Detention Ordered for El Paso Defendant Charged in Cocaine/Heroin Trafficking Indictment
In El Paso this afternoon, U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne T. Berton ordered 36 year-old Martin Arody Sanchez Aguirre held without bond pending trial on federal drug trafficking charges. Sanchez Aguirre is one of five individuals indicted earlier this month for trafficking in cocaine and heroin throughout the El Paso area from April 2014 through July 2015 announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Borak, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso Division.
This multi-year investigation targeted a drug trafficking organization based in Juarez, Mexico. The organization smuggled large quantities of heroin and cocaine from Juarez into El Paso, Texas, and distributed the drugs in various parts of the United States, including Chicago, Illinois. This investigation resulted in the seizure of over forty kilograms of cocaine and over ten kilograms of heroin.
On September 13, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Sanchez Aguirre, 47 year-old Ruben Abbud-Villarreal, 45 year-old Miguel Alonso Olaguez, 26 year-old Jose Guzman, and 33 year-old Jaime Gonzalez-Nava. Count one of the indictment charges all five defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. Count two of the indictment charges Gonzalez-Nava and Sanchez Aguirre with conspiracy to import more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. Count three of the indictment charges Abbud-Villarreal and Olaguez with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine in October 2014. Count four charges Guzman and Gonzalez-Nava with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. Count five charges Gonzalez-Nava with conspiracy to import heroin. Other members of this drug trafficking conspiracy have previously been federally prosecuted and are currently serving prison terms in the Bureau of Prisons.
All charges call for up to life in federal prison upon conviction. On Tuesday, Judge Anne T. Berton set bond at $35,000 each for Guzman and Olaguez. Abbud-Villarreal remains in custody pending trial. Gonzalez-Nava is in custody in Illinois awaiting transfer to the Western District of Texas. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.
These federal and state charges resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering operations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
It is important to note that 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.