TCB Gang Members Arrested in Federal Case

MCALLEN–The 13 members of a notorious gang called the Tri City Bombers, who were indicted in a federal case, are now behind bars charged 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. 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.  The last defendant was picked up today.

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.

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.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.

–South Texas Tribune, southtexastribune@gmail.com

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