Jury Convicts Another in Large-Scale Drug-Trafficking Conspiracy
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury in Corpus Christi has convicted Rodolfo Casares, 38, of Brownsville, on one count of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances – methamphetamine and cocaine, respectively, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for two hours and returned the guilty verdicts just moments ago following a two-day trial.
The jury heard from 10 government witnesses, which included testimony that Casares supplied heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine to a major drug trafficking organization headquartered in Mathis and lead by Ricardo Guerrero, 56, of Mathis. On March 18, 2014, Guerrero was convicted by a federal jury in Corpus Christi for being the leader of this conspiracy and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment on June 5, 2014.
Casares was involved in the conspiracy from 2009 through most of 2012 and utilized his connections in Mexico to obtain the illegal narcotics and had them crossed into the United States at Brownsville, McAllen or Laredo. Once here, the illegal narcotics were then transported to Guerrero and stored in numerous properties Guerrero owned in Mathis and in neighboring counties.
Guerrero then made the arrangements to sell the heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine throughout the Southern District of Texas and in San Antonio. On Aug. 20, 2011, three conspirators that Casares had hired were arrested at the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint at Hebbronville while attempting to transport methamphetamine and cocaine to Guerrero.
Trial testimony also provided that Guerrero’s criminal organization was moving kilogram amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine at least once or twice a month during the conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos presided over the trial and has set sentencing for May 15, 2015. At that time, Casares faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Those charged in relation to this case were identified through a long-term investigation conducted jointly by Homeland Security Investigations and Texas Department of Public Safety in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad W. Cowan is prosecuting the case.