Sixteen Austin-Based Texas Mexican Mafia Members and Associates Arrested on Drug Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 14, 2011|
AUSTIN, TX—FBI Special Agent in Charge Cory B. Nelson, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, and United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in Austin, 16 members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia have been arrested on federal drug charges. Those arrested early this morning include the following persons:
Michael Morin, 44
Ruben Flores, 44
David Jeffery Torres, 37
David Samarripa, 32
Michael Martinez, 36
Edward Zuniga, 34
David Romo, 59
Domingo Mendieta, 41
Juan Manuel Pierce, 58
Nickolas Estrada, 45
Crystal Elizabeth Morin, 31
Ernesto Lopez, 60
Daniel Camacho Gonzales, 45
Luis Gerardo Salazar, 24
Jose Eduardo Placencia, 39
Arnulfo Perez-Torres, 51
Patrick James Cruz, 27, and Eloy Davila, 53, were also indicted and were already in custody.
A federal grand jury indictment returned on July 5, 2011, and unsealed today, charges that since April 2009, the defendants have conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than one kilogram of heroin.
Fourteen search warrants were also executed this morning which resulted in the seizure of guns, cash, and suspected drugs, to include heroin, cocaine, crack, marijuana, and methamphetamine. The arrests and search warrants were executed at numerous locations in Austin, Seguin, and Pflugerville. Upon conviction, the defendants face between 10 years and life in federal prison.
In addition to the law enforcement agencies listed above, this investigation was conducted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of Inspector General, and the Williamson County, Travis County, Hays County, and Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Offices, the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Seguin, San Marcos Police Departments, and the Hays County District Attorney’s Office.
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. The arrested persons listed will have an initial appearance hearing before a United States Magistrate Judge later today, after which they will be turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for further processing.