ABILENE, Texas — All six defendants who were convicted for their respective roles in a West Texas marijuana distribution conspiracy have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms.
These sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by the following law enforcement agencies: Abilene Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Fabricio Abelardo Perez, 43, of Abilene, was sentenced Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 156 months in federal prison. Earlier this week, Judge Solis sentenced Daniel Longoria, 49, also of Abilene, to 30 years in federal prison. Perez pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy, and Longoria was convicted at trial in February.
In June, Judge Solis sentenced Abilene residents Jose Cavazos, 52, to nine years in federal prison; Travis Kyndall Longoria, 23, to 10 years in federal prison; and David Rodriguez, 26, to 30 months in federal prison. Brandon Johnson, 36, of Sweetwater, Texas, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison.
Daniel Longoria, Cavazos, and Travis Longoria were each convicted at trial on an indictment charging one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Rodriguez was found guilty at trial of the lesser charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana. Perez and Johnson each pleaded guilty to the indictment in January.
According to evidence presented at trial and filed court documents, the investigation into the Daniel Longoria Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) began when Abilene Police Department learned that, since 2004, Daniel Longoria had been distributing marijuana from his business, Abilene Automotive and Performance. Daniel Longoria concealed marijuana in speaker boxes, and placed the speakers in vehicles so that the marijuana could be distributed throughout Abilene. Daniel Longoria also used vehicles that had been left at his business to conceal and transport large sums of bulk cash back to the DTO’s supply source in Mexico. All six defendants conspired together and worked together to transport and distribute large quantities of marijuana in Abilene.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Williams, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted these cases.