Category Archives: Uncategorized

Man Sentenced to Prison for Drug Smuggling

BROWNSVILLE–Federal prosecutors announced a Mexican man who was caught trying to smuggle drugs into the United States in the Rio Grande Valley was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday.

They said Gilbert Rivera-Razo was in possession of 16 bundles of cocaine located in a hidden panels of a Dodge minivan last April when passing through Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville. The cocaine weighed out to 10 kilograms.

Rivera-Razo was convicted last November after a jury trial of both conspiring to and possessing with intent to distribute. He has been in federal custody since his April arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve his sentence.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

 

Crystal Meth Load Stopped at Valley Bridge

PHARR–Federal authorities seized a huge load of crystal methamphetamine at an Upper Rio Grande Valley bridge that was trying to be smuggled into the United States.

Customs and Border Protection officers found 23.3 pounds of crystal methamphetamine on Monday worth about $350,000 on the street.

A CBP officer working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge sent a 2008 Toyota Tundra for a secondary inspection. They discovered three packages of crystal methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

“Our frontline officers continue doing great enforcement work and this is an example of the quality work our officers are doing to secure our nation’s borders and the communities in which we live.” said Hector Mancha, the CBP Port Director.

The male driver was a 22-year-old man from Houston was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Officers seized the vehicle.


–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

Armed Robbery Committed For Baby Formula

CORPUS CHRISTI–Corpus Christi Police report three people robbed a convenience store on Thursday morning so their family could buy baby formula for a child.

Officers responded to an armed robbery around 2:30 am at a Stripes Convenience store in the North Beach area of Corpus Christi. The clerk reported two Hispanic males held him up at gunpoint, taking an undetermined amount of money and cigarettes.

Shortly after that, Portland Police pulled over a car with the suspects and they were arrested. Officers said the stolen items were found inside the car and a pistol was recovered.

Jared Dimas, 18, and a 16-year-old boy were arrested for aggravated robbery. They also took into custody Elizabeth Garcia, 19, the sister of the juvenile, who was in the getaway car at the time of the robbery.

Garcia confessed Dimas and the juvenile committed the robbery so they could buy baby formula.

Garcia and Dimas were taken to the Nueces County Jail, while the teen was taken to the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

GPS Equipment Taken From Corpus Christi Hotel Parking Lot

CORPUS CHRISTI–Corpus Christi Police detectives are investigating how GPS equipment valued at more than $70,000 was taken from an area hotel.

They report the theft from a vehicle happened on February 4 at an Extended Stay Deluxe on the 6200 block of Staples.


It;s believed the thief or thieves stole three hard side cases out of the back of a company truck. The cases contained GPS equipment.

Anyone having any information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

High-Caliber Machine Gun Seized at RGV Bridge

PHARR–U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers  seized a .30-caliber machine gun and tripod late Friday evening during an outbound inspection at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge.

CBP officers came in contact with a 2006 Hummer H3 that was headed south into Mexico and its male driver, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen from Pharr , Texas . During a secondary inspection, CBP officers seized a Browning .30-caliber machine gun and tripod from the vehicle’s backseat area.

The male driver was transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.

“I commend our frontline officers for intercepting and preventing the illegal exportation of this firearm into Mexico,” said Hector Mancha, the CBP Port Director for Hidalgo/Pharr .  “Our officers are working hard to secure our nation’s borders and continue efforts to disrupt the flow of illegal weaponry into Mexico .”

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

Tri-City Bombers Gang Busted in Federal Indictments

MCALLEN–A sealed indictment was unsealed today charging 13 members or associates of the notorious Tri City Bombers Street with trafficking cocaine and Ecstasy and firearms violations.

After a four-year long investigation, officers from the FBI, United States Border Patrol, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, McAllen Police Department and Mission Police Department executed the arrest warrants early beginning this morning and have arrested seven of 13 charged in a 14-count indictment.

The indictment, returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Houston on Feb. 2, 2011, was unsealed today by order of the court.  The seven defendants arrested today in and around the McAllen area are expected to make an initial appearance before a U. S. Magistrate Judge in McAllen later tomorrow. An order directing that five others, presently in state custody, be transferred into federal custody to answer the charges has issued and their appearances in federal court are expected to begin tomorrow and continue through the end of the month.  A warrant remain outstanding for the one defendant who remains at large.

Twelve of the charged defendants  — Jeffrey Juarez, also known as (aka) “Dragon”, a.k.a. “Tira”, 35, of Sugar Land, Texas; Rogelio Loera, aka “Lolo”, 33, of McAllen, Texas; Joe Lee Gonzalez, aka “Jojo”, 33, San Juan, Texas; Eric Ruiz, 27, Pharr, Texas; Rolando Flores, aka “6-4”, 35, Pharr, Texas; Julio Cisneros, aka “Grouch”, 32, Alamo, Texas; Jose Garza, aka “Psycho”, 33, of Alamo, Texas; John Rosas III, aka “Popcorn”, 34, Pharr, Texas; Daniel Cuellar, 35, of Brownsville, Texas; Rene Cuellar, aka “Chito”, 29, Donna, Texas; Guadalupe Pina, aka “Lupillo”, 22, Donna, Texas; and David Connelly, 28, of Mission, Texas, are accused of conspiring with one another from April 2008 through February 2011 to procure and distribute illegal drugs  — kilogram quantities of cocaine and 3, 4 –Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as “MDMA” or “Ecstasy” — to carry out the business of the gang. The conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment up to life imprisonment if convicted as well as a $4 million fine.

Juarez, Loera, Gonzalez, and Connelly are charged individually with possessing with intent to distribute controlled substance and face a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and millions in fines depending upon the amount of drugs involved in the offense.

The 13th defendant, Fidel Cuellar, 27, aka “Fido”, and Rene Cuellar are each charged being previously convicted felons and possessing a firearm, an offense which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

The six defendants arrested today include Rogelio Loera, aka “Lolo” , Joe Lee Gonzalez, aka “Jojo”; John Rosas, aka “Popcorn”, Daneil Cuellar, Rene Cuellar, aka “Chito”; Guadalupe Pina, aka “Lupillo”, and David Connelly.  The five defendants presently in state custody include Jeffrey Juarez, aka “Dragon”, Eric Ruiz, Rolando Flores, aka “6-4”, Jose Garza, aka “Psycho”, and Fidel Cuellar, aka “Fido”. A warrant remains outstanding for the arrest of  Julio Cisneros, aka “Grouch”.

The 13 arrested are alleged members or associates of the TCB gang, an organization which allegedly makes its money by trafficking in cocaine and Ecstasy. The TCB gang was, according to the indictment, formed in the early 1980’s in the Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo areas of South Texas.

An organized group with mandatory specific rules and regulations knows as “Las Reglas” to endure loyalty and participation of gang members in criminal activity, the TCB also has a decision-making hierarchy including a person in charge in each city, and persons holding positions within the organization including president, generals, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, soldiers and prospects.  “Prospects” are those in the process of becoming TCB members.  Non-members who do business with or perform work for the TCB are referred to as “associates”.

TCB membership is for life and many of the members have tattoos – “TCB”, “39”, a necklace tattoo made of small bombs, a 1939 Chevy Bomb car, or three high-rise buildings –presenting their membership and allegiance to the TCB.  TCB members pay monthly fees to support incarcerated members and to further the illegal activity of the gang.

“This indictment represents our continued cooperative commitment to infiltrating and dismantling violent gangs who victimize our communities through random acts of violence, firearm violations, and drug distribution,” said U. S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno. “Gang activity represents a major organized crime threat, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with our federal, state, and local partners to disrupt their operations.”

“This investigation is an excellent example of the strength found in FBI partnerships with local, state, and other federal law enforcement agencies whereby resources are combined to identify and eradicate the threat posed by violent gangs in our communities, wherever they may be found,” said FBI SAC Cory B. Nelson.

These charges are part of a coordinated national effort to combat gangs and gang-related violence through federal prosecutions of members and associates. The Department of Justice announced today that more than 41 members of various street gangs charged in indictments or criminal complaints unsealed today in five judicial districts.

Overall, 112 defendants have been charged, pleaded guilty or been sentenced in February 2011 as part of this ongoing effort involving U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit, and federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

Coastal Bend Bank Robber Sentenced

CORPUS CHRISTI–A man who escaped a halfway and robbed two banks in the Coastal Bend was sentenced to 14 years in prison today.

Prosecutors said David Michael Hall, 32. robbed an IBC on Staples in Corpus Christi and Trust Texas Bank in Victoria last July.

Hall was a at halfway house for committing a bank robbery. He escaped from it in Corpus Christi and used a taxi cab to take him to the bank in Corpus Christi on July 12. With the cab driver waiting in the car in front of the bank, authorities said Hall went inside, committed the robbery, then the cabbie without knowing was his getaway driver.

Authorities said he took some of that money and caught a bus to Victoria where two days later he robbed a Victoria bank. Officers converged on the crime scene and caught Hall hiding inside a barber shop near the bank robbery.

The money taken in the Trust Texas Bank robbery was found on Hall, but they never found the $8,000 in cash from the IBC robbery in Corpus Christi. A judge order him to pay restitution for that crime back to the bank.

The judge ordered sentenced him to 178 months in federal prison and a three years of probation. Hall was convicted in November 2010, after pleading guilty to having used force, violence and intimidation to rob the two financial institutions.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com