South Laredo trafficking group indicted
LAREDO, TX — A total of 24 alleged members of a cocaine, crack and marijuana trafficking group have been arrested and charged with multiple violations of federal law, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Joseph M. Arabit, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A 25th defendant was also taken into custody and charged by criminal complaint. The defendants are all residents of Laredo.
The indictment was returned under seal April 29, 2014, and unsealed upon the arrest of each defendant today. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga tomorrow.
According to the indictment, the drug trafficking organization was allegedly responsible for distributing cocaine, crack and marijuana throughout the Laredo area, maintaining a drug premises and utilizing minors to distribute the narcotics. The indictment alleges the conspiracy spanned from January 2012 through April 2014.
“DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are working together to have a positive impact at the local level,” said Arabit. “Together, we are taking these drug dealers off the streets and depriving them of the opportunity to further engage in criminal activity which has adversely affected the quality of life in this region. We are sending a strong and unified message that drug dealing, at all levels, will not be tolerated, and, in turn, we are making our communities safer.”
Rafael Melendez aka “Chon,” 18, was charged in the criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Those charged in the indictment as part of the conspiracy and taken into custody today include:
- Adan Melendez aka “12,” 38
- Gerardo Melendez aka “Jerry,” 31
- Rafael Andres Melendez aka “Lito,” 42
- Mario Alberto Melendez, 34
- Mario Alberto Gutierrez aka “Chito,” 38
- Roberto Daniel Perez aka “Danny,” 36
- Adan Melendez Jr. aka “Vivi,” 20
- Jesus Rosendo Garcia-Melendez aka “Goldy,” 21
- Juan Jose Melendez aka “Pelon,” 31
- Maria Guadalupe Melendez aka “Wawi,” 39
- Maria Del Rosario Melendez aka “Chayo,” 44
- Manuel Hernandez aka “Lolo,” 19
- Alejandro Reyes aka “Keiko,” 31
- Rene Gabriel Gonzalez aka “Beast,” 46
- Carlos Alberto Acosta aka “Pinni,” 36
- Jorge Armando Perez, 34
- Hertor Manuel Cavazos, 26
- Pedro Omar Garza-Cadena, 31
- Oscar Sanchez-Avila, 24
- Arturo Garcia, 21
- Luis Felipe Melendez aka “3,” 22
- Julio Eduardo Almazan Jr., 22
- Jose Juan Sosa, 19
Jesus Ramirez aka “Playboy,” 19