Former Laredo/Dallas Business Owner Heads to Prison in Large Marijuana Case
APR 29 (LAREDO, Texas) – Marco Antonio Marchan, 45, has been ordered to federal prison for engaging in a conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury convicted Marchan Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered he serve a sentence of 210 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by a five-year-term of supervised release.
At the hearing, additional information was presented to include that Marchan was was not just any offender, but a leader/organizer in a long standing conspiracy. The government argued Marchan had been engaged in drug trafficking on a long-term basis and that between 2008 and 2009 alone he arranged for others to transport more than 8,500 kilograms of marijuana from Laredo to the Dallas area. The government noted that the evidence presented at trial established Marchan was the man who coordinated and arranged for the delivery of several loads of marijuana from Laredo to Dallas. Marchan would call upon co-defendants to deliver the drugs to warehouses in Laredo to his drivers who would then transport it to Dallas. Marchan would then dictate where and to whom the marijuana would ultimately be delivered. Marchan would set the price of the marijuana in Dallas in order to ensure he would profit from the endeaver.
Further information was also presented today to indicate Marchan obstructed and impeded justice when he indirectly attempted to intimidate and otherwise influence a witness who was set to testify against him.
The court concurred and found him to be a leader/organizer, that he did in fact obstruct justice and, therefore, was subject to a significant sentence. Following the hearing, a family member of Marchan stood and protested the sentence.
During trial, evidence was presented that Marchan was a former Laredo resident who had several businesses but moved to the Dallas area in 2008, where he operated a business known as Bumper World. According to testimony, upon moving there, he began coordinating to have Los Zetas supply him with multi-ton quantities of marijuana in the Laredo area for ultimate delivery to him in the Dallas area.
A former co-conspirator testified that Marchan had previously been kidnapped by the Zetas for a drug debt and decided to move his drug trafficking operation to the Dallas area. From 2008 to 2009, Marchan had been supplied with at least six marijuana loads. The investigation revealed Marchan’s co-conspirators had sent him 5,500 pounds to the Dallas area on Nov. 30, 2009, and then an additional load of 1,132 kilograms three days later.
Between Nov. 24, 2009, through Dec. 2, 2009, Marchan recruited a person to secure a warehouse and truck driver who could deliver 1,300 kilograms of marijuana from Laredo to Dallas. That person reported the incident to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and an undercover operation was launched during which time agents coordinated to receive the marijuana.
Marchan ordered the drugs to be delivered to a certain address on Dan Morton Street in Dallas. Marchan’s Bumper World business trucks were seen throughout the area conducting counter surveillance while the transaction was underway. Marchan’s people also followed a white van to a second location where the marijuana was off-loaded from the undercover tractor trailer to the van. The white van then transported the marijuana to a third location, a residence on Lynnacre in Dallas. There, a search warrant was executed which resulted in the discovery of the 1,132 kilograms of marijuana in the van. An additional 2,877 kilograms of marijuana was also found inside the residence which was believed to be the load sent to Marchan on Nov. 30, 2009.
The total weight of marijuana seized by DEA Laredo and Dallas was 4009 kilograms with a value of more than $2.5 million.
The jury deliberated for less than an hour in returning the guilty verdict against Marchan in December 2013.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by DEA Laredo and Dallas with the assistance of local Dallas law enforcement authorities and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Lou Castillo and Sanjeev Bhaskar.