LAREDO, TX – Two separate indictments have been partially unsealed following the arrest of seven Texas residents on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Two sealed indictments were returned by a grand jury on August 28, 2012.
The first indictment alleges the Drug Trafficking Organization transported five kilograms or more of cocaine since 2008. The indictment alleges members of the organization transported cocaine and/or drug proceeds to and from Mexico to Houston, Texas, and Miami, Fla., on a regular basis. Those arrested today for their roles in this conspiracy include Salvador Rodriguez-Fajardo, 37, Juan Ramon Ibarra, Jr., 30, Laura Rodriguez, 41, Ricardo Garza, 39, Alberto Sauceda, 38, and Moises Andrade, 20, all of Laredo, Texas.
If convicted of the charges in this indictment, these six face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison and a possible $10 million fine. The United States is also seeking a money judgment in the amount of $2,408,204.
The second indictment alleges that Roberto Garcia, 27, of Houston, conspired to possess 100 kilograms or more of marijuana with the intent to distribute that substance from September 2011 to the date of the indictment.
If convicted of this charge, Garcia faces at least five and up to 40 years in federal prison as well as a $5 million fine. The United States is also seeking a money judgment in the amount of $26,000 in relation to this indictment.
The case is the result of a two year investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys James Hepburn and Elizabeth Rabe are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law