Four Laredo Men Sentenced For Trafficking Narcotics
LAREDO, Texas - Four Laredoans have been ordered to prison for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic drugs from Laredo to the Dallas area via the use of tractor trailers, announced Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Javier Mota-Villanueva, 34, Armando Javier Picazo Jimenez, 43, Armando Eloy Gutierrez, 38, and Leopoldo Rodriguez III, 26, each had previously pleaded guilty for their respective roles.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña ordered Mota-Villanueva to serve a total of 120 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. The other three were sentenced last month. Picazo Jimenez and Gutierrez each received 120 months in prison, while Rodriguez was sentenced to a 24-month term of imprisonment.
Picazo Jimenez led a drug trafficking organization responsible for the transportation and distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of marijuana from Laredo to the Dallas area. Picazo Jimenez used his ties to the Nuevo Laredo source of supply to illegally import the bulk marijuana from Mexico into the US via Laredo. He recruited the co-conspirators to assist in storing and transporting the marijuana from Laredo to the Dallas area.
Gutierrez was in charge of finding warehouses for the organization to use and then soliciting shipping companies to transport trailers with marijuana and cover with loads of merchandise. Gutierrez also acted as a scout by following drivers transporting the drug loads through Border Patrol checkpoints. After passing the checkpoints, Gutierrez would drive to the Dallas area to assist in receiving and unloading the drugs.
Mota-Villanueva worked in the organization’s warehouses, where he wrapped the marijuana, moved pallets and loaded the drugs onto trailers.
Rodriguez was tasked with wrapping marijuana and assisting with loading of narcotics onto trailers at the organization’s warehouses.
The investigation revealed three warehouses in Laredo that the organization used at different periods from on or about September 2013 to on or about July 31, 2014. They were located on the 1800 block of Aduanales, the 200 block of Corpus Christi Street and the 1600 block of West Calton. During the investigation, law enforcement agents seized three loads of marijuana with a combined weight of more than 1600 kilograms originating from these warehouses.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of task force members from the Webb County District Attorney’s Office and the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Lou Castillo and Mike Eaton are prosecuting the case.