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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

San Antonio Heroin and Cocaine Supplier Sentenced to Federal Prison

In San Antonio today, a federal judge sentenced 35-year-old Joe Anthony Ramirez to 15 years of imprisonment for supplying heroin for distribution throughout San Antonio, announced U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple, Houston Division.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery ordered Ramirez to be placed on supervised release for a period of 10 years after completing his prison term. 

On August 13, 2019, Ramirez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.  By pleading guilty, Ramirez admitted that he supplied heroin to two separate drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) – his own (Ramirez DTO) and the Sanchez DTO led by Andrew Sanchez, aka “Freight” and “Hakeem.” 

From May 2018 to March 2019, the Sanchez DTO was responsible for the distribution of heroin on the east side of San Antonio. The Sanchez DTO operated daily from about 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. as a full-scale delivery service for heroin to the street-level user. The organization members worked shifts in the various roles.  Ramirez’s own DTO, which included his dad and brother, distributed heroin and cocaine throughout the entire San Antonio area.

In November 2019, Judge Biery sentenced Sanchez to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.  To date, 12 individuals associated with the organizations Ramirez supplied have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 41 months to 180 months.

The DEA and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this case with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Seguin Police Department, Terrell Hills Police Department and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Fuchs and Fidel Esparza III  prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 9, 2021