Honduran Man Ordered to Prison for Assault on Officer
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 35-year-old illegal alien from Honduras has been sentenced to federal prison for assaulting a U.S. Border Patrol (BP) agent, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. A federal jury returned a guilty verdict Aug. 17, 2017, against Hernan Cortez-Mazariegos following a one-day trial and approximately two hours of deliberations.
This week, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen handed Cortez-Mazariegos an 18-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, Cortez-Mazariegos is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
On Nov. 15, 2016, BP agents responded to illegal alien traffic south of the border fence near Azucena street in Brownsville. A BP agent attempted to apprehend Cortez-Mazariegos, but he fled. The agent followed and attempted to arrest him, at which time Cortez-Mazariegos struck him on the side of his face, sustaining minor injury. Cortez-Mazariegos was eventually subdued and apprehended with the assistance of another BP agent.
Cortez-Mazariegos will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Numerous Alleged Members of Narcotics Trafficking Organization Taken into Custody
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A total of nine men have been arrested following multiple enforcement actions in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Crowley, Louisiana, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
During enforcement actions on Thursday, law enforcement arrested Jesus Hector Garza Jr., 29, of Rancho Viejo; Gelacio Flores-Flores, 31, and Mayra Rodriguez, 39, both of Los Fresnos; and Silvia Sarai Cruz, 26, and Ramon Martin Arambula, 46, both of Brownsville. They made their initial appearances last week and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Igancio Torteya on Nov. 22, 2017.
Ramon Montoya, 42, of Brownsville, was previously taken into custody in Memphis, Tennessee. Rubaldino Pecina, 36, of San Benito, was arrested in Corpus Christi, on Friday afternoon, while Juana Alcocer, 38, of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, was taken into custody Saturday as she entered the United States at the Veterans Bridge Port of Entry from Mexico. Today, law enforcement arrested John Fontenot, 46, of Crawley, Louisiana. Those four defendants are expected to appear in Brownsville in the near future.
On Oct. 31, 2017, a federal grand jury in Brownsville returned a 14-count indictment against Montoya – allegedly the leader of the organization and the others, alleging drug trafficking crimes related to marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. They allegedly transported marijuana for resale and sold crack cocaine in Cameron County. The charges also include delivering cocaine to Houston and methamphetamine to Louisiana.
The charges carry varying terms of imprisonment up to life depending on the counts charged as well as possible fines up to $10 million.
This was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation spanning two years.
Authorities Arrest Eight on San Antonio’s East Side on Federal Drug Distribution Charges
On Friday, federal, state and local authorities arrested without incident eight members of the Crips East Terrace Gangstas who call themselves the “Skinny Bloc Crew,” including 40–year-old ringleader Alvin Clark (aka “Ray Ray”), on federal drug charges stemming from a “crack” cocaine distribution investigation announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury in San Antonio returned an indictment charging Clark and the following with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute “crack” cocaine and one substantive count of possession with intent to distribute “crack” cocaine:
Earl Whitley, Jr. (aka “Earl Jr”, “E”), age 36;
Dai’Vonte E’Shaun Titus Ross (aka “Tay”), age 21;
Jovon Deante Stewart (aka “Lil JoJo”), age 24;
Paul Low (aka “P-Low”), age 49;
**Joseph Hammond (aka “JoJo”), age 37;
James Bilal Ali (aka “Showtime”), age 34;
Spurgeon Williams (aka “Bubba”), age 47; and,
Joseph Lake (aka “J.L.”), age 29.
** Already in state custody prior to today.
The indictment also charges Ross with one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to distribute more than 28 grams of “crack” cocaine since January 2016. The indictment further alleges that on September 19, 2017, Ross was in possession of a black pistol while distributing “crack” cocaine.
Upon conviction, Clark, Whitley, Ali, Hammond, Lake, Stewart, Low, and Williams face an enhanced penalty of between 10 years and Life in federal prison due to their criminal histories. Ross faces between five and 40 years in federal prison for each drug charge and a mandatory consecutive five years in federal prison on the firearm charge, upon conviction.
This investigation, conducted by local, state and federal authorities, focuses on drug trafficking and violent crime occurring on the city’s East side. Most all of the narcotics trafficking occurred in the 200 and 300 blocks of Ferris Avenue on the city’s East side.