CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 28-year-old Mission man has been ordered to federal prison for
10 years following his conviction in a cocaine and marijuana drug trafficking
conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Bryan Mendoza, the
last of five convicted in the conspiracy, pleaded guilty Dec. 28, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered he
serve 120 months of imprisonment immediately followed by five years of
The conspiracy ran from February 2009 to June 22, 2016, and
included the seizure of more than 4,400 kilograms of marijuana and 23 kilograms
of cocaine. Mendoza assisted the drug trafficking conspiracy by arranging the
purchase of vehicles and hiring drivers to transport drugs from South Texas to
Previously, co-defendants Cynthia Valencia, 25, a U.S.
citizen who resided in Pharr and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico; and Mexican
citizens Mario Alberto Medina-Mendoza, 30, Ismael Silva-Cortez, 37, and Alan
Castillo, 38, had pleaded guilty to a related money laundering conspiracy.
Castillo, who oversaw the movement of drug proceeds from other areas of the
United States to South Texas, received a sentence of 70 months imprisonment. He
primarily used the “old school” method of bulk cash smuggling in which he
concealed large sums of cash in secret compartments within the vehicles he used
to transport the drug proceeds.
Valencia, Silva-Cortez and Medina-Mendoza allowed their bank
accounts to be used to funnel or launder approximately $51,710, $125,075 and
$77,250 respectively, in drug proceeds. Silva-Cortez received a 37-month
sentence, while Valencia and Medina-Mendoza were ordered to serve respective
sentences of 18 and 33 months.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS - Criminal
Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Customs
and Border Protection conducted the joint investigation. Assistant U.S.
Attorney Kenneth Cusick is prosecuting the case.