Five ordered to custody in Galveston on charges of methamphetamine distribution
GALVESTON, TX — Five men, charged with conspiracy to possess with the Intent to distribute methamphetamine in the Galveston area, have been ordered detained pending further criminal proceedings, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Abel Hinojosa, 34, Nelson Agapito Ventura, 37, Daniel Reyna, 33, Israel Sanchez, 20, and Rodolfo Hernandez Perez, 26, all of La Marque, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John R. Froeschner last Friday. The court took the matter under advisement and subsequently ordered they be detained pending trial.
All five are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the Intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine as well as more than 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas.
Perez and Hinojosa are further charged with one and three counts, respectfully, of possession with intent to distribute varying amounts of methamphetamine. The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture.
At the hearing, the government presented evidence that Hinojosa and Ventura were the alleged leaders of this narcotics conspiracy. According to the allegations, they were obtaining crystal methamphetamine and other narcotics from Mexico, sending couriers to pick up the narcotics and then distributing the drugs within Galveston as well as to out-of-state customers.
Perez and Sanchez allegedly served as couriers for the drug conspiracy, helping to pick up the drugs from Mexico and transporting it to customers.
The government presented evidence that Reyna served as a street-level distributor. Upon his arrest, he was allegedly found with crystal methamphetamine, eight firearms (including two assault rifles) and approximately 1000 rounds of ammunition.
After hearing the evidence and testimony, Judge Froeschner found them to be a danger to the community and ordered they be detained pending further criminal proceedings. The court further noted the strength of the government’s case and its substantial evidence. Trial is set for Sept. 22, 2014.
Each face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison for the conspiracy, if convicted. The possession with intent charges against Hinojosa and Perez also carry varying terms of either a minimum of five and up to 40 or another minimum of 10 and up to life for the underlying drug offenses.
The case is being investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Galveston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ted Imperato and Sharad Khandelwal are prosecuting.