Mission Man Convicted of Trafficking Marijuana
May 01 (CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) - Roberto Veliz, 34, a U.S. citizen from Mission, has been convicted of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury in Corpus Christi convicted Veliz this morning following a two-day trial and less than three hours of deliberation.
During trial, the government presented testimony that from Feb. 15, 2013, until Oct. 5, 2013, Veliz hired women to transport marijuana for him from Mission to places such as Houston and San Antonio. During that time, law enforcement agents seized more than 160 kilograms of marijuana from the women transporting the marijuana on his behalf. In addition to those amounts seized, trial evidence proved Veliz was transporting marijuana from Mission to Houston or San Antonio at least once a month, sometimes more. The marijuana was wrapped in plastic bundles and concealed inside suitcases.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, who presided over trial, has set sentencing for Aug. 5, 2014, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum of five and up to 40 years imprisonment as well as $5 million fine.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chad W. Cowan.