Special to the Laredo Sun
Seven people were sentenced this week for their roles in a drug conspiracy involving the shipment of cocaine and methamphetamine from Laredo to Dallas and Houston, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
U.S. District Court Judge George P. Kazen ordered Nuevo Laredo attorney Rolando Ariel Salinas-Apac, 34, to a term of 180 months in federal prison. Juan Manuel Reyes, 37, a commercial truck driver from Nuevo Laredo was sentenced to 121 months. Christian Abundez, 23, of Laredo, recevied 110 months, while his sister Blanca Abundez, 29 also of Laredo, was ordered to serve an 84-month-term of imprisonment. Francisco Javier Garza, 55, Abraham Bruno Ortiz, 49, and Gabriel Munoz Solis, 40, all of Laredo, each received individual terms of 92 months.
The seven were charged in two separate federal indictments with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and heroin and more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The indictments were returned in July 2013 and were the last of seven indictments relating to a long term Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Ultimate D.
These indictments charged several drug trafficking cells operating out of the Laredo area engaged in a conspiracy to distribute bulk quantities of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine from the Laredo area to distribution venues such as Dallas and Houston.
The investigation has thus far yielded 23 convictions with all but two defendants pleading guilty to various conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute various narcotics to include marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. The remaining two defendants were convicted indiviually in seprate jury trials. Laredo businessman Marco Antonio Marchan was convicted by a federal jury in December 2013, while Juan Manuel Reyes, a Mexican commercial truck driver, was convicted in January 2014.
The remaining two defendants – Ahmed Alejandro Plascencia, 33, of Laredo, and Ilmar Sierra, 35, of Dallas – will be sentenced March 13, 2015.
OCDETF Operation Ultimate D was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Webb County District Attorney’s Office, Webb County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.