5 more plead guilty in drug conspiracy case

McALLEN — Five more co-defendants connected to a 19-person indictment have pleaded guilty to conspiracy, records show.

Jose Eduardo Olvera-Guerrero, Maribel Gasser-Castillo, Pedro Enrique Sanchez-Vazquez, Gabriela Salinas and Javier Osorno-Rodriguez all pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy in the case involving drugs, money and weapons, court documents show.

Filed Tuesday, the defendants join Jessica Rosas Lopez, Manuel Alonso Solis and Porfirio Luciano-Garcia, as the only other defendants to plead guilty in the multi-indictment case. Lopez, Solis and Luciano-Garcia pleaded guilty earlier in May.

Still expected to plead true to the allegations against them are Maria Trinidad Garcia, Erika Gonzalez and Ricardo Vargas, court notes show. Garcia, Gonzalez and Vargas are all scheduled for sentencing on July 28.

The large group of defendants is implicated in several drug distribution events, specifically the government alleges that between Oct. 3, 2016, and Nov. 24, 2019, and also between February 2014 and February 2020, they conspired with each other to possess and distribute cocaine.

According to the indictment, charges 1 through 7 relate to the distribution of cocaine between late 2016 and late 2019.

In all, the government alleges the group moved more than 70 kilos of cocaine, at least 100 pounds of marijuana and a small amount of LSD, records show.

Additionally, there are eight co-defendants who have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges; including Erick De Jesus Castillo-Guerrero, Eduardo Salazar Davalos, George Enrique Vargas, Gabriel Vargas, Maria Lorena Garza-Elizerio, Tania Nohoemi Osorno-Elizondo, Anthony Garcia and Aylin Anasia Torres, records show.

Maria Garcia, Solis, George and Gabriel Vargas were charged with money laundering, the indictment stated.

“ … Knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represented proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, did conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, that is the felonious importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling and otherwise dealing in a controlled substance…” the court record stated. “… With the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity and knowing that the transaction was designed in whole and in part to conceal and disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, and the control of the proceeds of the specified unlawful activity and to avoid a transaction reporting requirement.”

All but Torres are scheduled for their respective jury trials July 7, records show.

Olvera-Guerrero, Gasser-Castillo, Sanchez-Vazquez, Salinas, and Osorno-Rodriguez, are all scheduled to be sentenced August 5, before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane.