Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced today that four individuals have been arrested following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment, which was unsealed on Mar. 1, 2017, charging the following individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin and conspiracy to money launder. These men appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin for arraignments:
Jeihka Angelica Cuero, 24, of Colombia;
Carlos Ivan Calderon Rosado, 52, of Puerto Rico;
Alexander Ramirez Valencia, 43, of Colombia; and
Harry Martinez, 41, of Colombia.
According to the indictment, from about 2014 until February 2017, the defendants conspired to distribute heroin through Southeast Texas to the New Orleans area. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized 10 kilograms of heroin and $386,000 cash.
All four men were currently residing in Houston. Martinez and Ramirez were pending final deportation hearings at the time of their arrests. Defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of these crimes.
“Heroin use in the United States has reached a 20 year high according to the 2016 World Drug Report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said Acting U.S. Attorney Featherston. “2016 saw the number of overdose drug deaths exceeded 50,000. This number is more than violent gun deaths, and more than car crash related fatalities reported in 2016.”
This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
This case is being investigated by DEA, HSI-OHS, Texas Department of Public Safety, Houston Police Department and Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Craft.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.