Sentencing hearing reset in father, son conspiracy case

A sentencing hearing scheduled Wednesday for a case involving three men, including a father and son, was reset, records show.

On Wednesday, a federal judge was scheduled to hand down a punishment for Ruben Yepez-Garcia for his role in a case from October 2017 involving the movement of cocaine from Mexico to the Rio Grande Valley to further north in the country, the complaint stated.

The case kicked off on Oct. 5, 2017, as a result of surveillance on a Mexican national, Jose De Jesus Hernandez-Sauceda, who federal agents observed entering the U.S. from Mexico through the Pharr port of entry, records show.

Special agents, and task force officers, working on information that Hernandez was smuggling drugs from Mexico into the country, then followed Hernandez to a grocery store in Mission.

“The aforementioned vehicle was subsequently followed to the parking lot” of the H-E-B in the 2400 block of Expressway 83 in Mission, according to the document. “Once at the parking lot of the aforementioned location, Hernandez-Sauceda was observed exiting his vehicle together with his wife and two minor children.”

Hernandez went inside the grocery store; while his wife and kids went into a different retail store nearby.

“(Special agents and Task force officers) then subsequently followed (Hernandez) into” the H-E-B, the document read, further stating that officers “observed him meet up with a male, who was subsequently identified as Ruben Yepez-Garcia. “During that brief meeting, (Hernandez) gave Yepez-Garcia the keys to (Hernandez’s) vehicle.”

Special agents and task force officers then tailed Yepez back to a residence in Mission, the document stated.

“Yepez-Garcia then parked the aforementioned vehicle inside the garage of the aforementioned location and closed the garage door. SAs requested the assistance of a Mission Police officer in a marked police cruiser and set surveillance at the (residence),” the court document read.

Roughly an hour later, agents approached the residence when the garage door opened.

After obtaining consent, the federal agents allegedly searched the residence and discovered weapons and several bundles of what was later determined to be a controlled substance.

Inside the residence, authorities spoke with Yepez’s son, Ruben Alejandro Yepez-Moreno, the complaint stated.

Hernandez eventually told agents he began transporting narcotics for a man named “Flaco,” after they met in early 2017, while he was in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, the record stated.

He told agents he agreed to smuggle drugs into the country for about $700 per trip.

“Hernandez-Sauceda stated he was paid $700 U.S. every time he smuggled the unknown substance into the U.S.” the document stated.

He told agents he was instructed to drive the loaded vehicle to a business in the U.S. and then turn it over to a man named “Gordo.”

For his part, Yepez said after receiving the keys to the load vehicle, he would drive it to a residence in Mission. He said he was paid roughly $100 per package per trip, the document stated.

Authorities also arrested Yepez’s son, Ruben Yepez-Morales, who was located inside the residence.

Ultimately, agents discovered 21 bundled packages, “several weapons of different models and calibers throughout the house,” the document stated.

In total, agents found 25.96 kilograms of cocaine inside the bundles.

Yepez’s sentencing hearing is now scheduled for June 25, court notes show.


lzazueta@themonitor.com