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Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: drug trafficker

Mexican Drug Smugglers Sentenced for Cocaine Conspiracy

Two Mexican drug traffickers were sentenced Friday, February 8, 2013, for their roles in a cocaine conspiracy. The sentence is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Genaro Torres, 58, formerly of Laredo,Texas, and Maria E. Garcia, 64, formerly of Houston,Texas, were both sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer in Rochester.

Torres, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In addition, Torres forfeited $750,000 in U.S. currency, which he admitted constituted or derived from proceeds he obtained as a result of his illegal drug activity.

Garcia, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Larimer.

According to court documents, the defendants were involved with a group of individuals that distributed over 150 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico in the United States between 1991 and 2008. During the course of the conspiracy, cocaine was transported to, and distributed in, Rochester by members of the conspiracy. Cocaine was also provided to Houston,Chicago,New York, Atlanta, and the New England region of the country.

Since the early 1990s, Torres was involved in transporting quantities of cocaine across the Mexican-Texas border in the area of Laredo and thereafter distributing the cocaine. Torres was found by the court to have acted as a manager or supervisor in this extensive drug distribution activity. Between 2000 and 2008, Torres arranged at times for the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to individuals in Houston.

As for Maria Garcia, by early 2000, this defendant was selling cocaine in Houston after being supplied by Torres. Between February and April 2000, Torres arranged the delivery of over 50 kilograms of cocaine in Houston to Garcia or her customers. Torres and Garcia are Mexican citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. It is anticipated that both Torres and Garcia will be deported by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations upon the completion of their sentences.

“It’s often said that crime doesn’t pay and in this case that is especially true,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., Western District of New York. “The hard work of our law enforcement partners and prosecutors has led to the take down of a major drug conspiracy. But in addition, we have literally taken the profit out of this particular crime syndicate. The money being forfeited will now be put to a much more positive use including continued crime fighting efforts.”

HSI and the DEA were assisted in the investigation by the Rochester Police Department and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Sherman, Western District of New York, prosecuted this case on behalf of the U.S. government.

24 Kilograms of Cocain Seized by HSI in Major Drug Trafficking Investigation

Twelve defendants were indicted Tuesday, August 7, 2012, in a major drug trafficking conspiracy in which large shipments of cocaine were flown by private chartered airplanes from Texas to Cleveland. These indictments follow an extensive joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Agency, and various other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

At least 24 kilograms of cocaine and $157,500 in cash were seized as part of the investigation. The conspiracy, which also included shipments of cocaine to Cleveland from Atlanta and a suburb of Chicago, included nearly 20 flights between August 2009 and March 2012, according to the indictment.

The following is a list of those indicted:

  • Johnny S. Phillips, aka “Nasty” or “Reef,” age 39, of South Euclid, Ohio;
  • Errick Phillips, aka “E” or “Ike,” age 41, of Lyndhurst, Ohio;
  • William Mangum, Jr., aka “Billy” or “Steel Bill,” age 43, of Cleveland;
  • Nora Flores, age 41, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Virginia Perez, age 35, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Rachele Lynn Munoz, age 32, of Laredo, Texas;
  • Richard A. Born, age 58, of Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Lamark Robinson, aka “Squirrel,” or “S.Q.,” age 30, of Cleveland;
  • Mark Anderson, aka “Floyd,” age 38, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio;
  • Robert Oldorff, age 52, of Cleveland;
  • John H. McDonald, age 52, of Cleveland;
  • Sharon Manchook, age 51, of Cleveland.

“This group is accused of using private airplanes to bring piles of cocaine into Cleveland,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “This case is a great example of law enforcement working together to choke off the supply of drugs that hit our streets.”

“This investigation is a sterling example of how federal, state and local law enforcement were able to successfully dismantle a major narcotics smuggling organization in the Cleveland area,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for Michigan and Ohio. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to aggressively target and takedown group who are dispensing poison into our communities.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso said: “The investigation has successfully taken down a major cocaine trafficking organization operating in Northern Ohio. These indictments illustrate that no matter how creative drug traffickers attempt to be in order to avoid detection, when there is cooperation and communication among law enforcement agencies, conspiracies such as this will eventually be identified and eliminated.”

In addition to the conspiracy charge, defendants William Mangum, Jr., Virginia Perez, Rachele Lynn Munoz, Nora Flores, Errick Phillips and Johnny S. Phillips are also charged with interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise for trips they took between Ohio and states such as Texas, Illinois and Georgia as part of the drug trafficking enterprise. Johnny S. Phillips, Richard A. Born and Sharon Manchook are also charged with distributing cocaine on two occasions, while Errick Phillips and Mark Anderson are charged with possession with intent to distribute amounts of cocaine.

The indictment describes a conspiracy in which large amounts of cocaine were flown in multiple trips to Cleveland from Laredo,Texas using private chartered airplanes. The cocaine was delivered to Johnny S. Phillips and Errick Phillips. According to the indictment, the proceeds from the cocaine were then flown back to the suppliers in Laredo, Texas.

Approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine were seized in February 2010 at the airport in Laredo, Texas, that was scheduled to be delivered to Cleveland. Cocaine was also obtained from suppliers in Illinois. In August 2010, approximately seven kilograms of cocaine that were supposed to be delivered from Illinois to Cleveland were seized in Michigan from two couriers. In January 2011, approximately four kilograms of cocaine were seized from Errick Phillips as he was traveling back from Illinois to Cleveland. Investigators also seized over $157,500 in drug proceeds from a courier in December 2010. The courier was believed to be traveling from Cleveland to Texas, according to the indictment.

The cocaine obtained from these multiple locations was then distributed through a network of dealers in the Cleveland area to lower-level dealers and users, according to the indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew W. Shepherd and Duncan Brown. The case was investigated through the combined efforts of the DEA, ICE HSI, FBI, United States Marshal’s Service, Ohio Highway Patrol, Erie County Prosecutor’s Office, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Narcotics Agency, Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Heights Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Lyndhurst Police Department, North Royalton Police Department, South Euclid Police Department, and Westlake Police Department.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations.