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Three Laredo men convicted of trafficking $1.4M worth of marijuana

May 17, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Three Laredo men convicted of trafficking $1.4M worth of marijuana

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On Monday, three men in Texas, who were indicted for their purported ties to a drug trafficking plot from the Laredo to the Dallas areas, pleaded guilty in federal court.

Armando Eloy Gutierrez, Javier Mota Villanueva, and Leopoldo Rodriguez III pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, Abe Martinez, the Acting U.S. Attorney, announced in a news release.

The suspects, along with co-defendant Armando Javier Picazo Jimenez, were charged in January with one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilos or more of marijuana and three counts of possession with intent to distribute 100 kilos or more of marijuana, KGNS reported.

U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker issued a continuance on Monday in Jimenez’s case.

Jimenez is set to appear before Hacker on June 5th for a pretrial hearing.

In 2013, investigators identified a drug trafficking group responsible for transporting and distributing kilo amounts of marijuana from Laredo to Dallas.

Gutierrez was responsible for locating warehouses for the group to use and then soliciting shipping companies to transport trailers of weed covered with loads of merchandise.

He would follow the drivers through checkpoints.

Once they would pass through checkpoints, he would then travel with others to Dallas or Fort Worth to help with unloading the drugs.

Mota-Villanueva worked at the warehouses — wrapping marijuana, moving pallets, and loading the drugs onto the truck. He would also drive to Dallas with Gutierrez.

Rodriguez packaged the marijuana and helped with the loading of narcotics onto trailers.

The investigation exposed three warehouses in Laredo that the group used at different points between 2013-2014.

Three separate marijuana loads were confiscated that originated from each one of the warehouses, with over 1600 kilos valued at $1.4 million.

Sentencing dates for the men have not yet been scheduled.
Gutierrez and Villanueva face between ten years to life, while Rodriguez faces between five and 40 years behind bars.

Gutierrez and Mota are still in custody, while Rodriguez was allowed bond pending his sentencing.

The DEA carried out the investigation along with task force members of the Webb County District Attorney’s Office and Laredo Police.

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