Federal Authorities Arrest Maverick County Commissioner Rodolfo Heredia and Two Others in Alleged Connection with a Money Laundering and Bulk Cash Smuggling Scheme

October 19, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 18, 2012 released the following:

“Scheme involved the sale of vehicle to a known associate of the Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organization In Eagle Pass this morning, federal agents arrested Maverick County Commissioner Rodolfo Bainet Heredia and two accomplices charged in connection with a money laundering and bulk cash smuggling scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.

A four–count federal grand jury indictment, returned yesterday and unsealed today, charges Heredia, age 54; 62-year-old Jose Luis Aguilar of Eagle Pass; and 28-year-old David Gelacio of Eagle Pass with one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering; aiding and abetting money laundering; conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling; and aiding and abetting bulk cash smuggling.

According to the indictment, on January 4, 2011, Heredia had Aguilar travel to a ranch in Mexico owned by a known associate of the Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organization for the purpose of selling Heredia’s Ford F-250 King Ranch truck for $13,000. Following the sale, at Heredia’s bidding, Aguilar and Gelacio, carrying $7,000 cash and $6,000 cash, respectively, crossed the money from Mexico into the United States via the Eagle Pass Port of Entry. They are alleged to have divided and concealed the money in order to avoid a reporting requirement at the Port of Entry.

Upon conviction, each faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each money laundering-related charge and up to five years in federal prison for each bulk cash smuggling-related charge. All three remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Del Rio before U.S. Magistrate Judge Collis White.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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.


Federal Grand Jury Indicts Five in Connection with an Alleged Credit Card Fraud Scheme Involving the City of Eagle Pass

August 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“This morning, a federal grand jury in Del Rio returned an indictment charging five Eagle Pass residents, including former city of Eagle Pass Department of Public Works employee Edgar Aguilar, in connection with an estimated $70,000 credit card fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, and Eagle Pass Police Chief Tony Castañeda.

The five-count indictment charges the 27-year-old Aguilar, 25-year-old Rene Castillo, 43-year-old Armando Ojeda Nuncio, 39-year-old Ricardo Hernandez-Espinoza, and 30-year-old Elizabeth Vivian with one count of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. The indictment also charges all of the defendants, with the exception of Vivian, with one substantive count of credit card fraud.

According to the indictment, during 2011, Edgar Aguilar obtained five city of Eagle Pass-owned “Fuelman” credit cards designated for fuel purchases for Public Works department vehicles and distributed them to his co-defendants. The defendants then used those cards to purchase fuel for their own vehicles and to purchase fuel for others at the city’s expense. In some instances, defendants charged individuals a reduced rate for fuel purchased using the city’s credit card and then pocketed the cash.

Upon conviction, each defendant faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Aguilar, Castillo, Ojeda, and Hernandez-Espinosa are also subject to a maximum 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine upon conviction of the substantive credit card fraud charge. The government is also seeking to have the defendants repay the city of Eagle Pass for the cost of the misappropriated fuel.

This ongoing joint investigation is being conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with investigators from the Eagle Pass Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Don McCune is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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.


Javier Guerrero and Victor Esquivel Convicted by a Federal Jury of Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Statute

July 8, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Texas on July 7, 2011 released the following:

“FEDERAL JURY IN DEL RIO CONVICTS TWO TEXAS MEXICAN MAFIA MEMBERS

Defendants join ten others in awaiting sentencing in this case for violating the federal RICO statute

United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in Del Rio, two Texas Mexican Mafia members face life in federal prison after a federal jury last night returned guilty verdicts against the defendants for various federal racketeering offenses committed in Uvalde, Eagle Pass, Del Rio and the surrounding area.

Jurors convicted 23-year-old Javier “Javi” Guerrero of Uvalde, Texas, and 26-year-old Victor Esquivel of Eagle Pass, Texas, of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Testimony during trial revealed that Guerrero and Esquivel, together with ten other individuals, conspired to conduct the affairs of the Texas Mexican Mafia through a pattern of racketeering activity, which included murder, solicitation of murder, drug trafficking, and extortion. The extortion took the form of coercive collection of a ten percent drug tax, also known as “the dime,” from drug distributors known to the members of the criminal enterprise. Collection was enforced by robbery, serious bodily injury, or other acts of violence, including death.

Guerrero, who held a leadership position in the criminal organization, was also convicted of substantive charges of conspiracy and violent crime in aid of racketeering for the murders of Christopher Mendez in Concan, Texas, on December 6, 2006 and Jose Damian Garza in Hondo, Texas, on July 19, 2008. Esquivel was also convicted of conspiracy and violent crime in aid of racketeering for the murder of Garza. Guerrero and Esquivel are scheduled to be sentenced on December 12, 2011.

“The evidence presented at trial clearly demonstrates that the violence associated with the Texas Mexican Mafia is not confined to large metropolitan areas such as San Antonio, as many may have thought. The gang’s tentacles have spread to small towns and rural communities, bringing with them the wanton acts of violence, including murders, which have come to me the hallmark of the Mexican Mafia. As illustrated by this prosecution, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to bring these violent thugs to justice wherever they have taken their criminal conduct,” stated United States Attorney John E. Murphy.

Ten additional co-defendants face up to life in federal prison after entering guilty pleas to the RICO conspiracy charge prior to jury selection.

“Mexican Mafia used violence to spread fear throughout our community,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of the ICE HSI office in San Antonio, Texas. “As demonstrated by this trial, local members of the Mexican Mafia operated with a level of brutality alarming to even street gang standards. These convictions demonstrate that law enforcement and the community are united in our commitment to fight back and drive gang violence out of our neighborhoods.”

“As evidenced by this investigation, the Mexican Mafia, and its brutal methods, remain a direct and constant threat to our local communities and ultimately, our national security. The FBI, in close partnership with its federal and local law enforcement partners, and with the essential assistance of the local citizenry, will likewise continue to dismantle any and all Mexican Mafiarelated activities as they are identified,” said Special Agent In Charge Cory B. Nelson, FBI San Antonio.

The Texas Mexican Mafia was formed in the early 1980’s by inmates in the Texas prison system. Over the years, the gang has expanded its efforts to promote widespread criminal activity through extortion, narcotics trafficking, and violent crime. Also known as “La Eme” or “Mexikanemi,” the organization has been the subject of numerous federal indictments in the Western District of Texas since 1991. This investigation, however, is the first to directly target the gang’s machinery operating along the Texas–Mexico international border in the cities of Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Crystal City, Carrizo Springs, Uvalde, Sabinal and Hondo.

This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hondo Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Rangers, Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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