TYLER – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Tuesday that 16 individuals have been arrested following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas. A combined task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies Tuesday began arresting individuals named in a federal indictment returned by a grand jury on Nov. 20. The indictment charges the suspects with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana in the Eastern District of Texas.
Here are the defendants named in the indictment:
ANTONIO CORTEZ GONZALES, 34, of Tyler,
MONICA HENSLEY, 35, of Longview,
GUILLERMO ORTIZ-PINEDA, a/k/a “The General,” 38, of Houston,
JUAN GUTIERREZ MOJICA, 43, of Tyler,
a/k/a “Benjamin Blanco”, a/k/a “Chava”,
a/k/a “Chaparro”, a/k/a “El4″,
a/k/a “Carlos Pineda”, a/k/a “Oneldo Pineda”,
a/k/a “Eledoni Panteleon”,
a/k/a “Serafin GutietTez”,
a/k/a “Gonzalo Coria”, a/k/a “Luis Tapia”,
a/k/a “Emilio Guerra;”
MIRIAM REYES, 41, of Houston,
JUVENCIO DUQUE, 53, of Dallas,
MAURICIO ORROSTIETA RODRIGUEZ, 40, of Tyler,
ALEJANDRO HERNANDEZ, 46, of Irving, Texas,
IVAN SANCHEZ, 21, of Tyler,
ESTEBAN AVELLANEDA MUNOZ, 19, of Tyler,
JONHYAYALA, 34, of Tyler,
JESUS BOTELLO, 34, of Tyler,
GUADALUPE CUARENTA, 48, of Tyler,
SERGIO MOJICA, 30, of Tyler,
LUIS GARCIA-AGUIRRE, 32, of Tyler, and
IRERI PINEDA, xx, of Tyler.
If convicted, the defendants face from 10 years to life in federal prison. This case is the result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) joint investigation. Authorities report that in August 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tyler Task Force, in conjunction with multiple law enforcement agencies, initiated an OCDETF investigation into a crystal methamphetamine trafficking organization. Officials say it’s based in the East Texas area with direct ties to Mexico. The organization also allegedly distributes cocaine and marijuana. Authorities say the 16-month investigation involved extensive surveillance and innovative investigative techniques.
Several sources of supply for crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana were reportedly identified during the course of the investigation. To date, law enforcement officials have seized multiple pounds of crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. Officers have also seized more than $158,000 cash, multiple weapons, vehicles, and real property.