Andrews Man Sentenced to 210 Months in Federal Prison
NOV 05 -- Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit of the Drug Enforcement Administration--El Paso Division and United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced today that Jose “Pepe” Aguilera, 39, of Andrews, was sentenced to 17½ years in federal prison and five years of supervised release today following his guilty pleas in August to Conspiracy to Distribute 5 Kilograms or more of Cocaine and to five additional counts of Aiding and Abetting in the Distribution of Cocaine. He and three others were indicted in May and June of this year, and Mendoza pled guilty on August 19, 2010.
Also indicted in the case were Manuel Saldana, 32, Louis Alvarez, 22, and Manuel Rondan, 24, all of Andrews. Saldana pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on August 13, 2010, and is awaiting sentencing. Alvarez pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on July 13, 2010, and was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release on October 6, 2010. Rondan also pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on July 21, 2010, and was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release on October 28, 2010.
According to public documents filed in the case, from 2007 to 2009, several of Aguilera’s associates, including Rondan and Alvarez, would accompany Aguilera and travel from Andrews to South Texas monthly where Aguilera would obtain roughly three kilograms of cocaine at a time in Mission or McAllen, Texas. Motel receipts show at least 25 separate trips in which Aguilera or his associates booked rooms during that time. Once in Andrews, Rondan, Alvarez, Manuel Saldana, and others would obtain cocaine from Aguilera to sell to various customers in Andrews, Texas from that supply. Saldana, at times, sold a kilogram of cocaine per month during the period he was supplied by Aguilera, and he had several thousand dollars in cash in his vehicle when he was arrested in June of this year.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Andrews Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Parras.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.