A 47-year-old Cuban national has been sent to federal prison following his conviction of conspiring to distribute large quantities of marijuana and cocaine, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux, Houston Division and U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Juan Suarez-Pupo pleaded guilty on March 29. Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered Suarez-Pupo to serve 144 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that described Suarez-Pupo as a leader within the drug trafficking organization and that he oversaw smuggling operations in both Texas and Florida. He also had connections to sources of supply in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
In April 2019, authorities initiated an investigation on a drug trafficking organization operating in Laredo. They seized 615 kilograms of marijuana and approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine. They also seized $26,000 in drug proceeds. The marijuana had an estimated street value of approximately $400,000, while the cocaine is valued at $250,000.
Co-defendant and Laredo resident Charlie Gonzalez, 36, was previously sentenced to 135 months for his role in the conspiracy to smuggle narcotics to Houston, Dallas and Louisville, Kentucky. Judge Garcia Marmolejo found that, like Suarez-Pupo, Gonzalez was a leader within the drug trafficking organization and that he had significant involvement. The court also considered Gonzalez’s 27 prior arrests, which included 11 assaults, six gun charges, two money laundering offenses and a murder. Judge Marmolejo additionally imposed a sentencing enhancement against Gonzalez for threatening the life of the federal agent who arrested him.