Twenty Seven Arrested in the Rio Grande Valley on Drug Charges
Poly-Drug Network Responsible for Distributing Counterfeit Pills
MCALLEN, TEXAS –Twenty seven defendants were arrested from the Rio Grande Valley region on state charges related to trafficking fake counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine in addition to various drug offenses. The arrests were announced by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston Division, Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux; Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez; Hidalgo County HIDTA Task Force Commander Juan Sifuentes; Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. Eddie Rodriguez; La Villa Police Chief Felix Ramos; and Edinburg Police Chief Jaime Ayala.
The following defendants were arrested on state charges ranging from Possession with Intent to Distribute, Manufacturing, and Delivery of Controlled Substance(s):
Javier Medrano, age 30, of Edinburg, Texas;
Luis Andy Hernandez, age 38, of McAllen;
Yolanda Yevon Garza, age 38, of San Juan, Texas;
Maria Guadalupe Salas, age 43, of Pharr, Texas;
Bernabe Felix Serna, age 64, of La Villa, Texas;
Amador Moreno, age 49, of Alamo, Texas;
Renee Revilla, age 43, of McAllen;
Viridiana “Mable” Lopez, age 39, of Edinburg, Texas;
Luis Solis, age 33, of Edinburg, Texas;
Eric Daniel Sepulveda, age 47, of McAllen;
Jose Luis Garcia Jr., age 40, of Edinburg, Texas;
Isaiah Roel Salinas, age 23, of Edinburg, Texas;
Juan Diego Gonzalez, age 25, of Edinburg;
Jaime Galicia, age 46, of Alamo, Texas;
Jose Marie Huerta, age 30, of Mission, Texas;
Vernabe Felix Serna, age 64, of La Villa, Texas;
Eric Acosta-Valencia, age 32, of Mier, Mexico;
Leonel Amadeo Ramos-Resendez, age 35, of Roma, Texas;
Hector Ivan Garza-Garcia, age 38, of Falcon Heights, Texas;
Roberto Amadeo-Ramos-Resendez, age 35, of Mier, Mexico;
Juan Amado Garza, age 47, of Falcon Heights, Texas;
Roberto Muniz, age 39, of Rio Grande City, Texas;
Manuel Leonel Gonzalez-Cavazos, age 56, of Falcon Heights, Texas;
Javier Lozano, age 42, of Falcon Heights, Texas;
Antonio Juan Gutierrez, age 53, of McAllen;
Jorge Alberto Garcia-Soto, age 61, of Falcon Heights, Texas;
The state criminal complaints allege that from January 2021 until October 2021, this drug trafficking network was responsible for the importation and distribution of fake counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine in addition to the illicit sales of prescription opioids. This investigation also revealed Yolanda Yevon Garza, an employee from the IDEA School District in Weslaco, Texas, was utilized to facilitate the sales of counterfeit pills for this criminal drug network.
These arrests follow a recent DEA public safety alert, warning the public of the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. This was DEA’s first public safety alert in six years, which focused on raising awareness of the significant nationwide surge of counterfeit pills. Those pills are being mass-produced by criminal drug networks in labs, deceptively marketed as legitimate prescription pills, and are killing unsuspecting Americans at an unprecedented rate.
“These arrests send a strong and unified message that the illicit sales of potentially lethal fake counterfeit pills will not be tolerated in our communities and those who commit these offenses will be brought to justice,” said Daniel C. Comeaux, Special Agent in Charge Houston Division. “Counterfeit pills have become a real and viable threat to the American people. We caution every person to never consume any pill unless under the care of a licensed medical professional and sourced from a licensed pharmacy. The DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to commit significant resources to the identification and investigation of those who are manufacturing and distributing these counterfeit pills in our neighborhoods and communities.”
"This is a great example of making our community safer through multi-agency collaboration. Our office is proud to be a part of this effort,” said Ricardo Rodriguez, Hidalgo County District Attorney.
During this investigation, authorities seized multi-kilogram quantities of illicit narcotics to include counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine along with other assets attributable to this organization.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint 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.
The DEA, Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, Hidalgo County Sherriff’s Office, La Villa Police Department and the Edinburg Police Department conducted this investigation. The Hidalgo County Constable Precincts 1, 3, and 4, and the Department of Public Safety also assisted during the course of this investigation.