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2 southeast Texas men arrested for alleged cocaine trafficking

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two men were arrested last week on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 29 kilograms (64 pounds) of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.

The multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation was conducted in Corpus Christi by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Kingsville Special Crimes and Narcotics Task Force; U.S. Customs and Border Protections' (CBP) Border Patrol; CBP's Air and Marine Unit; Texas Parks and Wildlife; and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The indictment was returned March 28 and was unsealed after the arrests of Jose Santos Casas-Gonzalez Sr., 41, and Rogelio Mata-Ramirez, 40, both of Weslaco, Texas. Mata-Ramirez was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, April 3. Casas-Gonzalez was arrested April 5 in Falfurrias, Texas. Mata-Ramirez appeared in San Antonio before U.S. Magistrate Judge Pam Mathy and was ordered detained without bond. Casas-Gonzalez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington in Corpus Christi and was ordered detained without bond pending further criminal proceedings.

Casas-Gonzalez and Mata-Ramirez are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute 29 kilograms of cocaine. Both are currently set for trial May 15 before Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head. If convicted, they face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment on each count.

Also included in the indictment is a notice of the government's intent to criminally forfeit the real property located at 8129 North F.M. 88, in Weslaco, the location of a business owned by Casas-Gonzalez, Rio Shallow Boats Inc.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie K. Hampton, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.