24 Federally Indicted in San Antonio for Alleged Drug and Firearm Trafficking (2024)

SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas announced at a press conference Thursday that 24 alleged members and associates of the Mexican American prison gang Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos were indicted in San Antonio for criminal charges related to their alleged drug and firearm trafficking.

Law enforcement arrested 19 alleged gang members and associates Tuesday in an operation involving federal, state and local agencies. Five of the 24 defendants were already in federal or state custody prior to Tuesday’s arrests.

The indictment carries 24 counts including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking; conspiracy to traffic firearms; and more. If convicted, the defendants face varying ranges of time in prison, from maximum sentences of 15 or 20 years to penalties of five years to life in prison.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

“Thank you to our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, led by the FBI and DEA in this case, for their ongoing commitment to investigating these issues in our communities and for their continued commitment to reducing violence, and firearm and drug crimes that plague our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “Their professionalism, determination, and expertise help protect the safety of our citizens and allow our federal prosecutors to keep violent criminals out of our communities for years.”

“We are truly safer today because there are fewer firearms in the hands of bad actors — fewer kilos of meth, heroin and cocaine for sale in our community and one less trafficking organization doing business in South Texas,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tapp of the FBI's San Antonio Field Office. “The FBI remains committed working with our partners in whatever way we can to reduce violent crime in our communities, throughout the state of Texas – and across the country.”

“These arrests will put a dent into HPL’s drug trafficking activities that have been their main source of income,” said Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux for the Drug Enforcement Administration Houston Division. Members rely on the money made outside to fund membersbehind bars and help HPL as an organization thrive at the devastating expense of our communities.”

The defendants arrested Tuesday are:

  1. Daniel Natividad aka “Danny Boy,” 50, of Hebronville
  2. Brian Zepeda aka “Get Down”, 39, of San Antonio
  3. Roberto Ibarra aka “Bobby,” 44, of Laredo
  4. Mike Rayas Carrillo aka “Gordo,” 37, of San Antonio
  5. Jesus Mendoza Jr. aka “Chivo,” 50, of San Antonio
  6. Gilberto Garcia aka “Gibo,” 42, of San Antonio
  7. Ramon Lozoya aka “Bulldog,” 41, of San Antonio
  8. Maximo Flores Jr., 44, of San Antonio
  9. Miguel Zamora Rosas aka “Eight Ball”, 39, of San Antonio
  10. Paul Garcia aka “Baby Paul”, 38, of San Antonio
  11. Abraham Pagan aka “Shank,” 44, of San Antonio
  12. Mark Anthony Avila, 43, of San Antonio
  13. Rudy Hugo Lopez, 34, of San Antonio
  14. Robert Davalos Alvarado aka “Pork Chop,” 41, of San Antonio
  15. Raymond Medina aka “Crime”, 35, of San Antonio
  16. Roger Hilburn, 33, of San Antonio
  17. Armando Perales aka “Pitbull,” 54, of San Antonio
  18. Ruben Rivera, 36, of San Antonio
  19. JR Perales, 31, of San Antonio

The following defendants were already in custody:

  1. Antonio Rios Jr. aka “Tone”, 33, of San Antonio
  2. Vidal Morales Jr. aka “Moe”, 49, of San Antonio
  3. Ronald Mendoza aka “Ronnie,” 41, of San Antonio
  4. Carlos Bernal aka “Guero,” 46, of San Antonio
  5. Adrian Calvillo aka “Token,” 40, of San Antonio

The FBI and DEA are leading the investigation with valuable assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, IRS-Criminal Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, Texas National Guard Counter Narcotics Taskforce, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, San Antonio Police Department, Boerne Police Department, and the New Braunfels Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Nowinski and Fidel Esparza III are prosecuting the case.

This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


24 Federally Indicted in San Antonio for Alleged Drug and Firearm Trafficking (2024)


What is the punishment for drug trafficking in Texas? ›

Texas Health & Safety § 481.120
SentenceWeightPrison term
State Jail Felony¼ oz – 5 lbs180 days – 2 years
Second Degree Felony5-50 lbs2-20 years
First Degree Felony50-2,000 lbs5-99 years
Life Felony>2,000 lbs10-99 years
2 more rows

What is trafficking drugs or attempt 1st degree in Missouri? ›

Trafficking drugs in the first degree in Missouri is the most serious drug trafficking offense. It involves the distribution, delivery, manufacturing, production, or attempted distribution of a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I or II drug. First-degree drug trafficking is a felony offense in Missouri.

How much is a sentence for drug trafficking? ›

The penalties are: First Offense: Not less than 10 years, and not more than life. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 years, or more than life. Fine of not more than $10 million if an individual, $50 million if not an individual.

Do first time drug offenders go to jail in Texas? ›

Texas drug conviction penalties vary based on the quantity and type of drugs you are accused of possessing. Many drug convictions in Texas carry the potential for jail time, even for first-time offenders.

How many years do you get for drug trafficking in the US? ›

Federal Drug Trafficking Charge Overview

A few of the applicable penalties are: 10 years to life in prison for 1 kilogram of heroin, 5 kilograms of cocaine, or 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Five to 40 years for 100 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cocaine. Not more than five years for 50 kilograms of marijuana.

What are the two categories trafficking falls into? ›

The United States recognizes two primary forms of trafficking in persons: forced labor and sex trafficking.

Is drug trafficking organized crime? ›

Drug trafficking is a major source of revenue for organised crime groups, many of whom are involved in other forms of serious crime such as firearms, modern slavery and immigration crime.

What is the minimum sentence for human trafficking in Texas? ›

(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 25 years.

What is a first degree felony in Texas for drugs? ›

Punishment for Possession of a Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1-B
Possession of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1-B (PG1-B)Offense Level
1-4 GramsThird Degree Felony
4-200 GramsSecond Degree
200-400 GramsFirst Degree
Over 400 GramsEnhanced First Degree
1 more row

What is the no trafficking zone law in Texas? ›

The "No Trafficking Zone Act" aims to protect students by imposing harsher penalties for offenses near schools and during school functions.

Can you give me the consequences of drug trafficking? ›

Drug trafficking and distribution are serious crimes that can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. If you find yourself facing these charges, it is crucial to understand the consequences and develop an effective defense strategy to protect your rights.

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