McALLEN, Texas — Two cartel-linked illegal aliens living in Pharr pleaded guilty to various weapons charges in connection with their attempt to rob an undercover DEA agent during a drug operation.
This week, 39-year-old Rogelio Acosta Moctezuma and 27-year-old Jose Israel Villa Reyes went before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez and pleaded guilty to several weapons charges tied to their attempted armed robbery during a drug buy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed. Court documents note the two men are from Mexico and were in the country illegally at the time of their arrests. They face a possible 20-year prison sentence. Acosta also could see an additional sentence of up to 20-years in prison on a separate weapons smuggling charge.
The case against the two men began on February 1, 2017, when an informant was able to broker a deal for the purchase of two kilograms of cocaine and three kilograms of methamphetamine for $60,000 in cash. The informant and an undercover agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrived at a meeting place in Pharr where the two would meet Acosta and Villa.
After a short talk, the undercover agent called for the money to be delivered but Acosta moved toward the agent with a handgun in his waistband. Law enforcement moved in and arrested both Acosta and Villa with handguns on them. The men had arrived with packages that did not contain any drugs and planned to rob the other party.
As part of the investigation, DEA agents asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to help them with the weapons charges. The ATF agents were able to learn that Acosta was given a 9mm Smith & Wesson before the meeting with the intent to use it for an armed robbery. Villa purchased his own .45 caliber pistol for the operation.
Acosta had a pending case in federal court after he and four other men worked to get various AR-15 rifles smuggled into Mexico. One of the buyers of the rifles was an undercover agent.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.