Six Sent to Prison After Traffic Stops Yield Kilos of Meth
CORPUS CHRISTI – The final member of a of a Corpus Christi drug trafficking organization has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Jesse Soliz, 40, Joshua Cadena, 30, Matthew Cadena, 34, all of Corpus Christi, and Luis Reyes-Camacho, 36, a citizen of Mexico unlawfully in the United States, pleaded guilty July 22, 2021, while Yvette Hernandez, 39, and Julio Rodriguez, 52, also of Corpus Christi, entered their pleas Sept. 24, 2021, and March 23, 2022, respectively.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Matthew Cadena to a 135-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court noted the significant quantity of drugs involved and roles Matthew and Joshua Cadena held as mid-level distributors who worked under Soliz.
Judge Ramos previously sentenced the other four for their respective involvement in the conspiracy. Notably, Luis Reyes-Camacho, who was identified as the supplier of the illegal drugs, and Jesse Soliz, who managed the local distribution network, received 324 months and 235 months, respectively.
In March 2020, law enforcement initiated an investigation into a drug trafficking operation in the Corpus Christi area involving meth and heroin. This resulted in the identification and arrest of multiple individuals ranging from street level dealers to mid-level suppliers.
On April 10, 2020, authorities conducted a traffic stop and identified Matthew Cadena and Hernandez as the driver and passenger, respectively. Because Cadena did not have a valid driver’s license, Cadena was arrested, and his vehicle impounded. Inside the car, they discovered approximately 60 grams of meth the center console.
In January 2021, law enforcement learned Jesse Soliz, Joshua Cadena, Matthew Cadena and their associates were going to receive a large shipment of illegal narcotics, believed to be meth and heroin, from an unknown individual that resided outside of the Corpus Christi area. Upon surveilling Soliz’s residence, law enforcement observed Luis Reyes-Camacho arrive in a vehicle. Soliz walked out of the garage as Reyes-Camacho retrieved a large bag from the vehicle. Both then entered the residence. A short time later, several individuals exited the garage and drove away in multiple vehicles.
Law enforcement stopped Rodriguez and Joshua Cadena in a vehicle in which they later found two clear baggies containing approximately 60 grams of meth. During a simultaneous stop, a K-9 alerted to the front engine of a vehicle in which Reyes-Camacho was driving. Soliz was the passenger. A subsequent search resulted in the discovery of two kilograms of meth.
Authorities also discovered an additional three kilograms of meth in the residence of Soliz as well as a kilogram of heroin, approximately $26,000, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol and ammunition.
Matthew Cadena has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Smoke’M Out with the assistance of Texas Department of Public Safety and the Corpus Christi Police Department. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt prosecuted the case.