Score:   1
Docket Number:   SD-TX  4:19-cr-00345
Case Name:   USA v. Pena
  Press Releases:
HOUSTON – A 45-year-old local man has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. A federal jury convicted Oscar Benitez, of Conroe, Nov. 3, 2016, following one day of deliberations and three days of trial.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore handed Benitez a 188-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Gilmore noted that while Benitez was convicted for his involvement in two specific loads of cocaine totaling 101 kilograms, he was also involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy that trafficked large amounts of drugs and used a business he owned to launder large amounts of money from drug sales.

 

During trial, the jury heard that the investigation began in early 2011. At that time, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, seized approximately four kilograms of cocaine from a vehicle that had been driven there from the Houston area. The investigation revealed the vehicle had recently been sold by Bensol Auto Sales in Arcola, Texas - a used car dealership that Benitez owned.

 

Houston agents then realized one of their confidential sources had already been speaking to Benitez about trying to buy large amounts of cocaine from him and his drug supplier. Benitez subsequently had told the individual that he moved large amounts of cocaine (25-100 kilograms at a time) and that he had a very well-connected drug supplier who could make such large deals happen.

 

The jury also heard that on June 16, 2011, a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a Ford F-150 pickup truck in Monroe, North Carolina, for a traffic violation. Reuben Orozco-Garcia was driving with Juan Gonzalez-Bejar as a passenger. The truck contained 81 kilograms of cocaine. Testimony at trial revealed Orozco-Garcia had made a deposit of $9,000 into a bank account belonging to Bensol Auto Sales and Benitez the day of the cocaine seizure. The jury also heard that Benitez was using this Bensol Auto Sales account to launder the drug trafficking proceeds and that he supplied vehicles from Bensol to his drug supplier to transport drugs to other parts of the United States.

 

Orozco-Garcia and Gonzalez-Bejar pleaded guilty in North Carolina and were previously sentenced to federal prison.

 

The evidence at trial also showed that in the fall of 2013, Guadalupe Herrera-Monarrez delivered approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine to Benitez on a ranch he owns in Conroe. This delivery happened in the early morning hours and was directed by Benitez’ drug supplier, who was then located in Mexico. Herrera-Monarrez was convicted for his role in this offense in a separate federal case.

 

The jury ultimately convicted Benitez on all accounts as charged.

 

Previously released on bond, Benitez was taken into custody following the sentencing today where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Also charged is Rodolfo Penaloza, 41, of Mexico, but not as yet in custody. He is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at 713-693-3000.

 

The DEA, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety conducted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arthur R. Jones and Richard J. Magness are prosecuting the case.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-p18AV12tswGMurhcemJaugHPbCK09UKfcfCzPLSR2k/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2019-10-24 06:09:43 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   SD-TX  4:19-mj-00679
Case Name:   USA v. Pena
Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1yqFq8L_tG-ODIzUMyBmRGtQsk14AmFAQmXYtRhVJHeU/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2019-10-23 15:54:18 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
F U C K I N G P E D O S R E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E