EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Justice Department has charged 28 people with laundering more than $10 million in drug profits for the Jalisco cartel through a clothing retailer in Texas.
The 38-count federal indictment unsealed on Thursday alleges that Jose Valdovinos Jimenez, a.k.a. “La Roca” (The Rock), conspired with 27 codefendants to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of meth and heroin from Mexico, distribute the drugs in North Texas, launder the proceeds, and transfer money back to Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) leaders.
During the course of the investigation, agents seized 700 kilograms of methamphetamine, 80 kilograms of heroin, and some $500,000 in drug proceeds.
The defendants face charges of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, drug, and gun crimes, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm by an undocumented immigrant.
“Drug cartels like CJNG wreak havoc across the globe, driving the spread of deadly drugs like meth and heroin,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We’re committed to tracking the money and disrupting these organizations by attacking their bottom line. By striking both the money and the drugs, we can more effectively impact the organization.”
Federal officials say Jimenez — whom they characterized as the head of the “plaza,” or territory — ran a compartmentalized operation in North Texas to limit loses from police raids. He and others in the organization relied on couriers to smuggle the drugs across the border, installed different laboratories to prep drugs for sale, fortified stash houses to store the drugs and had a multi-level dealer network at the street level.
According to the Department of Justice, mid- and upper-level dealers working for Jimenez funneled drug profits to Yoli’s Western Wear, a clothing retailer on Buckner Boulevard in Dallas. Ivan Noe Valerio, 23, who is the manager of Yolis, and his family members allegedly counted the money and sent it back through a money remitter to Jalisco cartel bosses in Mexico.
If convicted, Jimenez and Valero face life in federal prison.
Other defendants charged include:
- Teodoro Valerio Perez (Valerio’s father)
- Yolanda Mercado Valerio (Valerio’s mother)
- Iris Yaneli Valerio (Valerio’s sister)
- Laurentino DelaCruz, aka “Tino,” (alleged meth dealer)
- Carlo LNU, aka “Gordo,” (alleged wire transactions handler)
- Jesus Manuel Juarez Aguilar, aka “Chucho,” (alleged wire transactions handler)
- Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez Del Rio (alleged wire transactions handler)
- Jonathan Rene Jacobo Mata
- Oscar Mario Flores Daza
- Antonio Pena, Jr.
- Eduardo Galdean Gress (alleged stash house distributor)
- Lorenzo Piedra Chavez (alleged heroin dealer)
- Blanca Flor Hernandez
- Aniano Chavez Avila (alleged stash house distributor)
- Raul Ceja Barajas (alleged laboratory operator)
- Alejandro Garcia Lopez (alleged laboratory operator)
- Joel Guillermo Torres (alleged drug courier)
- Roberto Macias (alleged stash house distributor)
- Alexander Alvarez (alleged stash house distributor)
- Edgar Eduardo Vicente Miranda (alleged meth dealer)
- Manuel Garcia Gomez (alleged laboratory operator)
- Jorge Humberto Larios Velazco (alleged laboratory operator)
- Arthur Ernest Rubalcaba (alleged stash house distributor)
- Jose Alfredo Penalozo Perdomo
- Carlos Michael Hernandez (alleged meth dealer)
- Hobedt Moreno (alleged meth dealer)