Members of Crack Cocaine Distribution Ring Sent to Federal Prison
JULY 18 (McALLEN, Texas) ––Alfredo Barrientos, 30, of Rio Grande City, and Mexican National Esteban Trevino, 39, have been ordered to prison following their convictions in relation to a crack cocaine trafficking conspiracy, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The two men pleaded guilty on March 4, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed Barrientos and Trevino federal prison sentences of 85 and 30 months, respectively, for possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Barrientos also received a three-year-term of supervised release. Not a U.S. citizen, Trevino is expected to face deportation proceedings following completion of his prison term.
In August 2011, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Rio Grande City Police Department launched an investigation into a crack cocaine distribution network in Rio Grande City. Following an investigation that included 20 drug transactions involving informants and undercover agents that resulted in the seizure of more than 180 grams of crack cocaine, a federal grand jury indicted 11 Rio Grande City residents including the defendants on Nov. 13, 2012. The investigation revealed the crack cocaine distribution network relied upon the use of at least four residential homes in Rio Grande City where drug buyers could purchase crack cocaine around the clock.
The evidence presented during the hearing today showed Barrientos assisted his brother, Emmanuel Barrientos, in the crack distribution ring that included Juan Trevino and Esteban Trevino. The group sold large quantities of crack from two adjacent residences in Rio Grande City. In handing down these sentences, Judge Alvarez noted the harm the defendants had inflicted upon their community and strongly admonished them for dealing drugs from their residences in the midst of their families including small children.
Both will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The remaining nine defendants ensnared in the year-long investigation have been convicted. On May 21, 2013, Judge Alvarez sentenced Emmanuel Barrientos, 33, to 168 months in federal prison, Juan Trevino, 38, to 82 months of confinement, while Jose Huerta, 29, and Eliza Escobar, 30, each received sentences of 12 months imprisonment.
Nancy Cantu, 32, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, while Melissa Wolf, 48, received 33 months of incarceration. Luciano Lopez III, 46, and Nancy Clarke, 39, await sentencing before Judge Hinojosa on Aug. 16, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. Israel Pena is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 27, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.This case was investigated by the DEA and the Rio Grande City Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Grady J. Leupold and Jason Honeycutt.