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Drug trafficking suspect sentenced

January 17, 2019

The third of 11 defendants arrested in a conspiracy to smuggle crack cocaine, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine from Brownsville to cities throughout the United States was sentenced in federal court Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez sentenced Juana Idalia Alcocer-Cordoba, of Matamoros, to 7.5 years in prison on a charge of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, namely 4.4 pounds on May 28, 2016.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas announced the arrests and dismantling of the drug trafficking organization in late 2017, and since then, the case has slowly worked its way through the system.

Rodriguez sentenced Jorge Luis Rodriguez-Sanchez to nearly six years in prison on May 30, 2018, for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine on March 2, 2016, for delivering 54 grams of crack cocaine to a co-conspirator in Brownsville, and on Jan. 11, Rodriguez sentenced Silvia Sarai Cruz, of Brownsville, to 1.4 years in prison for her role in attempting to smuggle a little more than 348 pounds of marijuana on South Padre Island on April 28, 2016, court records show.

Jesus Hector Garza Jr., of Rancho Viejo, Gelacio Flores-Flores, of Los Fresnos, Rubaldino Pecina, of San Benito, Ramon Martin Arambula, of Brownsville, and Mayra Danira Rodriguez, of Los Fresnos, have all pleaded guilty to various charges in the conspiracy and are scheduled for sentencing in the coming months.

Only two defendants have not entered guilty pleas. John Fontenot, of Crawley, La., has pleaded not guilty to three methamphetamine smuggling charges and is scheduled for trial on April 2.

Ramon Montoya, of Brownsville, the alleged ringleader, was arrested in Memphis, Tenn., last appeared in court in Jan. 2017 to plead not guilty to the charges and hasn’t made an appearance since, court records show.

The last suspect involved in the conspiracy is Luis Carlos Garza-Longoria, but prosecutors dismissed the charges against him in November 2017 because he has already been prosecuted in Harris County where he was sentenced to seven years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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