CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The leader of a massive heroin and
money laundering conspiracy has been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S.
Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jesus Gutierrez, 46, of Corpus Christi, pleaded
guilty April 26, 2018, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more
than one kilogram of heroin and conspiracy to launder money.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced
him to 84 months in prison.
At the time of his plea, the court learned that he 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.
Gutierrez and his nephew, Enrique Gutierrez Jr., regularly
obtained kilogram quantities of heroin during the conspiracy that was then
distributed via the other defendants. The overall scope of the conspiracy was
estimated to be between 10-30 kilograms of heroin. The conspiracy operated
between April 2016 and October 2017.
On May 9, 2018, Judge Ramos sentenced Enrique Gutierrez Jr.,
31, of Sandia, to 13 years imprisonment. He had previously pleaded guilty to
the same heroin conspiracy as well as conspiracy to launder money.
Also previously sentenced were Sakhone Chanrattana, 35, of
Jarrell, who was ordered to serve 97 months, and Tim Molina, 34, of Robstown,
who received a sentence of 18 months.
In assessing the sentences, Judge Ramos pointed to the large
amount of heroin distributed in this conspiracy and its devastating impact on
the community and families.
The Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the
investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Muschenheim is prosecuting the case.