AUG 02 (EL PASO, Texas) - Twelve individuals involved in the transportation and storage of large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana have been arrested and are facing federal prosecution announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, United States Attorney Robert Pitman, and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich.
In a seven-count federal grand jury indictment, returned on July 24, 2013, 33 year old German Marin, 49 year old Maria Del Carmen Romero, 28 year old Jorge Alejandro Chairez-Marquez, 66 year old Luis Perez-Soto, 20 year old Mario Briones, 20 year old Genaro Garcia Martinez, 21 year old Cesar Emilio Torres,20 year old Janet Lara, 22 year old Kristen Denman, 21 year old Jovan Daniel Salazar, 31 year old Rosa Maria Fernandez, and 21 year old Gabriela Casarez were charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin and fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. On this charge, each of the Defendants faces a minimum sentence of ten years and up to life imprisonment. Romero, Briones, Garcia-Martinez, And Torres were also charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. On that charge, each faces a sentence of no less than five years and up to forty years imprisonment. Lara, Denman, Chairez-Marquez, Perez-Soto, and Salazar were also charged with possession and attempted possession with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. On that charge, each faces a minimum sentence of ten years and up to life imprisonment. Briones, Garcia-Martinez, and Torres were charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms of marijuana and face up to twenty years imprisonment on that charge. Fernandez was additionally charged with possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine and faces a sentence of no less than ten years and up to life imprisonment.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, together with the El Paso Police Department.
“The combined efforts of multiple agencies, including DEA, HSI/ICE and the El Paso Police Department, led to the indictments, arrests, and seizures in this case. We will continue to join forces with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to target and disrupt the smuggling and distribution of dangerous drugs. Working together, we can make positive inroads against the availability and abuse of these drugs, which have devastating health and societal effects in our communities,” said DEA-El Paso Division Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit.
"Our message to members of transnational drug trafficking rings is this: No matter how creative and devious your tactics, HSI and partner law enforcement agencies, such as the DEA, will hunt you down, arrest you and put you out of business and behind bars," said Dennis A. Ulrich, Special Agent in Charge of HSI El Paso.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law