June 17, 2016
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (571) 324-7520
Nine Arrested For Running Methamphetamine, Cocaine And Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy
Includes some who are allegedly members of the Texas Syndicate
LUBBOCK, Texas - Nine west Texas residents, including four alleged members of the Texas Syndicate, remain in federal custody following their arrests earlier this week on federal charges stemming from their roles in a methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana distribution conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
The arrests were made by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety, with assistance from the Big Spring, Sundown and Levelland Police Departments, the Howard County and Lubbock County Sheriff’s Offices, the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
The nine defendants made their initial appearances in federal court, and detention hearings are scheduled throughout the month of June. Several fugitives remain in this case.
Each of the below-listed defendants is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine, 500 grams and more of cocaine and marijuana, as well as one count of using a communication facility to facilitate the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting:
Cruz Perez, aka “Travieso,” 40
Christopher Lee Gonzalez, aka “Gonzo,” 43
Victor Manuel Castillo, aka “Victor Manuel Garza,” 43
Christopher David Gonzales, aka “Chris,” 41
Evan Cruz Parson, aka “Evan,” 21
Alexander Alfonzo Mendoza, aka “Alex,” 20
Jose Gutierrez, III, aka “Baby Joey,” 21
Jasmine Pillar Hernandez, aka “Crazy,” 32
Crystal Dimas, aka “Babe,” 28
According to the indictment, defendants Perez, Gonzalez, Gonzales and Parson are allegedly members of the Texas Syndicate, a prison-based street gang involved in various criminal activities.
Defendants Perez, Gonzalez, Castillo, Gonzales, Mendoza, Gutierrez and Hernandez are also each charged with at least one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting
Defendant Perez is also charged with two counts, and defendants Parson and Mendoza are each charged with one count of managing a drug premise and aiding and abetting.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, the conspiracy count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years. Each of the methamphetamine distribution counts carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years. The use of a communication facility count carries a statutory minimum penalty of four years. The managing a drug premise count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years. Fines could range from $250,000 to $4,000,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden is in charge of the prosecution.