FORT WORTH, Texas – Four Texas men are in federal custody following their arrest by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). They are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 36.5 kilograms of marijuana.
Javier Ruiz-Guzman, 45, Isaias Duran-Duran, 35, Jose Jesus Descarena-Duran, 40, and Andres Duran-Duran, 45 – all Fort Worth residents – made their initial appearances in federal court last week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton. They are scheduled to appear again Tuesday for detention and preliminary hearings. This announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to the complaint, on Oct. 24, ERO officers visited a residence on East Biddison Street in Fort Worth to serve an administrative arrest warrant on Ruiz-Guzman. Ruiz-Guzman was targeted for since he was a criminal alien illegally present in the United States. When Ruiz answered the knock at the door, the officer observed a handgun in plain sight within Ruiz's reach and secured it. Ruiz's wife advised there were other firearms in the residence. She led the officer to the master bedroom where there was a pistol on the vanity and a rifle between the bedframe and wall. Ruiz advised that marijuana was stored in a detached shed on the property and provided the officers a key. A large black bag containing about 36.5 kilograms of marijuana, wrapped in cellophane bricks, was found in the shed.
Ruiz later advised officers that Isaias Duran-Duran had contacted him the previous day and asked him to keep the marijuana overnight. Ruiz agreed and expected a $1,000 payment to keep it. He acknowledged that he had done this before. He advised officers that "Isaias" was supposed to call him that morning to arrange to pick up the marijuana. At 8:31 a.m., Ruiz received a call from "Isaias" who advised that he was on his way and that his brother would also be coming. Shortly thereafter, Isaias Duran-Duran arrived. Ten minutes later, Jose Jesus Descarena-Duran and Adres Duran-Duran arrived in a Toyota truck. A subsequent search of that truck revealed $24,000 in cash, wrapped in bundles, located under the driver's side door.
A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The U.S. Attorney's office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. The maximum penalty for the charged offense is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.