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Press Release

Federal Prison Sentences Handed Down for “Crack” Cocaine and Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation In and Around Taylor, TX

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In Austin today, a federal judge sentenced 17 individuals, including ringleader Horace Lee Caruther, for their alleged roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in and around the Taylor, TX, area announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sentenced:

  • Horace Lee Caruther, age 43 of Round Rock, TX, to 210 months in federal prison;
  • William Collins (aka “Bugs”), age 62 of Taylor, TX, to 87 months in federal prison;
  • Trevor Deshaun Hunt, age 26 of Taylor, to 57 months in federal prison;
  • Gregory Bean, Jr., age 45 of Pflugerville, TX, to 15 months in federal prison;
  • Robert Carl White, age 39 of Temple, TX, to 77 months in federal prison;
  • Angel Amado Rodriguez, age 24 of Austin, to 188 months in federal prison;
  • Kenneth Xavier Garza, age 23 of Austin, to 60 months in federal prison;
  • Esmerelda Rodriguez, age 23 of Austin, to three years probation;
  • Salomon Orozco-Benitez (aka “Viejito”), age 34 of Austin, to 168 months in federal prison;
  • Elias Montiel, age 27 of Sanford, NC, to 46 months in federal prison;
  • Federico Alvarez-Mendoza, age 37 of Cameron, NC, to 30 months in federal prison;
  • David Ibarra, age 26 of Broadway, NC, to 30 months in federal prison;
  • Miguel Benitez-Benitez (aka “Daniel Sanchez Benitez”), age 39 of Pflugerville, to 262 months in federal prison;
  • Sandra Parra-Velez (aka “La Coyota”), age 34 of Austin, to 70 months in federal prison;  
  • Jose Parra-Martinez (aka “Vitaminas”), age 36 of Austin, to 60 months in federal prison;
  • Maria Loreto Bustamonte, age 53 of Laredo, TX, to time served (approx. 14 months incarceration); and,
  • Ana Patricia Gonzalez, age 48 of Laredo, to three years probation.

Previously, Garza and Parra-Martinez pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and Esmerelda Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of felony.  The remaining defendants mentioned above pleaded guilty to either conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine or possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Co-defendant James Wilbert McNeil, age 71 of Round Rock, was sentenced on August 27, 2018, to time served (approx. 9 months incarceration) after pleading guilty to one count of misprision of felony.  Also, co-defendant Jesus Parra-Martinez (aka “Chuy”), age 24 of Austin, was sentenced on October 26, 2018, to 87 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. 

According to court records, from July 2016 to October 2017, members of this organization were responsible for the distribution of large amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine and diverted pharmaceutical narcotics. The narcotics would be transported from Laredo to Central Texas and ultimately to areas across the U.S., including North Carolina, for further distribution. Defendants would also collect, transport and launder cash proceeds derived from the sale of narcotics. To date, this investigation has resulted in the arrests and conviction of 20 defendants; and, the seizure of $161,020 in U.S. Currency, six kilograms of cocaine, two ounces of “crack” cocaine, 42 pounds of marijuana and, three guns.

The DEA Austin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force investigated this case. The Austin Police Department, Cedar Park Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Lakeway Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are participating agencies in the HIDTA Task Force.

The principal mission of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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.

Updated November 20, 2018

Drug Trafficking