Jury in Del Rio Convicts Eagle Pass Businessman on Federal Drug Charges
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, a federal jury in Del Rio returned a guilty verdict against Felipe Carmona- Rodriguez for narcotics distribution in Eagle Pass, Texas, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Special Agent in Charge Joseph Arabit of the DEA’s Houston Division, and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
Jurors convicted 50-year-old Felipe Carmona-Rodriguez, of Eagle Pass, Texas, of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine from January 1, 2009 until March 21, 2014, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine. Evidence presented at trial showed that Carmona-Rodriquez used his two businesses, Felipe’s Auto Detail Shop and Felipe’s Auto Sales to sell cocaine and launder drug proceeds. Additionally, Carmona-Rodriguez sold cocaine from his home and had others sell cocaine for him from a local Eagle Pass bar. Carmona-Rodriguez hired others to sell cocaine for him and collected the street tax from these dealers on behalf of the Mexican Mafia. During recorded calls played at trial Carmona-Rodriguez stated he had been involved in the distribution of narcotics for twenty-eight (28) years.
Carmona-Rodriguez’s potential punishment range for his conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine is 5 to 40 years in prison. For his conviction for possession with the intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine, Carmona-Rodriguez faces up to 20 years for each conviction. Carmona-Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15, 2015, before United States District Judge Alia Moses.
The case resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations and United States Border Patrol. Also assisting in the investigation was the Texas Department of Public Safety—Criminal Investigations Division. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ralph Paradiso and Timothy Duree.