February 05, 2016
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Heroin Distributor Gets Nearly 33 Years In Federal Prison In Mexican Mafia Case
LAREDO, Texas - Nearly two dozen people have been ordered to prison in relation to a drug conspiracy involving heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, announced Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. All were charged in a 2013 indictment alleging members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang were involved in the drug conspiracy. They had all previously pleaded guilty in the case.
Juan Pablo Contreras, 43, of Laredo, was found to be the main distributor of heroin. He would buy the drugs wholesale from Mexico and distribute it locally and to San Antonio. Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered he serve 390 months in federal prison.
Over the past two weeks, numerous others have also been sentenced.
Modesto Ramirez Jr., 46, Julio Jesus Rangel, 33, Jaime Tomas Hernandez-Rocha, 48, Pablo Contreras Jr., 44, Guadalupe Mario Contreras, 53, Carlos Contreras, 33, and Raul Victoriano Rojas, 43, would secure kilogram amounts of heroin from Juan Pablo Contreras. With the exception of Ramirez, who was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, all pleaded guilty to the conspiracy. Guadalupe Mario Contreras was sentenced to 262 months while Carlos Contreras and Pablo Contreras Jr. each received 210 months. Both Rojas and Ramirez each received sentences of 198 months, while Rangel was sentenced to a 240-month-term of imprisonment. Hernandez-Rocha was found to be the gang’s enforcer and received 252 months of federal imprisonment.
Steve Contreras, 37, Eufrosina Lopez, 44, Jose Fernando Lomeli, 27, and Luis M. Salinas, 48, each pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and received respective sentences of 76, 78, 60 and 70 months in prison. Orlando Ibarra, 35, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine and received a sentence of 32 months.
Victor Contreras, 25, Martin Contreras Jr., 27, Guadalupe Bedarte, 32, Jorge Guerra, 43, Christopher O’Bryant, 29, Juan Leopoldo Arvizo, 30, Eduardo Santa Cruz, 35, and Yvonne Hernandez, 43, were convicted on conspiracy charges. Victor Contreras received a sentence of 71 months, while Contreras Jr. and Bedarte got 83 and 46 months, respectively. Guerra and O’Bryant each received 12 months and one day of imprisonment, while Arvizo, Cruz and Hernandez were ordered to serve 33, 37 and 97 months in federal prison, respectively.
Monica Ortega, 40, was sentences to 151 months for her conviction of conspiracy to maintain drug-involved premises, while Arnulfo Valdez, 45, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and sentenced to 108 month in prison.
Ana Rosa Contreras, 31, also pleaded guilty to the money laundering conspiracy and received a sentence of three years of probation. She is married to Carlos Contreras. She and her husband admitted to having purchased their residence in the prestigious Lakeside subdivision with the proceeds of drug sales. As a result, the court ordered the property to be forfeited to the government. The residence is valued at more than $300,000.
Previously, Richard Cruz Rodriguez, 48, of San Antonio, was ordered to serve 48 months in prison for use of a communication facility to facilitate a felony drug offense.
Mario Alberto Rodriguez, 28, will be sentenced at a later date.
The indictment is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation named “Operation X3,” which was conducted by agents of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and IRS - Criminal Investigations. They were assisted at different times by the U.S. Marshals Service, police departments in Laredo, Austin and San Marcos, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety - Criminal Investigations Division and the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Guardiola are prosecuting the case.