Federal, State, and Local Authorities Arrest Nine Hondo-Based Texas Mexican Mafia Members Based on Federal Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 09, 2011|
United States Attorney John E. Murphy, FBI Special Agent in Charge Cory B. Nelson, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw announced today that eight Hondo, Texas-based members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) have been arrested based on a federal drug indictment; an ninth TMM member, on a federal firearms charge.
Those arrested, and charged by indictment include: 30-year-old Paul Anthony Sanchez of Hondo, Texas; 40year-old Eduardo Garcia of Poteet, Texas; 30-year-old Jason Ryan Gonzales of Hondo; 29-year-old Christopher Ybarra of Hondo; 31-year-old Jesus P. Sanchez of San Antonio; 31-year-old Adrian Lemus of Hondo; 23-year-old John Jay Navarro of Pearsall, Texas; and 29-year-old Andrew Rodriguez of Hondo. Authorities are still looking for 37-year-old Joseph Andrew Correa of Hondo.
A federal grand jury indictment, returned on July 20, 2011, and unsealed today, charges that since October 1, 2010, all of the defendants, with the exception of Rodriguez, have conspired to interfere with commerce by threats and/or violence. The indictment alleges that they conspired to extort money from methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana traffickers operating in Hondo, Poteet and Pearsall through the coercive collection of a 10 percent drug tax, also known as “the dime.” Collection of “the dime” was enforced by robbery, serious bodily injury, or other acts of violence.
The indictment also charges defendants Correa and Rodriguez with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine; Sanchez, one count of distribution of heroin. Upon conviction, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge and between five and 40 years in federal prison per drug distribution charge.
Authorities also arrested 38-year-old Ignacio Aragon, Jr., of San Antonio this morning while executing a search warrant at his residence. Investigators discovered a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol inside the residence. A federal criminal complaint, filed this morning, charges Aragon with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Aragon’s criminal history includes felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance, burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Upon conviction, Aragon faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the Texas Department of Public Safety - Criminal Investigations Division. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service, San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in this investigation.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.