Three more men are now facing federal charges in relation to the bust of a little more than a ton of marijuana found hidden last month in the roof of a recreational vehicle on a ranch in Starr County.
Federal authorities arrested brothers Leonel Amadeo Ramos-Resendez, a 35-year-old Roma man, Roberto Amadeo Ramos-Resendez, a 35-year-old man from Mier, Mexico, and Hector Ivan Garza-Garcia, a 38-year-old Falcon Heights man this week.
The trio, who were all arrested after the Oct. 27 bust, were in the custody of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.
Also charged in the case is 39-year-old Rio Grande City resident Roberto Muñiz Jr., the owner of the ranch where Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and investigators with the Starr County Sheriff’s Office discovered 2,157 pounds of marijuana.
Those law enforcement agencies obtained a search warrant for the property at 2672 US-83 in Salineño, which is northwest of Roma and close to the Rio Grande, after a sheriff’s office investigator conducted a traffic stop on a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Leonel after authorities say he disregarded a stop sign.
The ranch had been under surveillance and Border Patrol agents reportedly saw bundles of suspected marijuana being unloaded there.
The complaint said the sheriff’s investigator found signs of drug smuggling in the truck, such as brown tape, an odor of marijuana and marijuana residue.
Leonel’s brother, Roberto, and Garza were all in the truck at the traffic stop.
The trio was detained and transported to the Starr County Sheriff’s Office where the investigator then began to draw up a search warrant for the property while Border Patrol agents set up a perimeter around the ranch, according to the complaint.
That’s when Muñiz approached the agents, saying he owned the ranch.
Muñiz told the agents they could search his property, but Border Patrol informed him a search warrant was being obtained.
During the search, the investigator, Border Patrol and DEA agents entered the recreational vehicle and found the frame molding of the interior walls had been tampered.
“Investigators then searched for an access point which lead (sic) them to the AC unit located on the roof of the trailer,” the complaint said. “Ultimately, investigators removed the AC unit and discovered an access point to a false compartment masked by false walls.”
Muñiz is scheduled for detention and probable cause hearings Friday afternoon, while his co-defendants all made first appearances Wednesday.
They are being temporarily held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for Monday afternoon.