More details emerge in drug trafficking case

BROWNSVILLE — An indictment against an alleged Cameron County drug trafficking ring was again partially unsealed Wednesday, revealing a new defendant who may have the charges against him dismissed, court records show.

On Monday, the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, announced through a press release that it had arrested nine people accused of trafficking marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine after an indictment returned in October was unsealed.

Two days later, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan again partially unsealed the indictment, revealing that Luis Carlos Garza-Longoria, 55, is charged with two counts in the indictment relating to cocaine distribution from an incident Feb. 29, 2016.

Also Wednesday, the USAO filed a motion asking to dismiss the indictment against Garza-Longoria because he already has been prosecuted in Harris County and sentenced to seven years in the Texas Department of Corrections.

According to a complaint filed against Garza-Longoria in Harris County, Pasadena Narcotics Task Force members in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston, arrested Garza-Longoria on Feb. 29, 2016, in the parking lot of a Tropicana Motel, where they caught him with a kilogram of cocaine wrapped with black electrical tape inside a Metros PCS bag.

Authorities received information from an anonymous source alleging that a Hispanic male was going to be involved in a three-kilogram cocaine transaction on Feb. 29, 2016, according to court documents.

In its Monday afternoon press release, the USAO accuses the suspects of delivering cocaine to Houston and methamphetamine to Louisiana, transporting marijuana and selling crack cocaine in Cameron County.

Garza-Longoria brings the total number of suspects to 10, though those charges against him in the federal indictment may be dropped, court documents show. Redactions in court documents suggest there may be one more suspect. The indictment is still only partially unsealed.

Jesus Hector Garza Jr., 29, of Rancho Viejo; Gelacio Flores-Flores, 31, and Mayra Rodriguez, 39, both of Los Fresnos; Brownsville residents Silvia Sarai Cruz, 26, and Ramon Martin Arambula; Rubaldino Pecina, 36, of San Benito; Juana Idalia Alcocer-Cordoba, 38, of Matamoros; John Fontenot, 46, of Crawley, Louisiana; and Ramon Montoya, 42, of Brownsville are facing various charges in the case.

On Wednesday afternoon, Garza Jr., Arambula, Flores-Flores, Cruz, Rodriguez and Alcocer-Cordoba all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They are being held without bond pending trial except for Cruz, who has a $75,000 bond with a $1,000 cash deposit, court documents show.

Jury selection is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2018.