Meth and a .50 cal: Investigation targeting Texas Mexican Mafia wraps up with 13 in prison

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

An associate of the Texas Mexican Mafia was sentenced to 33 months in prison last week. 37-year-old Anthony “Tono” Mercado was guilty of narcotics trafficking on the streets of Laredo, Texas, and also tested positive for cocaine while on bond for the offense.

His sentencing on Monday, November 28, brings to a conclusion a multi-agency operation which initially targeted the Texas Mexican Mafia prison gang in Laredo. Although not all were involved in gang activity, the resulting investigation led to indictments against 12 people. All were charged with narcotics trafficking with two facing additional firearms charges.

Ten were convicted for their roles in distributing crack-cocaine from a home in Laredo aka Blue Point which was situated near a school and playground.

Meth and a .50 cal

In addition, information obtained during this investigation also led to the arrest and conviction of a 36-year-old Corpus Christi area Texas Mexican Mafia member - Robert “Lil’ Rob” Loya Jr. A jury convicted him of possessing over six kilograms of meth and several firearms including a stolen military grade .50 caliber rifle.

Along with Mercado, several ranking members of the Mexican Mafia were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, including Martin “Quince” Perez Jr., the former “Captain” of the Laredo area Texas Mexican Mafia, who was convicted for his role in the crack cocaine distribution from the Blue-Point. At sentencing, the court heard that Perez was the leader of this activity and that he used threats of violence to control others involved as well as his rivals.

Perez was sentenced to over 27 years in prison. At that hearing, the court heard that Perez directed at least five other subjects to assist with a 2009 murder. Evidence also showed he had an extensive criminal record and that he has been a member of the Texas Mexican Mafia for a significant amount of time. The remaining individuals convicted in the case received terms ranging from two years to 262 months for their respective roles in the conspiracy. In the Loya case, he received a 30-year sentence.

In total, all 13 individuals received a total of more than 1600 months in federal prison. 

Mercado has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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