MCALLEN, Texas – A Donna man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. 40-year-old Juan Fernando Mata pleaded guilty Jan. 9, 2019.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Mata to serve 130 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release.
At the hearing, Judge Alvarez considered Mata’s role in assisting members of a “rip crew” by conducting fraudulent traffic stops on drug load vehicles so that members of that crew could steal the controlled substances.
Specifically, the court considered Mata’s role in conducting traffic stops in January 2016 and another in May 2017, to assist members in stealing approximately nine kilograms of cocaine and approximately 400 pounds of marijuana, respectfully,
In considering the many letters of support for Mata, including the City of Donna Mayor and employees of Donna Independent School District, the court noted its concern with individuals viewing him as a role model. She stated that it speaks to poor principles when someone sworn to uphold and enforce the law completely disregards it.