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DEA Houston News: 12 Arrested in Marijuana Trafficking Ring

JAN 13 (LAREDO, Texas) - Twelve individuals in multiple cities were arrested on charges alleging their participation in a marijuana conspiracy, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in-Charge Joseph M. Arabit.  U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden also made the announcement with DEA.

The indictment, returned under seal Nov. 24, 2015, and unsealed as to each defendant upon their arrest, charges one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and five counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, all dating back to July 2013. 

Among those taken into custody today were Rene Armenta, 33, Yolanda Armenta, 43, and Pedro Vazquez, 33, of Laredo, Texas; Jose Luis Carvajal, 46, Juan Carlos Carvajal, 26, of San Antonio; Juan Ramon Castillo, 41, of Dallas; Isidro Cruz-Sanchez, 40, Hector Garcia-Rios, 30, Eduardo Hurtado de Anda, 39, and Ruben Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 38, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. 

Those arrested in Laredo are expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker tomorrow morning. Those arrested in other locations will make their appearance there and later appear in Laredo federal court.

Two others - Rogelio Herrera, 20, of Laredo; and Juan Carlos Duran, 31, of Nuevo Laredo, were arrested yesterday. They made their initial appearances before Judge Hacker, at which time they were ordered temporarily into custody pending a detention hearing.

If convicted of the cocaine conspiracy charge, all defendants face a minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine. The substantive counts carry up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

The case was result of a multi-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation conducted by the DEA, HSI and the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark E. Donnelly and Arthur Jones are prosecuting the case.

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