Seventeen San Antonio-based members of the Texas Syndicate (TS) have been charged by federal grand jury indictment with conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. The announcement was made today by United States Attorney Robert Pitman, DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier Pena, U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte, ATF Special Agent in Charge J. Dewey Webb, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCullough, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed, Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
The TS members charged in the RICO conspiracy include: Rolando “Black Rabbit” Muniz, 31; Andrew “Dirty” Vidaurri, 30; Timothy “Kilo” Jimenez, 38; Ruben “RC” Carranza, 46; Anselmo “Elmo” Nieto, 25; Raymond “Minor” Ramirez, 40; Roberto “Rico” Rodriguez, 52; Jerry “Pelon” Donel, 30; Leroy “Caveman” Maciel, 50; Nicolas “Straps” Blanco, 25; Fernando “Li’l Fern” Gonzalez, 37; Ramiro “Ram” De La Rosa, 25; Manuel Mancha, 25; Mark Anthony “Jax” Jimenez, 25; Francisco “Pancho” Arroyo, 32; Adam “Rookie” Chavez, 28; and Alejandro “Alex Kenwood” Flores, 30.
This morning, federal, state and local authorities arrested Ramirez, Rodriguez, Donel, Gonzalez, Mancha and Chavez. The remaining defendants were in custody prior to today on other charges.
A seven-count superseding indictment, returned yesterday and unsealed this morning, alleges that beginning in January 2008 until the present, the defendants conspired to engage in a pattern of organized criminal conduct including four murders, two attempted murders, conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and other crimes in furtherance of the goals and the mission of the Texas Syndicate.
The conspiracy charge alleges responsibility for nine racketeering acts: 1) the murder of George Escobedo on October 25, 2008; 2) the murder of George Davenport on October 28, 2008; 3) conspiracy to murder members of the Tango Orejon/Orejones gang; 4) the attempt to murder Rodolfo Gonzalez on March 22, 2011; 5) the attempt to murder Miguel Ojeda on March 25, 2011; 6) the murder of Troy Lambirth on March 26, 2011; 7) the murder of Priscilla Ann Vidaurri on July 2, 2011; 8) conspiracy to murder and the attempted murder of Andrew Vidaurri on July 2, 2011; 9) conspiracy to murder Javier “Fierro” Penuelaz; and, 10) distribution of cocaine and heroin since January 2009.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Vidaurri is charged with three counts of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, namely the shooting deaths of Escobedo, Davenport and Lambirth, for the purpose of gaining entry to and maintaining and increasing his position in the TS. The indictment also charges De La Rosa with aiding and abetting Vidaurri in Lambirth’s murder.
Additionally, Muniz, Timothy Jimenez, Carranza, Nieto, Donel, Maciel, Gonzalez, Mancha, Mark Jimenez, Arroyo and Chavez are charged with committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, namely the shooting death of Priscilla Ann Vidaurri on July 2, 2011, for the purpose of gaining entry to and maintaining and increasing their position in the TS.
Furthermore, Muniz, Vidaurri, Nieto, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Blanco, DeLaRosa and Flores are charged with one count of violent crime in aid of racketeering. The indictment alleges that between September 30, 2009 and July 2, 2011, the defendants conspired to murder members of a group known as Tango Blast or Orejones, for the purpose of gaining entry to and maintaining and increasing their position in the TS.
Finally, the indictment also charges Ramirez and Maciel with one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Ramirez and Maciel allegedly conspired between February 24, 2011, and September 5, 2011, to murder Javier “Fiero” Penuelaz.
Upon conviction, the defendants face up to life in federal prison or death for the RICO conspiracy and for each violent-crime-in-aid-of-racketeering charge; and, up to ten years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit murder.
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and it’s Task Force; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; United States Marshals Service; Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, and the San Antonio Police Department. The DEA Task Force is comprised of members of the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, Balcones Heights Police Department, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, New Braunfels Police Department, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, Terrell Hills Police Department, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Inspector General; and the Texas National Guard. Assistant United States Attorneys Joey Contreras and Karen Norris are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.