Federal agents make arrests in Texas drug trafficking schemes.
A dozen San Antonio, Texas residents are facing federal drug trafficking charges, according to an announcement by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. The agency has alleged the defendants were in possession of illicit substances at the time of their arrests.
The federal grand jury indictment included the following defendants, charging them all with “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance,” stating they “conspired in 2020 to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine”: Francisco Garza aka “Pancho,” 52; Joe Angel Villarreal aka “Compadre,” 55; Frank Zepeda aka “Pancho,” 51; Jose Tabares, 53; Matthew Villa, 51; Michelle Zamarripa, 59; Jacqueline Alvarez, 57; Rodger Hernandez aka “Rocky,” 43; Jay Haggard, 34; Oscar Heredia, 37; Jason Gutierrez aka “Big Mac,” 37; and Jacob Sanchez, 21.
Haggard was also indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm after the DEA found a Taurus semi-automatic pistol in his possession last year. According to court records, “Haggard was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to four years imprisonment for aggravated robbery in Bexar County.” As a result of this crime, he is not legally able to own a gun.
Authorities seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine, over 30 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, methamphetamine, three handguns and approximately $235,000, the DEA reports. Previously, agents seized approximately 21 kilograms of cocaine, 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, a firearm and approximately $124,000 along with other assets relevant to the case.
“The arrests made yesterday in San Antonio conclude a comprehensive investigation by the DEA along with our law enforcement partners into the criminal activities of a drug trafficking organization, who were responsible for transporting and distributing methamphetamine and cocaine into our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Comeaux. “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our citizens. The DEA will continue to relentlessly pursue any individual or organization that threatens the well-being and stability of our communities.”
Nearly all of the defendants will face between ten years to life in federal prison upon conviction. Gutierrez faces between five and 40 years upon conviction. Haggard faces up to ten years in federal prison upon conviction for the firearm charge.
These arrests follow those made in February in the San Antonio area in which thirteen people were charged with trafficking cocaine, according to the Western District of Texas Department of Justice (DOJ). A federal grand jury charged the arrestees with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Authorities said, during the investigation they seized 25 kilograms of cocaine, 35 firearms, two silencers, a grenade, body armor and $256,000.
“Drug dealing and violence go hand in hand. That fact is evident from the number of firearms recovered in this investigation – not to mention the silencers, grenade and body armor. Thanks to the excellent work of the DEA and our other law enforcement partners, our community is safer today,” said U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer at the time of the arrests.