CORPUS CHRISTI - Two more members of a massive heroin and money laundering conspiracy have been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Louie Molina, 36, and Jesus Leal Jr., 34, both of Robstown, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered each man to serve 20 years in federal prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. In handing down the sentences, the court noted the large amount of heroin distributed in this conspiracy and its devastating impact on the community and families.
The court learned during the pleas of guilty in this case that the defendants had been part of a significant, long-term heroin distribution ring operating in Robstown. Evidence also showed that on Oct. 4, 2017, authorities seized approximately a kilogram of heroin and almost $100,000 during the arrests related to this investigation. The overall scope of the conspiracy was estimated to be between at least 10-30 kilograms of heroin. The conspiracy operated, according to the evidence presented, between April 2016 and October 2017.
Three others were sentences last week. Enrique Gutierrez Jr., 31, of Sandia, received 13 years for the same heroin conspiracy as well as conspiracy to launder money. Sakhone Chanrattana, 35, of Jarrell, and Tim Molina, 34, of Robstown, had each pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and received 97 and 18 months, respectively.
Sentencing for Jesus Gutierrez, 46, and Renee Gutierrez, 37, both of Corpus Christi, are set for Aug. 8, 2018.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Muschenheim is prosecuting the case.