Last Defendant in Major Marijuana Trafficking Organization Sentenced
May 22 (Louisville, KY) – The last of six defendants charged in a large marijuana syndication with ties to Mexico, Texas and Kentucky was sentenced today in United States District Court to ten years in prison followed by five years of supervised release, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division.
Exsaul Silva-Garcia, from McAllen, Texas, was convicted in U. S. District Court on February 23, 2012, following a four day trial by a federal jury on charges of possession with intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
According to information presented in court, on February 25, 2010, law enforcement intercepted a semi-tractor trailer carrying 3,766 pounds (1,711 kilograms) of marijuana, with a street value of $6,000,000 stored in a hidden compartment. Silva-Garcia was arrested, along with Rodrigo Macias-Farias, Rafael Lara-Gascon, Eladio Hernandez-Lopez, Jr., Carlos Mora-Sanchez, Fernando Cortez-Briones, and Cupertino Gonzalez-Alverado.
Following his release on bond, Silva-Garcia absconded and attempted to flee in order to avoid prosecution and punishment. Silva-Garcia failed to report as directed to Pretrial Services in early October, 2010, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. On June 24, 2011, Silva-Garcia was arrested by the United States Border Patrol in a remote area near the border between the United States and Mexico. Pursuant to the outstanding warrant Silva-Garcia was returned to Western District of Kentucky to stand trial. To date, all but one of the defendants has been convicted at trial or pled guilty to both counts of the second superseding indictment or the superseding indictment.
Macias-Farias, following a jury trial, was convicted on July 1, 2011, on both counts of the second superseding indictment and was sentenced to 320 months imprisonment.
Rafael Lara-Gascon has violated his bond and absconded, his current whereabouts are unknown.
Hernandez-Lopez, following a jury trial, was convicted on July 1, 2011, on both counts of the second superseding indictment and was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment.
Mora-Sanchez entered a guilty plea on June 23, 2011, to both counts of the second superseding indictment and was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment.
Cortez-Briones entered a guilty plea on July 26, 2010, to Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana the sole count of the superseding indictment (therefore he was not named in the Second Superseding Indictment) and was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment.
Gonzalez-Alverado entered a guilty plea on June 27, 2011, to both counts of the second superseding indictment and was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment.
Mejia-Rentaria entered a guilty plea on June 23, 2011, to both counts of the second superseding indictment and was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment.This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon and it was investigated by the DEA.