Texas Mexican Mafia bust nets cocaine, cash and firearms

Gang busted in Seguin Texas

SEGUIN, Texas (KXAN) — One-hundred and fifty police officers served dozens of arrest warrants Friday morning in an effort to put the Texas Mexican Mafia behind bars.

From federal to state law enforcement, various agencies showed up to assist the Seguin Police Department with the arrest targeting an operation trafficking heroin and cocaine in Seguin and New Braunfels. The effort to arrest the gang-members has been in the works for the past 18 months. An indictment unsealed Friday charges the defendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Authorities believe the defendants are responsible for distributing heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in the Seguin and New Braunfels areas since 2010.

Police showed up at multiple homes for the bust. Officials described the gang members as “treacherous” and “violent.” The alleged leader of the Mafia, “Lieutenant,” is among the eight people arrested. Federal agencies are searching for three men: Adrian Francisco Barbosa (aka “Lil A”), 29; John Gary Ortiz (aka “Big John”), 30,; and Christopher James Davila (aka “Luck”), 32.

Police say the gang supplies drugs from Austin to Houston and they are believed to have ties inside the Texas prison system. Drugs, cars and money are just a small example of what the Seguin police department took off the streets Friday morning.

“When you take kilos off of these folks, it makes a significant dent and when you take cash off of these guys it makes a significant dent as well,” said Seguin Police Department Deputy Chief Bruce Ure.

Fifteen arrests were made with many of those considered to be the leaders of the Mexican Mafia. “The Mexican mafia is a national organization quite frankly. They are one of the most ruthless and vicious organizations that you can come across. These folks are the ones selling drugs to our kids, and we wanted that to stop,” said Ure.

Seguin police said this was a joint effort that has put a big dent into the Texas Mexican Mafia’s operation in the area, but will not stop here with their efforts.

“We’re realistic enough to know that in a week or so there are people willing to take their spot, but we are going to be there waiting on them,” said Ure.

Seven locations across Guadalupe County were combed for evidence. During this investigation, authorities seized approximately three pounds of heroin, approximately 13 pounds of powder cocaine, one pound of “crystal” methamphetamine, one pound of marijuana, approximately $60,000 in U.S. Currency and six firearms.

Police in Seguin say this is the largest coordinated effort in a criminal investigation the city has ever lead.

Those arrested include:

  • Joey Mertz Gonzales (aka “Wheel Chair”), age 47, of Seguin;
  • Jeffrey Ozell Sarabia (aka “Guero”), age 43, of Seguin;
  • Eddie Flores (aka “Lil E”), age 29, of Seguin;
  • Carlos Rios, age 45, of Live Oak, TX;
  • David Phillip Urdiales (aka “Termite”), age 37, of New Braunfels;
  • Cruz Carlos Acosta, age 36, of New Braunfels;
  • Noel Arce, age 44, of Mario, TX; and,
  • Mario Albert Leal, Jr. (aka “Lil Man”), age 34, of Seguin.
  • Mario Leal, age 34, of Seguin
  • Nathan Gamez, age 34, of Seguin
  • Bryan Pelcastre, age 28, of Seguin
  • Jerry Sarabia, age 32, of Seguin
  • Damien Clack, age 30, of Seguin
  • Sam Flores, age 33, of Seguin
  • Jose Saenz, age 41, of Seguin

If convicted, the suspects face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Previous Texas Mexican Mafia bust

In 2011, 17 members of the Texas Mexican Mafia were arrested and sentenced to a combined total of 309 years in prison. Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, crack and methamphetamines were discovered in the Mafia’s possession.

“They have a history of robbery, aggravated assault on a police officer. There were suspects that had convictions for murder, arson, injury to a child, burglary, and other narcotics, and weapons violations,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo in 2011.

Four of those 17 mafia members arrested in 2011 also faced charges for the August 2010 murder of a Hays County man found in a truck wrapped in plastic.

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