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Cartel-Linked Drug Smugglers Admit to West Texas Distribution Scheme

Two cartel-linked smugglers admitted to their role in a drug distribution group that moved substantial quantities of marijuana from the border into various American cities.

On September 21, 48-year-old Manuel Rodriguez-Reyes and 50-year-old Maximiliano Gonzales went before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater where they both pleaded guilty to counts of drug conspiracy and possession charges. Reyes remains out on bond while Gonzales will remain in federal custody until their January sentencing date.

Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed that Rodriguez-Reyes was part of a cartel-linked drug trafficking group dubbed by authorities as the Reyes DTO or drug trafficking organization. The leaders of the group have been identified in court records as Adan and Guadalupe Reyes. Both Adan Reyes and Guadalupe Reyes are currently in federal custody, awaiting sentencing following their guilty plea on drug conspiracy charges.

While court records have not revealed which Mexican drug cartel the Reyes DTO worked with, the group is responsible for moving large quantities of marijuana from the border city of El Paso to the Texas Panhandle. From there, drugs were then moved into multiple cities in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. 

According to a report previously released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso, Texas is an area that is used by the Juarez, Sinaloa and Beltran Leyva Cartels.

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S. (Photo: U.S. DEA)

Areas of Cartel Influence in the U.S. (Photo: U.S. DEA)

Court documents revealed that Manuel Rodriguez-Reyes performed various tasks for the Reyes DTO, including assisting in tracking marijuana loads from El Paso to the Texas panhandle cities of Cactus and Dumas. Once in the area, Manuel Reyes would ensure the loads made it to a ranch near Gruver, where cargo would then be transported to customers. Rodriguez Reyes was also responsible for counting the drug proceeds that were returned to the ranch and paid the drivers. On multiple occasions, he also transported cash proceeds from the ranch to El Paso. 

Court documents revealed that Maximiliano Gonzales was a driver for the Reyes DTO. The man would drive marijuana from Gruver to their customers and was paid for each load he transported. The information revealed in court shows that Gonzales used a work truck with a welder containing a false compartment to transport marijuana.

Texas Cartel Smuggler by ildefonso ortiz on Scribd

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project and you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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