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Harris County Residents Arrested on East Texas Drug Trafficking Charges

FEB 25 (BEAUMONT, Texas) - Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that seven individuals have been arrested following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas.

On Feb. 24, 2016, a combined task force of federal, state and local law enforcement executed federal arrest warrants in Harris County as a result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Galveston Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Office of Homeland Security, Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas City, Customs and Border Protection – ERO and MIA, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Dickinson Police Department, League City Police Department, Webster Police Department, Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, Pearland Police Department, Houston Police Department, and Texas National Guard.

The operation resulted in the arrest of seven out of 12 defendants in two separate indictments returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 3, 2016.  According to one of the indictments, from December 2010 until June 30, 2015, the defendants conspired to distribute methamphetamine in East Texas and elsewhere.  Those arrested and named in the indictment are:

Jesus Najar Silva, 40,                                     
Rolando Delarosa, JR., 21, and                                                       
Adriana Danielle Garamillo, 21.

According to the other indictment, from March 2014 until present, the defendants conspired to distribute methamphetamine in East Texas and elsewhere.  The indictment also charges two of those defendants with conspiring to distribute heroin.  Those arrested and named in the indictment are:

Jaime Cruz Romero, 32, a/k/a Panfilo Sacais, a/k/a Jaime Carrillo, and a/k/a Jaime;    
Pedro Duarte, Jr., 23, a/k/a Peches;
Juan Duque-Tinoco, 44; and              
Alejandro Avilez Gomez-Penaloza, 45, a/k/a Gordito.          

All of the defendants are residents of the Harris County, Texas area. During the arrests, authorities seized approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, approximately $8,500 in cash, and three vehicles.  If convicted, the defendants face as much as life in federal prison.

These cases are the result of ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) joint investigations, Operation Dream Catcher, Operation The Walking Dead and Operation Tickle, and part of a concerted investigation with simultaneous arrests and charges of other defendants in the Southern District of Texas and Western District of Texas.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. 

These cases are being investigated by DEA, HSI-OHS, Galveston Police Department, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Longview Police Department, and Gregg County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Englade.

Other arrests and federal charges related to Operation Dream Catcher have taken place today in the Southern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas.

An indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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