Judge sentences 18 defendants in Central Texas drug ring case

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A U.S. District Judge in Waco has sentenced 18 individual defendants to federal prison terms in connection with the break-up of a drug smuggling ring.

Federal Judge Alia Moses sentenced Gabriel Rangel to serve 132 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years on supervised release; pay a fine $1000 and pay $100 in special assessment to the court.

She sentenced for Jose Salomon to serve 10 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years on supervised release; pay a fine $500 and pay $100 in special assessment to the court and to serve 60 months to run consecutive with the first sentence, an additional fine of $500 and a second fee of $100 special assessment to the court.

Judge Moses sentenced Nora Tijerina to serve 87 months behind bars, spend 3 year on supervised release, and pay a $1,000 fine, and $100 in special assessment to the court.

She sentenced Oscar Rodriguez to serve 36 months in the federal Bureau of Prisons, do 3 years supervised release; pay a fine of $1000 and make a $100 special assessment fee to the court.

Moses sentenced Capri Rollins to serve 144 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years on supervised release; pay a fine $2000 and pay $100 in special assessment to the court.

She sentenced Atilano Felipe Garcia to serve 121 months in custody, pay a $1,500 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

Crystal Beck Diggs was sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years on supervised release; pay a fine $1000 and pay $100 in special assessment to the court.

Moses sentenced Tawuan Stewart to 94 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release, pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

Dana Ice was sentenced to serve 188 in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years supervised release, a $2,000 fine and a $100 special assessment to the court.

Moses sentenced Douglas Junior Taylor to serve 84 months in prison, spend 3 years on supervised release, pay a $1,500 fine and pay the court $100 in special assessment fees.

Jonathan Salazar was sentenced to serve 108 months in the Bureau of Prisons, do 5 years on supervised release, and pay a fine of $1000 and a special assessment fee of $100.

Judge Moses sentenced Michael Arthur to serve 87 months in prison, 4 years on supervised release, pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment.

Thomas Lee will spend 18 months on each of two counts to run concurrently, spend 3 years on supervised release, pay a $500 fine and pay $100 in special assessment to the court.

Moses sentenced Elias Mendoza to serve 360 months, 240 months, 60 months and 48 months in federal prison to run concurrently if Mendoza’s parole is not revoked.

If Mendoza’s parole is revoked the sentence runs a total of 708 months, or 59 years.

Moses also sentenced Mendoza to serve a total of 12 years on supervised release, pay fines totaling $4,000 and pay a total of $400 in special assessments to the court.

She sentenced Eliodoro Denova Lopez to serve 235, 60 and 48 months on three counts to run concurrently, spend 11 years on supervised release, pay special assessments fines totaling $400.

Jesus Denova Lopez was sentenced to serve 210 months on two separate counts, 60 months on a third and 48 on a fourth count, to be followed by 12 years on supervised release and pay a total of $400 in special assessments to the court.

Judge Moses sentenced Kenneth Montgomery 87 months in federal prison, ordered him to serve 3 years on supervised release, a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

Kevin Kuehnle was sentenced to 168 months in custody, must spend 3 years on supervised release, pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.

One other man, Ramon Rodriguez, Jr., also was named in the indictment that brought the defendants to court but he was not included in the sentencing.

A factual basis introduced in court says beginning on January 1, 2013, the group of 19 conspired together to possess and distribute marijuana in Central Texas.

Waco’s Resident FBI office joined in the investigation in 2015, along with Temple police, agents from the Department of Public Safety, the Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate drug activity supported by members of the Texas Syndicate gang.

Over several months, undercover agents bought more than seven ounces of methamphetamine and later bought powdered cocaine, marijuana, crack cocaine and other drugs, the factual basis says.

Investigators were able to determine that the group had several suppliers, both in the United States and in Mexico.

Agents used court ordered wire taps to monitor communications among the group.

The factual basis says during one of the deals to exchange marijuana for cash, a shooting erupted that resulted in the death of one of the drug couriers.

The factual basis does not indicate that anyone has been charged with that murder.

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