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La Familia drug cartel cell leaders and others indicted for running a large-scale methamphetamine-distribution conspiracy

Arrest warrants executed last month at stash house "ranch" in rural Tyler, Texas

DALLAS — A federal grand jury returned two indictments this week charging 16 Dallas-area residents with running a methamphetamine-distribution conspiracy, linked to the La Familia Drug Cartel, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge James Capra of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Dallas.

Fourteen of the 16 defendants were arrested on Dec. 14, 2011, during a takedown by law enforcement in Tyler, Texas, and in the Dallas metropolitan area. They remain in custody. The charges and arrests are a direct result of the criminal investigation and prosecution of members and associates of the La Familia Michoacana (LFM) drug cartel that began in 2006. During the Dec. 14, takedown, agents executed 11 search warrants and seized about $700,000 in cash, 70 firearms, 20 pounds of methamphetamine, one kilogram of cocaine, and a methamphetamine conversion lab in Duncanville, Texas.

While the LFM cartel itself is based in Michoacan, the investigation identified several LFM distribution cells throughout North Texas. Intelligence obtained from the investigation revealed that after leaders of the LFM were arrested, replacement leaders, or "cell-head leaders" were assigned to continue the distribution of narcotics in the Dallas area and to other parts of the U.S.

Since the LFM Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation began, agents with DEA Dallas have arrested more than 100 defendants on federal charges and seized about $7.6 million in cash and assets, about 900 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 85 kilograms of cocaine, about one kilogram of heroin and numerous firearms.

One indictment charges each of the following defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of methamphetamine:

  • Ignacio Gomez-Beltran
  • Alvaro Segura-Gomez, 28
  • Jorge Segura-Gomez, 34
  • Javier Pineda Cruz, aka "Rudolfo" and "Rudy", 37

The other indictment charges each of the following defendants with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine:

  • Juan Camacho-Aguilar, 26
  • Jose Camacho-Arroyo, 39, fugitive
  • Armelando Echeverria, 31
  • Sergio Renteria Echeverria, aka "Tripa", 30
  • Uriel Echeverria, aka "Oreja"s, 25
  • Osiel Medrano Santana, 34
  • Llaqueline Navarro, aka "Jacqueline" and "Jackie", 32, fugitive
  • Luis Ortiz, aka "Anthony Ortiz" and "Potes", 27
  • Javier Pineda Cruz, aka "Rudolfo" and "Rudy", 37
  • Abel Peralta, 27
  • Mario Quintana, aka "Cuñado", 28
  • Jose Anseimo Ramirez, aka "Moza", 39
  • Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 28

According to one of the complaints filed in the case, defendant Sergio Renteria Echeverria was the cell-head of the group operating in Tyler. He owns a "ranch" in rural Tyler where he concealed large amounts of drugs, and where many of the arrests were made. Defendant Javier Pineda Cruz is charged in both indictments. Each indictment includes a forfeiture allegation which would require him, upon conviction, to forfeit his residence located on Midway Drive in Richardson, Texas.

A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each defendant faces a statutory sentence of not less than 10 years or more than life in prison and a $10 million fine.

The investigation is being led by the DEA with assistance from the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Denton County Sheriff's Office; and the Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Plano and Rowlett police departments.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanna Etessam, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.

View the Gomez-Beltran et al Indictment

View the Camacho-Aguilar et al Indictment