News Release
March 12, 2008

Investigation Results in Federal Indictments for Austin-Area Heroin Distribution Operation

MAR 12 -- Members of the Austin Police Department Narcotics Conspiracy Unit, U.S Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Hays County Narcotics Task Force, Williamson County Narcotics Division, Round Rock Police Department, and Lone Star Fugitive Task Force have concluded an extensive drug investigation resulting in federal indictments charging 37 defendants with operating a major heroin distribution organization in Austin and surrounding counties. The street value of the narcotics seized in this case is approximately $500,000.

The narcotics investigation began in December 2006 after reports of large amounts of heroin being distributed in the Austin area came to the attention of the Austin Police Department’s Organized Crime Division. During the investigation, more than seven pounds of Black Tar heroin and more than $150,000 in cash and weapons were seized from various members of this organization.

As a result of a mass roundup, 25 of 37 members of this heroin distribution organization have been arrested and are in federal custody. They are:

1) John Israel Sanchez (also known as “Filo”)
2) Tanya Marie Delossantos
3) Maria Saenz Turner
4) Teodoro Hector Munoz
5) Ruthie Maye Brown (also known as “Slim”)
6) Cesar Omar Santiago
7) Michael Rene Ponce
8) Rodrigo Anastacio Arevalo (also known as “Tacho”)
9) Joel Ybarra Jr.
10) Haley Ruth Skaggs
11) Cynthia Alba Ontiveros
12) Abel Ray Martinez (also known as “Raz”)
13) Jose Antonio Anzurez (also known as “Tigre”)
14) Maria Antionette Martinez
15) Sonya Ramona Lopez
16) James Barrietnes Guerra
17) Kurt Jurgen Simmons
18) Cuauhtemoc Lopez Alvarez (also known as “Temo”)
19) Stephen Thomas Burch
20) Vivian Perea
21) Logan Thomas Landig
22) Dan Robert Molaison
23) Troy Duane Curtis
24) Jose Santos Gonzales-Maldonado
25) Federico Hernandez-Hernandez

These individuals are facing charges ranging from Conspiracy; Possession with Intent to Distribute one kilogram or more of Heroin; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; Aiding and Abetting; and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.

“Those arrested represent members of a well structured drug trafficking organization ranging from high level sources of supply to lower level street distributors,” said Zoran B. Yankovich, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Houston Field Division of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration. ”Taking these drug traffickers off the streets of Austin and its surrounding counties will insure safer communities for our children.”

The Austin Police Department, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, are committed to a continued joint effort in investigating, arresting and federally prosecuting those individuals who organize or conspire to distribute large amounts of drugs on our city streets.