San Antonio/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
24 Suspected Gang Members Federally Indicted in San Antonio for Drug and Firearm TraffickingSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

In San Antonio, a major bust has led to 24 suspected gang members, tied to the Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, being federally indicted on a slew of charges, including drug and firearm trafficking. U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas, marked the significance of the operation at a recent press conference, highlighting the collaborative efforts of various law enforcement agencies in bringing the alleged criminals to justice.

Last Tuesday, 19 individuals were arrested in a combined effort by federal, state, and local authorities; five others were already in custody. The indictment lists 24 counts pertaining to the intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, coupled with conspiracies to possess firearms in drug trafficking relations. The accused face a wide gamut of potential sentences if convicted, ranging from five years to life in prison. Esparza expressed gratitude for the professionalism and dedication of the agencies involved, stating, "Their professionalism, determination, and expertise help protect the safety of our citizens and allow our federal prosecutors to keep violent criminals out of our communities for years," according to a Justice Department release.

Special agents highlighted the impact of these arrests on the overall safety of the community. Aaron Tapp, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Antonio Field Office, reiterated the sentiment, "We are truly safer today because there are fewer firearms in the hands of bad actors — fewer kilos of meth, heroin and cocaine for sale in our community and one less trafficking organization doing business in South List Texas," in the same release. The DEA's Daniel Comeaux stated the operation would disrupt the gang's primary resource flow, which funded their incarcerated members and contributed to their organizational strength at the cost of the community.

The list of defendants includes individuals with street names such as "Danny Boy," "Get Down," and "Baby Paul." They were arrested in the operation, with charges that demonstrate an in-depth investigation by agencies such as the FBI and DEA, alongside valuable assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, and San Antonio Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Nowinksi and Fidel Esparza III, though it is important to note that an indictment is not a pronouncement of guilt, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.