March 28, 2018
Contact: Sammy Parks
Phone Number: (713) 693-3329
Federal, State And Local Authorities Arrest 18 Individuals Today Based On Federal Drug Trafficking Indictment Returned In Austin
AUSTIN, Texas - This morning, federal, state and local authorities arrested 18 individuals without incident on federal drug charges stemming from a narcotics trafficking investigation announced United States Attorney John F. Bash; Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division; Federal Bureau of (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; Acting IRSCriminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui; Texas Department of Safety Director Steven McCraw; Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler; and, Cedar Park Police Chief
A federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges those defendants, and ten other individuals who were already in custody prior to today, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Count one involves methamphetamine, count two involves cocaine and count three involves heroin. Count four of the indictment is a money laundering charge. A complete list of defendants is below.
During the course of the conspiracy, Luis Villagrana and Carlos Garcia-Duark, were leaders of the distribution cells operating in Austin, TX. Authorities allege that members of the organization utilized a local mechanic’s shop to unload, distribute, and ship drugs to sales and distribution points in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
During this investigation, law enforcement agents in several jurisdictions seized a combined total of approximately 148 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, some 56 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, 62 pounds of cocaine, 13 pounds of heroin, and $400,000 in U.S. currency.
Upon conviction, the defendants face sentences of between five and 40 years in federal prison or up to life in federal prison depending on the amount of controlled substances involved. Defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment upon conviction for money laundering.
The DEA Austin Resident Office, FBI Austin, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin Police Department, Hays County Sheriff’s Office, and Cedar Park Police Department investigated this case. Agencies providing assistance during this investigation include: Round Rock Police Department; Georgetown Police Department; Lakeway Police Department; Williamson County Sheriff’s Office; Travis County Sheriff’s Office; Rockwall Police Department; Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office; Travis County District
Attorney’s Office; Bell County District Attorney’s Office; Williamson County District Attorney’s Office, Bastrop County District Attorney’s Office, (McAllen, Milwaukee Field Office, Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Dallas Division, Houston Division and Houston SRT); (McAllen); Homeland Security (Austin); U.S. Border (Del Rio Sector) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Guess and Matt Harding are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
U.S. v. Luis Villagrana-Martinez, et al.
Case #: A18cr91
** Already in custody prior to today