Tri City Bombers and cartel associate convicted of racketeering crimes | USAO-SDTX

HOUSTON — Five men have pleaded guilty and received significant sentences for their involvement in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery said.

Ramon De La Cerda, 48, McAllen; Jose Rolando Gonzalez, 43, and Juan Alberto Mendez, 49, both of Mission; Solomon Robles, 35, San Juan; and Margil Reyna, 38, of Toledo, Ohio, admitted their role in the Tri City Bombers (TCB) racketeering conspiracy and were immediately convicted.

Today, US District Judge Sim Lake sentenced each man to 30 years in federal prison.

In handing down the sentences, Judge Lake found that De La Cerda and Gonzalez were ranking members of the TCB, while Reyna and Robles were members of the criminal organization. Mendez was a drug distributor for the Gulf Cartel and associated with the criminal enterprise.

“With today’s pleas, these five individuals have admitted involvement in a series of senseless violent crimes, including murders committed as part of the TCB criminal enterprise,” Lowery said. “We and our federal and state law enforcement partners will continue our tireless efforts to stamp out gang violence in the district and hold accountable all those who threaten the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

“Members of our Rio Grande Valley community deserve to live free from the threats of criminal organizations,” said Jason Hudson, FBI Acting Special Agent. “The FBI thanks our partners in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OECDTF) for their collective efforts to keep members of this organization off the streets.”

The court found that Mendez hired De La Cerda, Gonzalez and Robles to kill twice. The Criminal Enterprise abducted and murdered a man in McAllen and attempted to murder a woman in Mission. The woman was shot six times, but survived.

Gonzalez was also implicated in the distribution of 27 kilograms of cocaine in October 2016 in Victoria.

In 2012, Reyna was involved in an ongoing marijuana trafficking conspiracy and home invasion burglary which resulted in the death of the owner in Edinburgh. The owner’s son was also shot, but survived.

The TCB is a nationwide multi-state gang that was formed in the early 1980s in the Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo areas of South Texas. The TCB has an organized decision-making hierarchy, including a person in charge of each town and leaders within the organization who determine whether its members violated gang rule and deserved punishment. To instill loyalty, including participation in the gang’s criminal activities and adherence to its strict rules structure, TCB leaders determine and order severe beatings of members and associates for acts of disobedience or disrespect. TCB rules.

The scope of the TCB’s crimes is broad and consistent in its nationwide operation. This RICO conspiracy includes murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, crimes with firearms, money laundering, and other crimes within the organization’s business. The TCB brought money to the gang through murder, drug dealing, home invasion robbery, and money laundering.

To date, 35 people have been convicted in this case.

The five men convicted today have been in custody since their arrest and will remain so pending transfer to a US Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the OECDTF investigation dubbed “Operation Bomb Disposal”, along with IRS-Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, and McAllen Police Departments, Mission, Edinburgh, Weslaco and Pharr. The OECDTF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information on the OECDTF program can be found on the Department of Justice OECDTF webpage.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Casey N. MacDonald prosecuted the case with the help of District Attorney Brendan Woods and other members of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.

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