Three Corpus Residents Sent to Prison in Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering Conspiracies
JUNE 20 (CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) –Three men arrested in January for various drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies have been ordered to federal prison, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Ignacio Pena aka “Nacho,” 44, Raul Leal Martinez aka “Indio” or “Wahoo,” 36, and, David Pete Dominguez aka “Buda,” 30, all of Corpus Christi, previously pleaded guilty in relation to the case. Four other defendants, Manuel Pena aka “Super,” 48, Jose Guajardo aka “Garfield,” 41, Rocky Bazaldua aka “Rock,” 32, and Julieann Gutierrez, 25, also pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing in September.
Today, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack, who accepted the guilty pleas, handed Ignacio Pena a term of 168 months in prison, while Dominguez was ordered to prison for 120 months. Martinez was sentenced to serve an 85-month term last week. All were further ordered to serve five-year-terms of supervised release following completion of their prison terms.
The indictment charged all of the defendants with conspiring from June 1, 2008, to Jan. 8, 2013, to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. The investigation revealed that Manuel Pena, a member of and former leader in the Texas Syndicate prison gang, orchestrated various drug deals in the Corpus Christi area. Evidence proved that in May 2011 Manuel Pena made deals to provide cocaine and methamphetamine to Bazaldua and Dominguez. He admitted he acquired cocaine and agreed to sell methamphetamine to Guajardo. Pena also received methamphetamine from Martinez, a local home builder. Ignacio Pena, Manuel Pena’s brother, helped receive and deliver various amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine to various drug dealers in Corpus Christi.
Martinez and Guajardo also pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder the proceeds of their drug sales through various financial transactions. As part of their plea agreements, Manuel Pena, Martinez and Guajardo also agreed to forfeit their interests in various properties around Corpus Christi.
Martinez was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. The remaining defendants have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.This case was investigated through a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Nueces and Kleberg County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass and Portland Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.