July 21, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Final Operation X3 “Mexican Mafia” Defendant Sentenced
LAREDO, Texas - A 30-year old member of the Texas Mexican Mafia has been ordered to prison for his involvement in a major poly-drug conspiracy, announced DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Mario Alberto Rodriguez, of Laredo, pled guilty in June 2014 and is the last to be sentenced as part of a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered him to prison for 168 months for conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute. The sentence will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.
Rodriguez was convicted along with other members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang. Rodriguez was one of several Mexican Mafia associates who would deliver loads of heroin for the main distributor - Juan Pablo Contreras - who would buy the heroin wholesale from Mexico and distribute it locally and to San Antonio and Austin.
Juan Pablo Contreras, 43, of Laredo, was sentenced last year to a 390-month-term of federal imprisonment. The remaining defendants convicted in the case received terms ranging from two years to 262 months for their respective roles in the conspiracy.
Rodriguez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Multiple agencies participated in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation which was dubbed “Operation X3” to include the DEA, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and IRS - Criminal Investigation with assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety, LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Laredo, Austin and San Marcos. Assistant U.S. (AUSA) Andy Guardiola and former AUSA James Hepburn prosecuted the case.