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Press Release

Four Alleged Fentanyl Traffickers Arrested in Connection to Army Spouse Death

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

WACO, Texas– Four individuals have been arrested on criminal charges related to their alleged involvement in fentanyl trafficking resulting in the death of the dependent spouse of a Fort Cavazos soldier.

According to court documents, Julio Bonilla-Tirado aka “Falo,” 36, of Copperas Cove; Gilberto Hernandez-Marin aka “Joyto,” aka “Lento,” aka “El Viejo,” 28, of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico; Juan Cabral aka “Juanki,” 31, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico; and Adxel Romero-Flores aka “Axel,” 31, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico were allegedly responsible for transporting more than two pounds of fentanyl pills into the Central Texas area, some of which caused the death of a U.S. Army dependent spouse. 

Bonilla-Tirado was arrested by Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the Copperas Cove Police Department in Copperas Cove on Sept. 14. Hernandez-Marin was arrested by the Puerto Rico Police Department on Oct. 8. Cabral was captured by the United States Marshal Service Puerto Rico Fugitive Task Force on Oct. 19. Romero-Flores is currently incarcerated within the judicial system of Puerto Rico for an unrelated criminal offense and is pending transfer into federal custody.

Bonilla-Tirado, Cabral, Romero-Flores, and Hernandez-Marin are all charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 400 grams of fentanyl resulting in death and unlawful communications. If convicted, each defendant faces a penalty of 20 years to life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Maria Thomas for the Army CID Central Texas Field Office made the announcement.

Army CID is investigating the case with valuable assistance provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division; the Killeen Police Department; the Copperas Cove Police Department; and the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Blanton is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated October 25, 2023

Drug Trafficking