Reputed Leader of Tri City Bomber Street Gang Pleads Guilty in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 06, 2012|
HOUSTON—Jeffrey Juarez, the one-time leader of the notorious Tri City Bomber (TCB) Street gang, has entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and ecstasy, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with and Armando Fernandez, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
Juarez, aka “Dragon” and “Tira,” 35, of Sugar Land, Texas, and 12 fellow gang members were indicted February 2011 following a four-year long investigation. The 11 co-defendants all previously entered guilty pleas and are also awaiting sentencing.
“This plea concludes a long effort among federal, state, and local agents to battle significant gang activity in our district,” said Magidson. “Even though this case and its ultimate results may have struck a massive blow to this organization, our work in this area remains a priority, and we will continue to do our part to help ensure all our communities are safe.”
Juarez led the TCB gang, who made money by trafficking in cocaine and other drugs and by providing protection services for drug loads.
“The threat to the McAllen community posed by gangs such as the Tri City Bombers will never be taken lightly by the FBI,” said Fernandez. “The FBI, along with its local and federal partners, will use the effective tool of the Violent Crime Task Force to target and dismantle criminals like gang leader Jeffrey Juarez wherever they may show themselves.”
In October 2008, Juarez agreed the gang would provide protection for loads of cocaine traveling through South Texas for money. Unknown to Juarez, however, the loads were controlled by the FBI. Thereafter, Juarez, aided by other members or associates of the TCB gang provided protection for eight loads of cocaine loaded into a vehicle by the FBI. Juarez was paid for his services after each load and each transport was monitored by video and audio recording.
During this same time frame, Juarez sold approximately 388 Ecstasy pills to an FBI confidential source on numerous occasions.
The TCB gang was formed in the early 1980s in the Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo areas of South Texas. An organized group with mandatory specific rules and regulations, known as “Las Reglas,” to endure loyalty and participation of gang members in criminal activity, the TCB also has a decision-making hierarchy, including a person in charge in each city and persons holding positions within the organization including president, generals, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, soldiers, and prospects. Prospects are those in the process of becoming TCB members. Non-members who do business with or perform work for the TCB are referred to as associates.
TCB membership is for life and many of the members have tattoos such as “TCB,” a necklace tattoo made of small bombs, a 1939 Chevy Bomb car, three high-rise buildings, or “39,” which present their membership and allegiance to the TCB. Members pay monthly fees to support incarcerated members and to further the illegal activity of the gang.
Juarez has been in custody since his arrest, where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing, set for December 18, 2012. At that time, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $4 million fine, and up to five years of supervised release.
This investigation was led by agents and officers from the FBI, assisted by the United States Border Patrol, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, McAllen Police Department, and Mission Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Tim S. Braley and Mark Donnelly are prosecuting the case.