SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) member Eliseo Sanchez, III, of Crystal City, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute, plus an additional 24 months in federal prison for violating supervised release conditions stemming from a prior alien smuggling conviction.
Sanchez, 31, is the last of 12 convicted Uvalde and Crystal City, Texas-based TMM members and associates charged in this racketeering investigation to be sentenced, announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.
The other TMM members convicted of the RICO conspiracy received the following prison sentences:
- Jorge Abel Ramirez (a/k/a “Hondo,” a/k/a “Superdope”), of Hondo and Crystal City, 240 months;
- Geronimo Torres (a/k/a “Jerry,” a/k/a “G”), of Uvalde, 180 months;
- Benito Benavides (a/k/a “Benny”), of Uvalde, 240 months;
- Chris Gutierrez (a/k/a “Fire”), of Uvalde, 108 months;
- Albert Torres (a/k/a “Terrible”), of Uvalde, 168 months;
- Eric Velasquez Solis (a/k/a “Kilo”), of Uvalde, 162 months;
- Mario Zavala, of Crystal City, 108 months;
- Rodolfo Villegas (a/k/a “Rudy”), of Crystal City, 72 months;
- Charles Martinez (a/k/a “Charlie”), of Crystal City, 115 months;
- Sebastian Cortinas (a/k/a “Seabass”), of Crystal City and Eagle Pass, 72 months;
Additionally, Robert Marcus Castro (a/k/a “Tiny”), of Crystal City, pleaded guilty to committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering and was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison.
The defendants conspired to engage in a pattern of organized criminal conduct including attempted murder; retaliation against an informant; extortion; and distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.
As a result of the same indictment, Carlos Guerrero, of Uvalde; Zachary Vasquez, of Uvalde; and Jose Ibarra, of Uvalde, all pleaded guilty and were sentenced for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Guerrero was sentenced to 52 months’ incarceration; Vasquez to 24 months’ incarceration; Ibarra to 18 months’ incarceration.
Jorge Abel Ramirez was also found guilty of violently assaulting a prison guard while the RICO case was pending. He received 37 months’ incarceration for that offense, set to run consecutive to his 240 months RICO sentence, for a total of 277 months’ imprisonment.
“In this case, a dozen members of a violent drug gang have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, and the community can rest assured that we will continue to use the resources of federal law enforcement to target the most dangerous offenders in the illegal drug trade,” stated U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman.
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety-Criminal Investigations Division, Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshals Service, with assistance from the Real County Sheriff’s Office, Hondo Police Department, Zavala County Sheriff’s Office, and Uvalde Police Department.