Results tagged “Juarez” from The Court Reporter

Female Associate of Violent Prison Gang Gets Prison Sentence

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EL PASO-- A female associate of the Barrio Azteca prison gang was sentenced today to 18 months behind bars after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering offenses,  according to federal authorities.

April Cardoza along with 34 other Azteca members and associates were charged in a 12-count indictment that was unsealed in March 2012.

Barrio Azteca, a violent prison-street gang which began in 1980s, expanded into a international criminal organization and in the 2000s, Azteca members formed an alliance in Mexico with "La Linea," which is tied to the Juarez Drug Cartel.

The Azteca-Linea alliance was to battle the Chapo Guzman Cartel and its allies for control of drug trafficking routes through Juarez and Chihuahua, according to federal authorities.

Federal officials state that the drug routes through Juarez,  known as the Juarez Plaza, are important to the cartels because they are principal illicit drug trafficking conduits into the United States.

The case was investigated by the FBI's El Paso Field Office, Albuquerque Field Office (Las Cruces Resident Agency), DEA Juarez, and DEA El Paso. Special assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Diplomatic Security Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; El Paso Police Department; El Paso County Sheriff's Office; El Paso Independent School District Police Department; Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission; New Mexico State Police; Dona Ana County, New Mexico Sheriff's Office; Las Cruces, New Mexico Police Department; Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility; and Otero County Prison Facility New Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


Man Gets 20 Years For Using Unsuspecting People to Smuggle Thousands of Pounds of Marijuana

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EL PASO, TEXAS -- A 38-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for his role in taking advantage of unsuspecting drivers to smuggle more than 6,600 pounds of marijuana from Juarez, Mexico, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez ordered Jesus Chavez to pay $141,629 as restitution to his victims.

From March 2010 through June 2011, Chavez would target unsuspecting people and their vehicles in Juarez, get copies of keys to those vehicles and then placed duffle bags loaded with marijuana inside the trunks of the vehicles.

After the unsuspecting persons drove the vehicle into the U.S. and parked, members of this organization would retrieve the marijuana using the vehicle keys  in their possession, say federal authorities.
"The sentencing of Jesus Chavez represents the FBI's commitment to working alongside our law enforcement partners here in El Paso to aggressively investigate drug-related crimes. We will continue our pursuit of offenders such as Chavez in an effort to bring justice for the victims, as well as providing peace of mind to our community," stated FBI El Paso Division Special Agent in "Charge Mark Morgan.

Chavez's co-defendant, 30-year-old Carlos Gomez whom authorities believe is in Mexico, remains a fugitive in this case.

The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at