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Two Local Marijuana Traffickers Sentenced to Prison

MAR 23 (McALLEN, Texas) - Two McAllen men have received significant sentences for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and conspiring to launder the drug proceeds, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Alberto Alaniz, 51, and Jose Ramon Romo, 30, pleaded guilty to the charges May 29, 2014.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Alaniz to serve 262 months in federal prison, while Romo received a sentence of 120 months. Alaniz will also serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of the prison term, while Romo will serve a five-year-term.

The investigation revealed that from 2008 through 2013, Alaniz and Romo conspired to transport large amounts of marijuana from the Rio Grande Valley to various destinations via tractor-trailers. During the investigation, law enforcement was able to seize several loads of marijuana, including 1,799 kilograms on June 16, 2011, and 442 kilograms on Feb. 10, 2012. In addition, agents seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in currency from both defendants as part of the investigation.

Alaniz was taken into custody, while Romo was permitted to voluntarily surrender to authorities at a later date.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Sturgis prosecuted the case.
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