MCALLEN, Texas — A member of a drug smuggling group with ties to the Gulf Cartel that operated along the Texas Border will spend close to 16 years in prison for his role in the drug trafficking saga that included Santeria rituals, drug rip-offs and explosive devices.
On Tuesday afternoon, Francisco Javier “El Tampico” Maya went before U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle in Brownsville who sentenced him to 189 months in prison. Maya had previously been convicted in January after a two day trial of the charges of conspiracy to possess more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana and possession of more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, court records show.
Maya, who also lived under the false name of Daniel Ybarra and resided in the border city of Mission, had been involved in the moving of marijuana loads from the summer of 2012 until his arrest in January 2013.
According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maya was in charge of getting tractor trailers and drivers that the group used to move the large drug loads north to cities like Houston getting a cut of $5,000 per load that made it north.
A devout follower of Santeria, Maya had altars with knives, blood, feathers, machetes and statues where animal sacrifices were carried out in order to protect the criminal organization.
December 2012, Maya had a Santeria priest called a “Padrino” perform a protection ritual on a 1,000 pound load that the group was set to move to Houston, however after the ritual the Padrino advised them to leave the load in South Texas. The following day the group tried another ritual to protect the load, but a group of gunmen stole the drugs.
Soon after the theft, a package containing four pipe bombs was delivered to the house 28-year-old Jesus Mauricio “El Flaco” Juarez, another member of the group, the package blew up severely injuring his five year-old girl.
The rest of the group members have all been sentences of convicted and are awaiting sentencing. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol Tobaccos Firearms and Explosives and Brownsville Police all took part in the case.
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