December 10, 2014
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
One Convicted And Another Sentenced In 10-Defendant Marijuana Conspiracy
BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Adonys Hurtado-Gutierrez, 38, has entered a guilty plea on the day prior to commencement of trial, announced Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. One hour prior to the plea, Yisnel Garcia-Gonzalez, 31, one of nine others previously convicted in the case, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Hurtado-Gutierrez, from Delano, Fla., is the last of 10 charged in a multi-state drug trafficking conspiracy that had been trafficking narcotics since 2010. Hurtado-Gutierrez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of Marijuana.
Previously, Garcia-Gonzalez had pleaded guilty as did Chad Jobe 34, and Phillip Cross, 54, both of Indianapolis, Ind.; Julio Treto, 54, of Miami, Fla.; and Francisco Javier Maya, 34, of Mission. Jobe, Cross, Treto and Maya were sentenced to respective terms of 38, 58, 47 and 189 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana.
Jose Angel Marichalar, 33, Angel Barraza, 34, Jesus Gonzales, 44, and Delton Hinderliter, 36, all also pleaded guilty and are set for sentencing on March 3, 2015. These four, along with Hurtado-Gutierrez, all face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.
Marichalar, Barraza, Gonzalez and Hinderliter have also forfeited their interests in several pieces of real estate and numerous personal items, including cars, tractors, trailers, guns and jewelry, valued at more than $1.5 million. Additionally, as part of their plea agreements, they have also agreed to a $10 million money judgment against them.
Evidence presented in support of the pleas demonstrated that all were part of a multi-state drug trafficking and money laundering organization that had existed since 2010. The drug trafficking organization, based out of the Rio Grande Valley, would hire out-of- state truck drivers to haul loads of produce with ton quantities of marijuana hidden in false compartments. Drug proceeds would then be transported back to the Rio Grande Valley. The conspiracy extended to Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The case was the result of a nearly three-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation lead by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Homeland Security Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; FBI; Sheriff’s Offices in Cameron and Zapata Counties; Hildalgo County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force; Border Patrol and the Brownsville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Castro is prosecuting the case.