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Operation Dirty Bird Brings Down Texas Drug Trafficking Organization

TEXARKANA, Texas – U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown announced today that three search warrants were executed this morning in Dallas County, Texas in relation to a drug trafficking organization in the Eastern District of Texas.

While executing the search warrants, law enforcement officers seized six firearms; a large quantity of ammunition; more than 27 kilograms of suspected cocaine; suspected marijuana; approximately $200,000.00 in cash, jewelry, and luxury goods; five vehicles, and other drug trafficking paraphernalia and proceeds in addition to arresting two men facing federal drug and firearms charges.

The operation this morning was the result of a drug trafficking and money-laundering investigation that has already led to the seizure of $349,600 in cash that was being smuggled to Mexico, almost ten kilograms of cocaine that was being smuggled from Pittsburg, Texas, through Tennessee to North Carolina, and more than a quarter kilogram of methamphetamine in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

Three men have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin and with carrying a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking conspiracy. Jose Armando Rosales-Bernal, 27, of Dallas;  Julio Villarreal, 35, of Mesquite, Texas; and Armando Moreno, Jr., 30, of Roma, Texas; were named in an indictment and a complaint. Rosales-Bernal and Villarreal were arrested this morning during the execution of search warrants in Dallas and Mesquite, Texas, and they will appear in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas. Moreno was arrested on Oct. 29, 2019, in George West, Texas, after a traffic stop revealed $349,600 in cash hidden in secret compartments in the vehicle he was driving, and he will appear in the Corpus Christi Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Rodolfo Javier Falcon, Claudia Claribel Gardea, Jose Geraldo Ornelas-Pineda, and Gerardo Cabrera Ramirez were previously charged and arrested as a result of this investigation. Gardea and Ornelas-Pineda have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Falcon and Ramirez are awaiting trial. This case is pending in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

If convicted, Falcon, Rosales-Bernal, Ramirez, Villarreal, and Moreno, face a minimum of 10 years and as much as life in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by the Mt. Pleasant office of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division. In addition, the following agencies have played critical roles in this investigation: the Dallas office of Homeland Security Investigations; the Mesquite, Texas, Police Department SWAT team; the Texas National Guard; the Texas Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division and Aircraft Division; the George West, Texas, Police Department; and the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force in Dickson, Tennessee. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan R. Hornok.

An indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.