Score:   1
Docket Number:   SD-TX  5:20-cr-01005
Case Name:   USA v. Flores
  Press Releases:
LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo man and a Houston woman are headed to federal prison in separate, but similar cases involving drug smuggling via their vehicles, announced Ryan K. Patrick.

Celeste Esperanza Muñoz, 27, and Ismael Gonzalez, 34, pleaded guilty in December and September 2017, respectively.

Today, Visiting U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison ordered Muñoz to serve a 70-month term of imprisonment for her conviction of conspiracy to import methamphetamine. Gonzalez entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and received a sentence today of 80 months in prison. Muñoz and Gonzalez were further ordered to serve five and four years of supervised release, respectively.

On Sept. 7, 2017, Muñoz arrived at the International Bridge II in Laredo for inspection. Soon after, law enforcement discovered 56 kilograms of methamphetamine in a false compartment inside the gas tank of the Ford Explorer she was driving.   

In the second case, Gonzalez admitted he took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 171.2 kilograms of marijuana. On July 1, 2017, he attempted to smuggle the drugs in the rear compartment of the 2005 Hummer he was driving. Authorities uncovered the marijuana after he arrived at the IH-35 checkpoint for inspection.

Muñoz was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Gonzalez has been and will remain in custody.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation involving Muñoz, while the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol worked the Gonzalez matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted both cases.

LAREDO, Texas – A 26-year-old undocumented alien from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been ordered to prison following his conviction of conspiracy to import methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Eduardo Sanchez-Obregon pleaded guilty Oct. 3, 2017, to one count each of conspiracy to import more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and more than 500 grams of a mixture of methamphetamine. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia-Marmolejo sentenced him to 70 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his prison term.

On July 28, 2017, Sanchez-Obregon took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine. He was traveling from Mexico on a Turimex commercial passenger bus with the drugs contained inside a small suitcase in the luggage compartment. Authorities searched the bus as it arrived at the IH-35 U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint. He was arrested shortly thereafter.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 43-year-old Zapata man and his common-law wife have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions of being felons in possession of firearms, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Jesus Jose De Jesus and Amira Elizabeth Saenz, 35, each pleaded guilty March 21, 2017.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered De Jesus to serve 46 months in prison, while Saenz received a six-month term of imprisonment plus an additional six months to serve on home confinement for revocation of a prior supervised release. After completion of their sentences, both will serve three years of supervised release.

 

De Jesus is a convicted sex offender and multiple-time convicted felon. Saenz is a convicted drug felon. As such, both are prohibited from possessing firearms per federal law. On Oct. 27, 2015, law enforcement officers were conducting compliance checks on sex offenders in Zapata County, at which time they encountered four firearms inside a residential trailer located on the 3400 block of South U.S. Zapata Highway 83 in Zapata.  

 

The next day, agents recovered the four firearms located in the bedroom the couple shared. The firearms included a .308 caliber rifle, .22 caliber rifle, seven millimeter rifle and a .410 caliber shotgun.

 

Saenz was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. De Jesus will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys José Homero Ramirez and José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 47-year-old resident of Hebbronville has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Eden Alan Martinez pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 2017.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia-Marmolejo ordered sentenced Eden Martinez to 40 months to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On Nov. 7, 2016, Eden Martinez took part in a conspiracy to smuggle marijuana by attempting to circumvent the Highway 16 Border Patrol Checkpoint near Hebbronville. He was driving a 2008 blue Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck in which authorities found 111.5 kilograms of marijuana in the engine compartment, front bumper and rear quarter panels. 

 

Eden Martinez has been in custody since his arrest on Nov. 7, 2016, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 23-year-old woman has been sentenced for her role in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Guadalupe Vazquez, of Laredo, pleaded guilty May 5, 2017.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña ordered Vazquez to serve a total of 18 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On Dec. 19, 2015, Vazquez took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 30 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine through the IH-35 checkpoint near Laredo. She was driving a 2003 BMW sedan in which 30 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine was found inside the gas tank of the vehicle.  

 

Vazquez was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – Two men and one woman have been ordered to prison in separate, but similar crimes involving the smuggling of drugs, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.

 

Isabel Gonzalez, 41, and Pedro Salas III, 33, each pleaded guilty in June 2017 to conspiracies to import liquid methamphetamine and marijuana, respectfully, while Miguel Angel Bautista-Anguiano, 25, entered his plea in May 2017 to conspiracy to import and importation of cocaine.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana sentenced Gonzales to 46 months in federal prison. Judge Saldana also sentenced Salas today, to a 24-month-term of imprisonment. Bautista-Anguiano was sentenced in U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo’s court and received a sentence of 60 months. Salas and Gonzalez were further ordered to serve three years of supervised release. Not a U.S. citizen, Bautista-Anguiano is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release.

 

In her case, Gonzalez, of Houston, took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 32 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine through the Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry International Bridge II in Laredo. She was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer with the drugs hidden in a compartment inside the gas tank.

 

In a separate case that occurred at the same bridge, Miguel Angel Bautista-Anguiano, of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was driving a 1999 Mercury Cougar on Jan. 20, 2017, when he participated in a conspiracy to smuggle 11 kilograms of cocaine. The cocaine was found in the rear quarter panels of the vehicle.

 

The third case was initiated on March 10, 2017, when Salas, of Laredo, smuggled 103.6 kilograms of marijuana through the IH-35 checkpoint near Laredo. He was driving a 2010 Ford F-150. Authorities soon found the marijuana inside a tool box in the bed of the truck.

 

All three defendants have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted both investigations at the International Bridge, while the Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol worked the case at the checkpoint. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted all three cases.

LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo federal judge has sentenced a 23-year-old Florida woman for smuggling liquid methamphetamine through the local port of entry, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Alyssa Lopez, 23, of Panama City, Florida, pleaded guilty June 6, 2016, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña ordered Lopez to prison for a total of 50 months. The sentence will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On March 11, 2016, Lopez engaged in a conspiracy to smuggle 16.5 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine through the Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry International Bridge II in Laredo. Lopez was driving a blue Dodge Charger with Florida license plates. Inside, agents discovered three plastic horse shampoo bottles containing 16.5 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine.

 

She has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 48-year-old man from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been sentenced for conspiracy to import crystal methamphetamine and brown heroin, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Genaro Garcia-Gutierrez pleaded guilty Nov. 1, 2016.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen ordered him to prison for 150 months. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release.

 

On July 20, 2016, Garcia-Gutierrez took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 5.22 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 1.7 kilograms of brown heroin through the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge in Laredo. He was driving a 2008 Dodge Nitro with Mexican license plates. Authorities soon discovered 10 packages containing the crystal methamphetamine and four packages with the brown heroin in the rear passenger quarter panel of the vehicle.

 

Garcia-Gutierrez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 35-year-old San Antonio man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Carlos Pena pleaded guilty May 1, 2017.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña sentenced Pena to serve 110 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On Feb. 13, 2017, Pena took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 2.6 kilograms of methamphetamine through the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint located 29 miles north of Laredo on International Highway 35. He was driving a grey Pontiac G6. In an aftermarket compartment in the vehicle’s frame near the gas tank, authorities discovered five packages wrapped in brown tape containing 2.6 kilograms of methamphetamine.

 

Pena has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

The Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jorge Vela and José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas - A 53-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute 11.05 kilograms of cocaine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Secundino Delgado-Arreola, from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, pleaded guilty June 6, 2016.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen sentenced Delgado-Arreola to 50 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceeding following his release from prison.

 

On March 16, 2016, Delgado-Arreola took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 11.05 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into the United States. He was driving a tractor truck with Mexican plates. Inside the vehicle was a blue bag in a cardboard box which contained 10 bundles totaling 11.05 kilograms of cocaine.

 

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 32-year-old Laredo man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 15.7 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced Acting United States Attorney Abe Martinez. Tim McCoy Barton pleaded guilty July 29, 2016.

 

Today, Visiting U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison sentenced Barton to 108 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On May 3, 2016, Barton took part in a conspiracy to smuggle 15.7 kilograms of methamphetamine through the Interstate Highway 35 checkpoint located at mile-marker 29. Barton was driving a green 2009 Dodge Journey with Texas plates in which 16 PVC pipes containing 15.7 kilograms of methamphetamine were found in a compartment inside the gas tank.

 

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

LAREDO, Texas – A 32-year-old resident of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, has been ordered to prison following her conviction of conspiracy to import cocaine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Susana Carolina Enriquez-Mendez pleaded guilty Dec. 6, 2016.

 

Late this afternoon, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo sentenced Enriquez-Mendez to 37 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, she is expected to face deportation proceedings following completion of her prison term.

 

On Sept. 24, 2016, Enriquez-Mendez approached the Lincoln Juarez Bridge in Laredo as a passenger in a Mexican taxi cab. After a thorough inspection, agents discovered 4.38 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the inner lining of her suitcase and placed her under arrest.

 

She has been in custody since her arrest where she will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

Customs and Border Protection and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Flores Jr. prosecuted the case.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tiDVJKK1rLGR456ws4LLOo6nOpZuEnTXDstjgbW2UU4/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-08-25 09:08:06 UTC
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