOEL AVILEZ-JAIMES                                      38        Austin                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        VERONICA DeLEON                                          31        Taylor                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        RENE PEREZ                                                         35        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr292        ALEJANDRO RODRIGUEZ                             41        Austin                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        FRANCISCO LOPEZ                                           38        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr292        FERNANDO TEJEDA                                        30        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr292        JAVIER TEJEDA                                                 24        Austin                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        ROGELIO VILLANUEVA                                 35        Austin                             5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        JAMES YERKES                                                  46        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr292        TIMOTHY COOPER                                          49        Debray, FL                    5 years to 40 years
A14cr300        RAY VILLEGAS                                                   42        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        VALERIA CUENCA                                            23        Kyle, TX                      10 years to life
A14cr300        ANTONIO NIETO                                              23        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        GERVACIO MORALES                                     31        Kyle                               10 years to life
A14cr300        BENJAMIN TYLER GOLDBERG                 26        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        VICTOR HUGO EXCALANO-ZUVIETA  25        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        RICHARD PATRICK FAGERBERG           45        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        DAVID RAMOS                                                   39        Austin                            10 years to life
A14cr300        EUGENIO LUCIO                                               60        San Benito, TX          10 years to life
A14cr300        JUAN MAXIMO RUIZ                                     33        Brownsville, TX        10 years to life

ALREADY IN CUSTODY PRIOR TO YESTERDAY (10)

CASE #          NAME                                                AGE   RESIDENCE       STAT. PENALTY

A14cr292        JOSE NIETO-FIGUEROA                             23        Pflugerville, TX       5 years to 40 years
A14cr292        RICARDO CRUZ                                               53        Pharr, TX                   10 years to life
A14cr292        GERARDO DIAZ                                               23        Austin, TX                 10 years to life
A14cr292        JUAN GONZALEZ                                           28        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        OSCAR ARMANDO AVILA-JAIMES     35        Austin                           10 years to life                       
A14cr300        ARMANDO GUTIERREZ                           40        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        JESUS ANGELOS DOMINGUEZ             29        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        OSCAR SUAREZ-LARA                               29        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        JOSE LUIS REYES-VALLE                        38        Austin                           10 years to life
A14cr300        ANTONIO de JESUS
                             HERNANDEZ-GONZALEZ                         29        Austin                           10 years to life

Updated December 15, 2014