Federal Jury in Del Rio Convicts Texas Syndicate Member
In Del Rio yesterday, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against a Texas Syndicate member for various violations of federal racketeering offenses committed in Uvalde, San Antonio and the surrounding areas announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division. The Defendant faces life in prison for each racketeering offense he has been found guilty of committing.
Jurors convicted 39-year-old George “Curious” Sanchez of Uvalde, Texas, of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Sanchez is a member of the Texas Syndicate and along with fourteen other members and associates, conspired since 2002 to commit 3 murders, and conspired to distribute controlled substances. He also was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and murder in aid of racketeering for the murder of Rogelio Mata on October 13, 2002 in Uvalde, Texas. Mr. Mata was murdered for failing to follow the rules of the Texas Syndicate.
According to testimony at trial, the Texas Syndicate is a violent prison gang that has spread its influence into Texas cities and towns. Members of the Texas Syndicate are bound by a set of rules that ensure loyalty and participation in the enterprise’s criminal activities and are subject to strict and harsh discipline, including death, for violating the rules. The rules require that a member continue his participation in the organization even after his release from prison. Membership is for life and the gang comes first above all else, to include family.
On July 1, 2013, in a jury trial in Del Rio, Texas, Sanchez’s co-defendants Raul “Fatboy” Rodriquez of Uvalde, Texas, Mike “Big Mike” Cassiano of Uvalde, Texas and Cristobal “Little Cris” Velasquez of Uvalde, Texas, were convicted of conspiracy to violate the RICO statute. Rodriquez also was convicted of the substantive charge of violent crime in aid of racketeering for the murder of Rogelio Mata in Uvalde, Texas on October 13, 2002. Velasquez was found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent crime in aid of racketeering and the substantive charge of violent crime in aid of racketeering for the murder of Jose Guadalupe de la Garza on December 25, 2005 in Uvalde, Texas. Cassiano also was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit violent crime in aid of racketeering for the murder of Jose Guadalupe de la Garza on December 25, 2005 in Uvalde, Texas, and the November 9, 2009 murder of Jesse James Polanco in Uvalde, Texas. All three are currently awaiting sentencing.
In addition, the following 10 co-defendants are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty prior to trial for violating the RICO statute: Sotero Rodriguez Martinez (a.k.a. “June”), of Uvalde, Texas; Chuco Mario Martinez (a.k.a. “Mariachi”), of Uvalde, Texas; Jose Andres Torres (a.k.a. “Yogi”), of Uvalde, Texas; Larry Munoz, Jr. (a.k.a. “Little Larry”), of Uvalde, Texas; Brian Esparza (a.k.a. “Tata”), of Uvalde, Texas; Charles Esparza (a.k.a. “Horse”), of Uvalde, Texas; Ervey Sanchez (a.k.a. “Mad Max”), of Uvalde, Texas, Mark Anthony Vela, of Hondo, Texas; Mario Alberto Gonzales (a.k.a. “The Enforcer”), of Hondo, Texas and, Charles Olan Quintanilla, of Hondo, Texas.
The case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Texas Department of Public Safety--Criminal Investigations Division, San Antonio Police Department, Medina County Sheriff’s Office and the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office. Also assisting in the investigation was the 38th Judicial District Adult Probation Gang Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Customs and Border Protection and the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Department assisted in making the arrests. The case against Defendant Sanchez was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick Burke, Ralph Paradiso and Matthew Watters.