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Gang leader sentenced to 7 years for drug trafficking

DEL RIO, Texas — A member of Partido Revolucionario Mexicano, also known as Mexicles, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The prison sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced Daniel Alvarez, 27, to more than 84 months in prison for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of marijuana. In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Moses also ordered Alvarez to serve a five-year term of supervised release after he completes his prison term. Alvarez pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 24.

"The safety and security of our communities is severely threatened every time a criminal brings drugs into our communities," said Vincent Iglio, deputy special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. "HSI is committed to identifying, arresting and bringing to justice those involved in these criminal organizations."

According to court documents, special agents arrested Alvarez at his home located on the eastside of Del Rio April 14, 2011. Through the course of the investigation, special agents learned that Alvarez was the leader and organizer for Mexicles which was responsible for smuggling and transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana. Information received by HSI and other law enforcement agencies indicates that criminal gangs in southwest Texas are becoming increasingly involved with smuggling and distributing narcotics, laundering illicit drug proceeds and other illegal activities.

Alvarez remains in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was prosecuted out of the Western District of Texas.