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November 17, 2021El Paso, TX, United StatesNarcotics

West Texas drug trafficking organization leader sentenced to 17 years in prison

EL PASO, Texas – The sixth and last defendant in a marijuana and cocaine conspiracy case was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court documents, Carlos Moreno-Reyes, aka Charlie Brown, 46, of Clint, Texas, led a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) from October 2008 through April 2019. The DTO operated in the El Paso area and was responsible for transporting and distributing marijuana and cocaine from El Paso to destination cities, including Oklahoma City. Moreno admitted that he was paid about $25.6 million for his role in the DTO.

Other members of the conspiracy included Jose Luis Ortiz-Valenzuela, aka Pelon, 37, of Avondale, Arizona; Julio Adrian Terrazas, aka JT, 31, of Fabens, Texas; Edgar Sanchez, aka Seiz, Chavalito, 29, of Fabens; Jacinto Olivas-Cervantes, aka Chente, Chinto, 53, of San Elizario, Texas; and Oliva Beltran-Paez, 33, of Clint.

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) continues to aggressively pursue narcotics traffickers,” said Taekuk Cho, acting special agent in charge for HSI El Paso. “Our work is not done, and our resolve in attacking the drug trade and the cartels is as strong as it’s ever been.”

“I am grateful for the tireless efforts of our law enforcement partners as we work together to pursue not only individual drug traffickers peddling this poison, but also large drug trafficking organizations and their leadership,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.

  • On Feb. 26, 2020, Moreno pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine and bulk cash smuggling, and Sanchez and Ortiz-Valenzuela pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine.
  • On March 11, 2020, Sanchez was sentenced to 120 months in prison, and
  • On July 17, 2020, Ortiz was sentenced to 96 months in prison, and Olivas-Cervantes and Terrazas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess marijuana.
  • On Feb. 25, 2020, Olivas was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
  • On July 20, 2020, Terrazas was sentenced to 46 months in prison.
  • Beltran-Paez, pleaded guilty to one count of bulk cash smuggling, and on Feb. 28, 2020, she was sentenced to five years of probation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andres Ortega prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 11/19/2021