Three men from Texas border towns are accused of possessing and attempting to distribute 51 kilograms of cocaine near Cleveland, Ohio, according to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The defendants are 42-year-old Guadalupe J. Zarate of Penitas, 25-year-old Jesus A. Flores of Pharr, and 32-year-old Noe R. Salinas of Rio Grande City.
An indictment states that the three men were allegedly caught with 51 kilograms (over 100 pounds) of a “mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine” on April 4. They were subsequently ordered to forfeit all items obtained, according to the report.
This is not Noe R. Salinas’ first run-in with law enforcement this year.
In January 2014, Salinas was caught allegedly attempting to bring a 12-year-old Mexican national into the U.S. illegally, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas. Salinas admitted to presenting a false birth certificate–which he claimed belonged to the child–to Border Patrol authorities at a point-of-entry in Laredo, Texas.
“Defendant was smuggling the minor to Longview, Texas to reunite with his grandfather who was to pay $1,500 for the smuggling scheme if successful,” the complaint claimed.
Only three months later, Salinas apparently became involved in the alleged cocaine scheme in Ohio.
Court documents state that Salinas is a U.S. citizen. The citizenship statuses of Zarate and Flores are unclear according to available records.
Each of the men faces one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. An FBI press release claimed that the defendants’ prior criminal records could ultimately factor into sentencing, if any of the three are found guilty.
The case is currently being investigated by several federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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