Massive North Texas Drug Ring Busted, 28 Charged

Twenty-eight defendants in the North Texas area have been charged in a federal criminal complaint, and partially unsealed Friday, with felony offenses stemming from their role in a methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin conspiracy that operated in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

These charges were announced by announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

The FBI is conducting this investigation with assistance from the following agencies:

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)
  • Dallas County Sheriff’s Clean Air Task Force
  • Denton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of Inspector General
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Tarrant County Combined Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the
  • Texas police departments of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie.

Twenty-five defendants were arrested Thursday in an FBI-led operation led.

They made appearances in federal court Sept. 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton. Three of the charged defendants are fugitives.

The complaint charges each of the following 25 defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance:

  • Efrain Rangel Arias, aka “Pollo,” 43;
  • Alcadio Caballero De La Torre, aka “Coochi,” 35;
  • Jennifer Louann Cherry, 40;
  • Jose Soto-Silva, aka “Feo,” 30;
  • Luis Soto-Silva, aka “Pecas” and “Tucan,” 29;
  • Fernando Obregon, aka “Pri,” 23;
  • Isidro Molina, aka “Chileno,” 23;
  • Encarnacion Hurtado-Cruz, aka “Pancho,” 55;
  • Alejandro Hernandez, aka “Alejandro Rodriguez,” 19;
  • Juan Martinez-Fiscal, 27;
  • Efrain Sifuentes, 25;
  • Adan Barrientos, 20;
  • Luis Varela, 21;
  • Edgar Graciano, aka “Firulais,” 24;
  • Israel Enriquez, 25;
  • Maelena Rodriguez, aka “China”;
  • Daniel Marentes, 26;
  • Gloria Jaimes, 53;
  • Miguel Robles, 35;
  • Eduardo Grimaldo, aka “Lalo,” 29;
  • Daton Degnide, 30;
  • Mounib Shalash, 38;
  • Gerson Ortiz-Barrera, 21;
  • Richard Moilna, 25; and
  • Alexis Hernandez-Escobar, 36.

A criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

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The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.  The maximum statutory penalty for the offenses as charged is 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.