Two from OC linked to Mexican drug cartel
U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that 28 individuals have been arrested and charged with federal drug violations in the Eastern District of Texas. Two Orange County individuals, one from Jefferson and one from Chambers Counties were among the 35 defendants indicted by the federal grand jury on June 3.
Joshua Lynn Bland, 22, of Orange; Heather Marie Smith Peveto, 34, of Vidor; Joshua Haynes, 28, of Nederland; and Vincent Troy Bertrand, 46, of Winnie were among those sought on June 29, when a combined task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies began arresting individuals named in the indictments, charging them with being involved in a methamphetamine and cocaine distribution ring in the Eastern District of Texas. At this same time, 13 state arrest warrants for methamphetamine trafficking offenses were issued.
The following individuals were also indicted, most of them are from the Houston area. Those in federal custody will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin for initial appearances: Rogelio Dominguez Pineda, 39, of Houston; Jonathan A. Cuadros-Zabala, 25, of Houston; Samuel Pineda, 28, of Houston; Rodolfo Dominguez Pineda, 33, of Houston; Raul Pineda, 43, of Houston; Enrique Pineda, 35, of Houston; Aurelio Pineda-Moreno, 29, of Houston; Jesus Pineda-Espinoza, 30, of Houston; Juan Carlos Soto, 26, of Houston; Neil Indravadan Desai, 36, of Houston; Mohammad Zahid, 54, Houston; Amando Garcia-Duarte, 34, of Houston; Jorge Duarte-Garcia, 28, of Houston; John Anthony Molenda, 28, of Houston; Lester Edwen McCoy, 44, of Houston; Aldo Alber Maldonado-Herrera, 27, of Houston; Kenneth Patrick Collins, 43, of Houston; Jaime Buenaventura Pineda, 33, of Houston; German Rios Gomez, 26, of Houston; David Ruiz, 31, of Hearne; Orlando Pineda-Espinoza, 25, of Houston; Vanessa A. Cutbill, 32, of Houston; Alejandro G. Garcia, 46, of Houston; Julian Duarte-Molina, 25, of Houston; Christopher Shannon Miguez, 31, of Katy; Trish Lynne Taylor, 28, of Houston; Brandon Wayne Russell, 28, of Tomball; Sarrah Elizabeth Youseff, 27, of Montgomery; Patrick Fernand Brupbacher, 33, of Houston; Ashley Michelle Henry, 24, of Sugar Land; and Jose Carmen Duarte-Bautista, 49, of Houston.
According to the indictment, beginning in August 2008, 35 individuals are alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine in east Texas.
According to prosecutors, an undercover investigation involving known narcotics traffickers revealed this drug trafficking organization and linked it to other undercover investigations from around the state and country. It became apparent that the defendants in this case were allegedly directly linked to large drug cartels operating out of Mexico and that the drugs traveling into Texas were being routed to other areas of the United States. Search and arrest warrants were executed today at locations in Harris County, Galveston County, Hearne/Bryan, Conroe, Chambers County, Orange County, and Jefferson County.
The defendants are each charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. If convicted, they could receive up to Life in federal prison.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office joins the DEA, ICE, ATF, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, the Beaumont Police Department, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, Galveston Police Department, Houston Police Department and the Texas Rangers in the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Englade.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.