Two Sentenced for Money Laundering, Drug Trafficking
May 18 - (McAllen, TX ) – Lauro Arturo Treviño Sr. and Roberto Lee Coronado have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a large scale drug trafficking organization operating out of Starr County, Texas, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Javier Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The men were convicted Feb. 6, 2012, after pleading guilty.
Treviño, 60, a legal permanent resident alien residing in Roma, Texas, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute approximately 818 kilograms of marijuana and was sentenced to 65 months imprisonment to be followed by a three year -term of supervised release. Coronado, 33, of Edinburg, Texas, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute approximately 285 kilograms of marijuana and received a 52-month-term of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. United States District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed down the sentences just a short time ago.
The convictions are the result of November 1, 2011, indictment charging more than 20 men with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana as well as substantive counts of drug trafficking and money laundering.
In June 2009, federal agents began investigating the organization which revealed that large loads of marijuana were being importing from Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Once the marijuana was in the United States, the organization stored it in various stash houses in Roma, Mission and Edinburg before transporting it to Houston. During the course of the investigation, agents seized 11 loads of marijuana weighing approximately 4,700 kilograms (five tons) and seized approximately $120,000 in drug proceeds.
The investigation revealed Treviño had contacts with the sources of supply and his role in the organization was to coordinate the transportation of marijuana from Starr County to Harris County, Texas. Coronado’s role in the organization involved taking possession of vehicles loaded with marijuana in Hidalgo County, Texas, and transporting the marijuana to various stash locations to await ultimate transportation to Harris County.
The men have been in custody since their arrest where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Felipe Ramirez, 28, a legal permanent resident residing in Roma, Texas, was sentenced on April 17, 2012, to 37 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute 285 kilograms of marijuana. Guadalupe Garcia, 53, of Houston, and Francisco Javier Treviño, 29, a legal permanent resident alien residing in Mission, Texa s, pleaded guilty Feb. 6, 2012, and are awaiting sentencing. On Feb. 29, 2012, Juan Norberto Moya, 51, and Jose Antonio Dominguez-Gonzalez, 24, both of Roma entered guilty pleas in relation to the case and are also pending sentencing along with eight others who were convicted March 23, 2012 - Miguel Angel Ramos-Lozano, 39, a legal permanent resident alien residing in Roma; Mario Alberto Trevino, 40, and Lauro Arturo Trevino Jr., 36, both of Roma; Jose Heriberto Jara, 41, a Mexican citizen residing in Penitas, Texas; Jose Roel Salinas, 55, of McAllen, Texas; Elias Loredo-Martinez, 42, a legal permanent resident alien residing in Escobares, Texas; and Baldomero Vega, 57, and Ivan Baldomero Vega, 31, both of Edinburg, Texas. The case against Walter Jorge Araiza-Rivera, 29, a Mexican citizen residing in Edinburg, is still pending.He is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
The charges against the remaining seven defendants, Jesus Eden Landa-Gomez, 38, Felix Landa-Gomez, 40, both of Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico; Luis Rios-Garza, 23, of Mission, Texas; Ismael Garcia-Gonzalez, 43, a Mexican citizen residing in Roma, Texas, and Luis Antonio Ramirez, 24, of Roma; Juan Garza, a Mexican citizen last known to reside in Houston; and Raul Rosillo, 59, of Alton, Texas; are fugitives and a warrant remains outstanding for their arrests. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact Drug Enforcement Administration at 956-992-8400.
The Organized Crime Drug Task Force Investigation dubbed Operation Dirty Dozen was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Anibal J. Alaniz is prosecuting the case.