BEEVILLE – Two Beeville men pleaded guilty recently to federal charges they took part in a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme that stretched from Mexico to Houston.
Miguel Montemayor, 36, offered his plea Feb. 4 for his part in what prosecutors say was his assistance in the scheme which involved concealing money made from the sale of drugs primarily through cattle and vehicle auctions.
The second man, Lee Roy Tanguma, 38, pleaded guilty Nov. 4 only to selling drugs.
This has come to light as part of a trial that involved a former George West man who was found guilty March 17 of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, conspiracy to launder money and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The jury also ruled that Ricardo Guerrero, 55, now of Mathis, must forfeit three of his homes to the government. Two of these homes are located in Mathis and one in Sandia.
During trial, the government provided evidence that Guerrero was the leader of the conspiracies, which existed from 2009 through his arrest on Sept. 26, 2013. Guerrero was proven to be a major dealer in methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, according to information provided by United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Over the course of the two-year investigation, law enforcement agents seized more than six kilograms of methamphetamine, five kilograms of heroin and six kilograms of cocaine. In addition to these amounts, trial testimony also proved that Guerrero’s criminal organization was moving kilogram amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine at least once or twice a month.
He obtained the illegal narcotics from Mexico and had them crossed into the United States at Brownsville, McAllen or Laredo and stored the narcotics on numerous properties he owned in Mathis and in neighboring counties.
Guerrero sold the methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to sources throughout South Texas, as far north as Houston and as far west as San Antonio.
Neither of the plea agreements for Montemayor or Tanguma say what their time in federal prison or on probation would be, according to federal court records. They do stipulate that both would “provide substantial assistance to the government...”
These two men were among a host of others who pleaded guilty recently to similar charges.
Jesus Borja-Borja, 25, of Edinburg, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy, specifically, to being Guerrero’s main source of supply in obtaining the illegal narcotics. Elena Barrera, 36, of Mathis, and Frank Coronado, 30, of Brownsville, were convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Wayne Dedow, 49, of Mathis, Miguel Montemayor, 36, of Beeville, and Douglas Massey, 34, Ricky Bazaldua, 36, and Ramon Alonzo Gonzales, 44, all from Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty for transporting or selling specific loads of narcotics for Guerrero. Six others—Krystan Rios, 23, Eddie Hernandez, 32, Victor Arocha, 54, Sulema Vasquez, 50, Jada Gregg Warren, 30, and Daniel Sosa, 43, all of San Antonio—entered guilty pleas to their roles in transporting or selling specific loads of narcotics for Guerrero.
The remaining conspirators pleaded guilty to their roles in transporting or selling narcotics for Guerrero. These included Carlos Molina, 71, and Roberto Contreras, 57, both of Robstown, Richard Pacheco, 41, of Karnes City, Lee Roy Tanguma, 38, of Beeville, Benjamin Hernandez, 38, of Sandia, and Emmanuel Pabon Lugo, 37, and Amalia Dimas, 36, both of Corpus Christi.
Molina, Hernandez and Contreras have already been sentenced to 44, 151 and 188 months imprisonment, respectively, as have Pacheco and Lugo, who each received 63-month terms. The remaining co-defendants will be sentenced April 17.
Those charged in relation to this case were identified through a long-term investigation conducted jointly by Homeland Security Investigations and Texas Department of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad W. Cowan.