Contributedby USATXS-Public Affairs Officer Angela Dodge
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Three men working with the Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) to distribute heroin and cocaine in the Corpus Christi area have been sentenced to federal prison, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Alejandro Guerrero, 39, of Corpus Christi, was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin after a two-day jury trial in October 2013.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden W. Head sentenced Guerrero to a total term of 188 months in federal prison which will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.
Jose Miguel Zuniga aka Slick, 33, also of Corpus Christi, and Alberto Donicio Galindo aka Crazy Horse, 38, of Laredo, had previously entered respective guilty pleas to possession with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Zuniga and Galindo were also sentenced today to 74 and 24 months in federal prison, respectively. Both will serve three years of supervised release.
The remaining defendants in this case, Ruben Esparza aka Popo, 36, and Ernesto Villarreal aka Crash, 36, both of Robstown, have also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the heroin conspiracy and are scheduled for sentencing in Houston before U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Altas in February.
Jurors in the trial of Guerrero heard testimony that Esparza, a local leader of the TMM, had been receiving shipments of narcotics from Laredo in 2011. Investigators learned of the time and place of drug shipments and witnessed Guerrero meet with a courier from Laredo at a Corpus Christi Walmart on two occasions. After a traffic stop, law enforcement discovered a loaded handgun in the passenger compartment of Guerrero’s vehicle. “Black tar” heroin was also found hidden in a secret compartment of Guerrero’s vehicle.
Galindo was another courier for the Laredo drug source. He delivered 4 ½ ounces of cocaine to Esparza in April 2011. Zuniga, another member of the TMM, admitted to purchasing an ounce of heroin from Esparza in May 2011, which Zuniga then intended to distribute.
All defendants have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was investigated through a joint effort by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Corpus Christi Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.