Eleven individuals were arrested as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation named “Smokey’s Café,” involving a heroin trafficking conspiracy, the DEA announced yesterday. Five of them are alleged members of the Texas Mexican Mafia.
Laredo residents Jose Ricardo Diaz (42), Pedro Jorge Rodriguez (29), Juan Jesus Luna (31), Juan Erasmo Garcia (41) and Julio Santiago Gonzalez (26) are all alleged to be part of the infamous prison gang. Diaz is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, while Rodriguez, Luna, Garcia, and Gonzalez are charged with being felons in possession of firearms.
The joint investigation, which started in 2013, identified some of the defendants as alleged members of a street level heroin and cocaine distribution organization. According to the charges, on March 14, 2014, Rodriguez, Luna, Garcia and Gonzalez were traveling to a nightclub to look for a person at the request of Diaz. However, Laredo Police Department officers stopped them and discovered three firearms in their possession, according to the indictment.
If convicted in the drug conspiracy, all face up to 40 years in prison and a possible $5 million fine. Rodriguez, Luna, Garcia and Gonzalez also face up to 10 years upon conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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