News Release
April 30, 2008

El Puma Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

APR 30 -- (MCALLEN, Texas) - Carlos Landin Martinez, 52, of Reynosa, Mexico, also known as “El Puma,” was sentenced to life imprisonment, United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle announced today.

Landin was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 23, 2008, of a total of nine counts of drug trafficking and money laundering. Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Landin to the maximum – life imprisonment – for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and various counts of distributing more than 50 kilograms of cocaine. The maximum lifetime term was imposed as a result of being held accountable for possessing with intent to distribute more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and holding a leadership role in the conspiracy. Landin also received the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and laundering more than $1.6 million in drug proceeds. He was also sentenced to the statutory maximum of 40 years imprisonment for possessing with intent to distribute 514 grams of cocaine and five years imprisonment for a bulk cash smuggling conviction. All of the sentences are to be served concurrently resulting in a life sentence.

Also sentenced today in the same case was Luis Robledo Martinez, 39, also of Reynosa, Mexico. Martinez was sentenced to 188 months with a five-year-term of supervised release for each of three counts of conviction – conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiring to launder monetary instruments and laundering approximately $27, 290. Martinez’s sentences will also be served concurrently.

During the trial of this case, there was extensive testimony that detailed Carlos Landin Martinez’s role as being in control of the Reynosa Plaza for the Gulf Cartel, collecting fees to allow narcotics to pass from the Reynosa corridor into the McAllen- Mission area in the United States. The trial testimony also established that violence was used to control the Reynosa Plaza and to maintain control over the various individuals who worked for the cartel.

This case involved a multi-agency investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Texas Department of Public Safety and the local police departments that are member of and support the High-Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area task force which includes the police departments of McAllen, Pharr, Weslaco, Palmview and Mission. The case was tried and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Cook Profit and Jesse Salazar.