LAREDO, Texas - Six men were sentenced Thursday to prison terms ranging from 60 to 170 months for trafficking narcotics announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
On Feb. 3, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Moises Gonzalez-Tovar, Javier Gonzalez-Tovar, Fernando Regalado-Cabrerra, and Martin Carrillo-Montoya, all citizens of Mexico, and U.S. citizens Jesus Gonzalez-Gonzalez Jr. and Fernando Guadalupe Rojas, for their roles in trafficking narcotics. The sentences were handed down as follows:
- Regalado-Cabrerra, 42, was sentenced to 170 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Regalado-Cabrerra also received 18 months for violating his supervised release on a previous conviction, five months of which are to run consecutive to the 170 months imposed on the present conviction;
- Moises Gonzalez-Tovar, 34, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release;
- Javier Gonzalez-Tovar, 45, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release;
- Carrillo-Montoya, 47, received 120 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release;
- Jesus Gonzalez-Gonzalez Jr., 25, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $1,500 fine; and
- Guadalupe Rojas, 25, will serve 60 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
All six pleaded guilty between June and August 2010 to one count of possessing with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
According to court documents, on March 30, 2010, ICE HSI special agents received information that a tractor-trailer loaded with marijuana was proceeding from the World Trade Bridge to a warehouse in Killam Industrial Park, Laredo, Texas, where special agents maintained surveillance. There, ICE HSI saw bundles of marijuana transferred from the tractor-trailer to a white truck, which then departed late in the afternoon and arrived at a home in South Laredo. Several hours later, special agents saw the truck depart that location and proceed to Moises Gonzalez-Tovar's residence. Later that evening, agents applied for and obtained a federal search warrant to search Moises Gonzalez-Tovar's residence.
In the meantime, the white truck departed Moises Gonzalez-Tovar's residence. Law enforcement officers stopped it and found 94 bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,248.6 kilograms (2752.7 lbs.). Officers also stopped other vehicles that had departed the residence and between those traffic stops and executing the search warrant at the residence, the six men sentenced Feb. 3 as well as a seventh - Roberto Hernandez-Angeles - who is pending sentencing, were arrested. Several of them gave statements to special agents early the next morning admitting their involvement in the incident.
All seven defendants were indicted on April 27, 2010, and pleaded guilty last summer to possessing with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana on March 30, 2010.
Hernandez-Angeles is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
All six of the defendants have been in custody since their arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility where they will serve their prison sentences.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank T. Pimentel, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.