HOUSTON – A 47-year-old Mexican citizen has been jailed in federal prison for conspiring to possess the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, Interim US Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery has announced.
Dimas DeLeon Rios pleaded guilty on November 9, 2017.
Today, US District Judge Keith P. Ellison imposed a total sentence of 15 years. Not being a U.S. citizen, he should be subject to removal proceedings after his imprisonment. At the hearing, the court concluded that DeLeon was the head of the drug trafficking organization and falsified three witnesses during the investigation. Justice Ellison found that firearms were used in the commission of the offense and noted that a kidnapping of a U.S. citizen at the hands of Gulf cartel members was part of the case.
The investigation began in 2011 when authorities targeted a drug trafficking organization involved in transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana. Authorities soon discovered that the organization was also stealing loads of cocaine and marijuana from its supply sources. As part of this scheme, the organization created fake packets of drugs and used law enforcement officers to seize them in order to cover up the theft.
DeLeon helped facilitate the distribution of over 194 kilograms of cocaine during the plot. He and others were hired to transport the cocaine, but instead stole it and sold it for a profit. To cover up the theft, the co-conspirators created fake packets of drugs that were placed in an abandoned vehicle. DeLeon paid corrupt law enforcement officers for their participation in the fake drug seizure scheme.
This drug trafficking investigation led to the arrest and prosecution of 20 people including six law enforcement officers, one of whom has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The court found that another had played a pivotal role in the drug trafficking plot, abused and exploited his position of trust and ordered him to serve 166 months in federal prison.
DeLeon will remain in custody pending his transfer to a US Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) dubbed Operation Blue Shame. The OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a multi-agency, prosecutor-led, intelligence-led approach. Additional information on the OCDETF program is available on the website Ministry of Justice OCDETF webpage.
Assistant US Attorney Casey N. MacDonald and Anibal J. Alaniz continued the case.