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24 Federally Indicted in San Antonio for Alleged Drug and Firearm Trafficking

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 U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas announced at a press conference Thursday that 24 alleged members and associates of the Mexican American prison gang Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos were indicted in San Antonio for criminal charges related to their alleged drug and firearm trafficking. Image for illustration purposes
U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas announced at a press conference Thursday that 24 alleged members and associates of the Mexican American prison gang Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos were indicted in San Antonio for criminal charges related to their alleged drug and firearm trafficking. Image for illustration purposes

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas

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SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas announced at a press conference Thursday that 24 alleged members and associates of the Mexican American prison gang Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos were indicted in San Antonio for criminal charges related to their alleged drug and firearm trafficking.

Law enforcement arrested 19 alleged gang members and associates Tuesday in an operation involving federal, state and local agencies. Five of the 24 defendants were already in federal or state custody prior to Tuesday’s arrests.

The indictment carries 24 counts including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking; conspiracy to traffic firearms; and more. If convicted, the defendants face varying ranges of time in prison, from maximum sentences of 15 or 20 years to penalties of five years to life in prison.

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A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“Thank you to our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, led by the FBI and DEA in this case, for their ongoing commitment to investigating these issues in our communities and for their continued commitment to reducing violence, and firearm and drug crimes that plague our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “Their professionalism, determination, and expertise help protect the safety of our citizens and allow our federal prosecutors to keep violent criminals out of our communities for years.”

“We are truly safer today because there are fewer firearms in the hands of bad actors — fewer kilos of meth, heroin and cocaine for sale in our community and one less trafficking organization doing business in South Texas,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tapp of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “The FBI remains committed working with our partners in whatever way we can to reduce violent crime in our communities, throughout the state of Texas – and across the country.”

“These arrests will put a dent into HPL’s drug trafficking activities that have been their main source of income,” said Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux for the Drug Enforcement Administration Houston Division. Members rely on the money made outside to fund members behind bars and help HPL as an organization thrive at the devastating expense of our communities.”

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The defendants arrested Tuesday are:
Daniel Natividad aka “Danny Boy,” 50, of Hebronville
Brian Zepeda aka “Get Down”, 39, of San Antonio
Roberto Ibarra aka “Bobby,” 44, of Laredo
Mike Rayas Carrillo aka “Gordo,” 37, of San Antonio
Jesus Mendoza Jr. aka “Chivo,” 50, of San Antonio
Gilberto Garcia aka “Gibo,” 42, of San Antonio
Ramon Lozoya aka “Bulldog,” 41, of San Antonio
Maximo Flores Jr., 44, of San Antonio
Miguel Zamora Rosas aka “Eight Ball”, 39, of San Antonio
Paul Garcia aka “Baby Paul”, 38, of San Antonio
Abraham Pagan aka “Shank,” 44, of San Antonio
Mark Anthony Avila, 43, of San Antonio
Rudy Hugo Lopez, 34, of San Antonio
Robert Davalos Alvarado aka “Pork Chop,” 41, of San Antonio
Raymond Medina aka “Crime”, 35, of San Antonio
Roger Hilburn, 33, of San Antonio
Armando Perales aka “Pitbull,” 54, of San Antonio
Ruben Rivera, 36, of San Antonio
JR Perales, 31, of San Antonio
The following defendants were already in custody:
Antonio Rios Jr. aka “Tone”, 33, of San Antonio
Vidal Morales Jr. aka “Moe”, 49, of San Antonio
Ronald Mendoza aka “Ronnie,” 41, of San Antonio
Carlos Bernal aka “Guero,” 46, of San Antonio
Adrian Calvillo aka “Token,” 40, of San Antonio

The FBI and DEA are leading the investigation with valuable assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, IRS-Criminal Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, Texas National Guard Counter Narcotics Taskforce, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of the Inspector General, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, San Antonio Police Department, Boerne Police Department, and the New Braunfels Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Nowinksi and Fidel Esparza III are prosecuting the case.

This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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