McALLEN, Texas – A long-time drug smuggler for the Gulf Cartel who had been arrested in Texas will spend 18 years in prison for his role in moving large quantities of marijuana and cocaine for the powerful crime syndicate.
Ediel “Metro 5 or La Muela” Lopez Falcon received an 18-year prison sentence from a U.S. District judge in Washington last week. He had previously pleaded guilty in February to the various drug-trafficking charges.
Lopez Falcon was not arrested by Mexican authorities in Mexico. He was arrested by authorities in the border city of Pharr, Texas, as he left a local bank in 2013.
At the time of his arrest, there was some confusion at the federal court in McAllen as to where he was initially indicted because Lopez Falcon was going by the name Lopez Garcia. This was cleared up and he was then sent to Washington, D.C., where the initial indictment was filed against him.
The indictment dates back to 2008 and lists 26 top ranking-members of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas who, at the time, worked together.
Lopez Falcon was described in court as a top drug trafficker and weapons smuggler for the Gulf Cartel or “La Compania,” as the criminal organization was also known before 2010 when Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel split
The man known as Metro 5 worked out of the border city of Roma, Texas, where he was initially a free-lance drug trafficker. By 2007, he had joined the Gulf Cartel. The criminal organization had begun to control territories and was forcing smugglers to join or pay a fee to use their territory.
The man known as La Muela worked under the late Samuel “Metro 3” Flores Borrego, a Gulf Cartel regional boss who controlled the border city of Reynosa, and the area known as Riberena, just south of Starr County, Texas.
Lopez Falcon would coordinate the shipping of drugs and weapons over the river for the Gulf Cartel. He was under orders of Flores Borrego, taped telephone conversations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that Breitbart Texas had access to revealed.
Much has changed within the Gulf Cartel from the time that Lopez Falcon worked for Flores Borrego. In 2011, a rival faction of the Gulf Cartel killed Flores Borrego, starting off a series of internal battles that continue to this day.