DA taskforce agent receives attorney award

DA taskforce agent receives attorney award
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 10:37am

A Cameron County District Attorney’s Office Taskforce Agent (TFA) assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration received the 2013 U.S. Attorney Award for his role in dismantling a major drug-trafficking organization.

TFA Luis Alaniz received the federal award Tuesday at the 2013 United States Attorney’s Awards held at the Michael T. Shelby Conference Center in Houston, Texas.

TFA Alaniz, a 16-year veteran of the DA’s Office, began his work on Operation Spike Strip in 2009. Operation Spike Strip was a narcotics trafficking and money-laundering investigation targeting the Jorge Aguilar Gallardo drug-trafficking organization which operated under the auspices of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros, Mexico, and throughout the Southern District of Texas. Further, its affiliates, Armando Arambul and Edgar Hinojosa, based in Brownsville, TX were responsible for transporting multi-ton quantities of cocaine to Houston, New York and other major cities.

Jorge Aguilar Gallardo, Arambul, Hinojosa and nine others were indicted in 2011 and are currently incarcerated in a federal detention facility.

“The work of the agents, their collective determination and effective use of investigative techniques ultimately dismantled the Gallardo drug-trafficking organization,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas wrote in its award description.

TFA Alaniz credits the award to a diligent, collaborative effort by various law enforcement agencies, which included numerous wire taps, money seizures and arrests of high-level members of the organization. About 40 kilograms of cocaine, $1.64 million and real property valued at $1.7 million were seized as part of the investigation. TFA Alaniz was one of six agents from various law-enforcement agencies to be recognized by the United States Attorney’s for their participation in Operation Spike Strip.

Alaniz was joined by his family, District Attorney Luis V. Saenz and Deputy Chief of Internal Affairs and Public Integrity Victor Cortez.

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