Federal Criminal Trial Resumes in Laredo Federal Court For Three Men Accused of a Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

Laredo Morning Times on July 23, 2013 released the following:

Three stand trial in alleged cocaine trafficking conspiracy

By César G. Rodriguez
Laredo Morning Times

Three men are standing trial this week in federal court before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, accused of taking part in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

An indictment filed June 27, 2012, charges Enrique Mendez, Carlos Flores Sr., and Carlos Flores Jr., with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. Mendez faces additional charges of money laundering conspiracy and obstruction by threats of force while Flores Sr. faces an added charge of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Robert Flores, Homeland Security Investigations special agent, took the stand as the first witness. He talked about several surveillance instances which implicated a man identified as Elbert Figueroa and the Floreses. Federal authorities identified Figueroa as the person in charge of the connections in Mexico and the transportation cells in Laredo. Figueroa would pick up cocaine and stash it to later be moved to Atlanta. He was also in charge of receiving drug money to later be taken into Mexico. Money seizures included sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Agents arrested Figueroa in 2010 on conspiracy and cocaine charges. He’s yet to be sentenced.

Part of the conspiracy was to recruit individuals to perform various functions critical to the success of the organization. An indictment states that people assisted in the storage, loading, transportation, unloading, conducting surveillance and delivery of drug shipments. During the conspiracy, commercial tractor-trailers had to be used to transport cocaine from Texas to Georgia. Drug proceeds flowed down to Laredo to pay for transportation costs and other expenses. The rest of money was headed to Mexico, according to the indictment.

In opening statements, defense attorney Silverio A. Martinez Jr., who represents Mendez, said a man violated his client’s and took advantage of the yard at KCM Transportation, 645 Rancho Peñitas Road, owned by Mendez. Martinez said truckers are not supposed to fill the trailer with illicit items.

About the “kidnapping” or obstruction by threats of force allegation against Mendez, Martinez said that was false. Martinez told jurors they’ll hear testimony that the alleged victim was at a ranch cooking out and drinking beer with an illegal immigrant. The victim had his vehicle’s keys in his pocket and was never kidnapped.

Martinez told jurors that Figueroa was protecting the real “boss” in hopes that’d reduce his sentence.

The trial resumed at 8:30 a.m. today.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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