Back in February, Texas Syndicate member Ernesto Medrano and some 20 of his fellow gang members were in a Dallas federal courtroom receiving multi-year prison sentences for importing hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the U.S. -- using military transport flights from Columbia to Ft. Bliss, Texas. But the convictions didn't stop federal authorities from pursuing other charges against members of the prison gang. Far from it.
Today, the U.S. Attorney's office announced the indictment of 14 members of the notorious prison gang. They've been charged with "conspiring to participate in a violent enterprise responsible for murders, attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murder, robbery, drug trafficking, and other crimes in North Texas and other areas." All 14 defendants have been charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute -- the same statute used to bring down the Mafia -- and the feds date the Texas Syndicate's "conspiracies" back to at least the mid-1990s.
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Unfair Park has obtained a copy of the 41-page indictment, which you can read in its entirety here.
Four of the men mentioned in the indictment -- Marco Medina, David Gutierrez, Emilio Noyola and Sixto Salinas -- were arrested last week in a joint operation between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Dallas Police Department's gang unit; and the F.B.I.
Kathy Colvin, spokesperson for the U.S. States Attorney's Office Northern District of Texas, tells Unfair Park that "some of those convicted in February have been charged in this one," including 33-year-old Roy Arredondo Jr. If convicted, all 14 face a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison. The full release is below. --Robert Wilonsky
DOJ’S ANTI-GANG INITIATIVE LEADS TO RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY INDICTMENT OF 14 MEMBERS OR ASSOCIATES OF TEXAS SYNDICATE PRISON GANG
All Face Life In Prison, Without Parole
DALLAS - A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday that charges 14 members of the Texas Syndicate prison gang with conspiring to participate in a violent enterprise responsible for murders, attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murder, robbery, drug trafficking, and other crimes in North Texas and other areas, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas.
U.S. Attorney Roper said, “This case is an excellent example of the collaborative efforts of the federal government and local law enforcement working together to aggressively deal with drug, gun and violent gang activity here in North Texas. When violent criminals band together to run their criminal organization like a business, this office will use every statute at its disposal to defeat the objective of the criminal enterprise.”
Michael Golson, Sr, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Dallas, said, “This was a cooperative effort to combat armed narcotics traffickers and to make the streets of North Texas safer.”
“The partnership between the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought about these criminal charges. The FBI is committed to the disruption and dismantlement of these organized violent gangs through our continued multi-agency Task Force concept, said Robert E. Casey, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Dallas FBI. “
Lt. Santos Cadena, Commander of the Dallas Police Department Gang Unit said, “The Dallas Police Department Gang Unit is firmly committed to working with our federal counterparts to aggressively pursue the prosecution of violent gang members, such as those named in today’s indictments. The Dallas Police Department and our federal partners realize that by combining our areas of expertise and resources, we are able to achieve a greater level of efficacy in combating violent gangs in Dallas. Our past efforts have been very productive and we look forward to future successes in making Dallas a safer city for all its residents.”
The three-count indictment charges the 14 defendants listed below, all of whom are either in state or federal custody, with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. If convicted, all face a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison:
Roy Arredondo, Jr., a.k.a. West, age 33
Juan Antonio Vasquez, a.k.a. Juanillo, age 36
Hector Manuel Ayala, a.k.a. Hec; a.k.a. Homicide, age 34
Marco Medina, a.k.a. Pantera, age 35
Javier Soliz, a.k.a Payaso, 37
David Gutierrez, age 30
Walter Lopez, a.k.a. Big Homie, age 34
Sixto Salinas, age 34
Primitivo Ybarra, a.k.a. Munch, age 29
Daniel Arredondo, a.k.a. Weasel, age 43
Arnulfo Rodriguez, a.k.a. Isaac Rodriguez; a.k.a. Gangster, age 36
Emilio Noyola, a.k.a. Mili, age 27
Daniel Garcia, a.k.a. D, age 27
Edwin Barron, a.k.a. Beaver, age 37
Several of the above-listed defendants were convicted in the Northern District of Texas in a large-scale drug distribution conspiracy case, U.S. v. Roy Arredondo, et al., 3:05CR075, and are presently serving federal prison sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison. Four defendants, Marco Medina, David Gutierrez, Emilio Noyola and Sixto Salinas were arrested last week.
The indictment alleges that the defendants are members, or associates, of the Texas Syndicate prison gang, a violent prison gang established during the 1970's as a response by native Texas inmates to other prison gangs. The Texas Syndicate is a dominant prison gang in Texas. Members of the Texas Syndicate are bound by a set of strict rules which ensure loyalty and participation in the enterprise’s criminal activities and are subject to strict and harsh discipline, including death, for violating the rules. The rules require that a member continue his participation in the organization even after his release from prison. Membership is for life.
Although the rules of the Texas Syndicate exclude “shady” or “devious” characters, members who commit murders, aggravated assaults, robberies, or traffic in illegal drugs are not classified as being of bad character. Instead, this category is interpreted more narrowly to exclude child molesters and those who fail to follow the rules of the Texas Syndicate.
Members and associates of the Texas Syndicate committed crimes to achieve the enterprise’s economic goal of making money as well as to enforce the rules of the organization. Victims of the violent crimes were often those who transgressed Texas Syndicate rules regardless of whether it was done knowingly or unknowingly.
The indictment alleges that the conspiracy began in the mid-1990's and continued up to the date of this indictment. Each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity. The indictment alleges that between October 1999 and September 2004, the defendants committed 12 murders and several attempted murders — two in the Rio Grand Valley and the others in the Dallas area.
The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was one of 10 target areas in the U.S. chosen to receive $2.5 million in grant funds for a comprehensive anti-gang initiative to devote extensive resources to defeating some of the most violent and pervasive gangs in the country.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dallas Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Meacham and Jerri Sims.