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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Federal and State Authorities Arrest 21 Individuals Based on San Antonio Federal Drug Trafficking Indictment

This morning, federal, state and local authorities arrested 15 individuals without incident, including San Antonio-based ringleaders Francisco Cerda and John Paul Flores, on federal drug charges stemming from a methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking investigation announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division; and, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

 

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges those arrested today, along with six additional defendants who were previously arrested, with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The defendants, with the exception of Romero-Zelaya, Alvarez-Torres, Sosa, Robinson, Rios and Olivas, are also charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Cerda also faces eight substantive drug distribution charges. Below is a list of the defendants.

 

In addition to the arrests, authorities have seized approximately 22 kilograms of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, and over $91,000 in U.S. Currency attributed to this organization during this investigation.

 

Upon conviction of either conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine or conspiracy to distribute cocaine, the defendants face sentences of up to 20 years in federal prison.

 

“The success of Operation Tango and Cash and the corresponding arrests serve as an example of the exceptional teamwork among law enforcement agencies in the San Antonio region. This operation dismantled the activities of a dangerous criminal organization that was responsible for smuggling and distributing large quantities of narcotics throughout the State of Texas. The DEA will continue to focus our resources on drug trafficking organizations that oversee, coordinate, and facilitate the transportation and distribution of illegal drugs in our communities,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit.

 

This investigation was conducted by the DEA, FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Marshals Service, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, San Antonio Police Department, Live Oak Police Department, Seguin Police Department, New Braunfels Police Department, and the Texas National Guard Counter Drug.

 

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.

 

U.S. v. Romero-Zelaya, et al. SA16cr799

 

Name, Age, Residence, Arrest Date, Remains in Custody

Francisco Cerda, 43, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Jon Paul Flores, 29, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Pedro Sosa, 40, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Pablo Rios, 43, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Frank Montejano, 32, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Andrew Flores, 33, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Jorge Navarro, 32, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Edward Saucedo, 33, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Jesse Flores, 30, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Isaac Hernandez, 33, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Joseph Acevedo, 22, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Maribel Rios, 37, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Quintin Vega, 29, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Alan Ramirez, 26, San Antonio, 1.12.17, Yes

Joel Olivas, 44, Arlington, TX, 1.12.17, Yes

Laura Romero-Zelaya, 38, Houston, TX, 10.4.16, On Bond

Jose Luis Alvarez-Torres, 29, San Antonio, 10.4.16, Yes

Victor Lamont Robinson, 29, San Antonio, 1.10.17, Yes

Frank Zepeda, 22, San Antonio, 1.10.17, Yes

Manuel Roel Castillo, 40, San Antonio, 1.10.17, Yes

San Juanita Rodriguez, 34, San Antonio, 1.10.17, On Bond

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated January 12, 2017