HOUSTON – The Division of Justice has introduced the unsealing of an 11-count indictment charging 12 people in a long-running, multi-faceted conspiracy to monopolize the transmigrante forwarding business within the Los Indios border area close to Harlingen and Brownsville.
Transmigrantes are people who transport used autos and different items from the US by way of Mexico for resale in Central America. Transmigrante forwarding businesses are companies that present companies to transmigrante shoppers, together with serving to these shoppers full the customs paperwork required to export autos into Mexico.
Based on the indictment, Carlos Favian Martinez, 36, Mission; Marco Antonio Medina, 32, Rigoberto Brown, 38, and Miguel Hipolito Caballero Aupart, 70, all of Brownsville; Pedro Antonio Calvillo Hernandez, 47, Tamaulipas, Mexico; Roberto Garcia Villareal, 56, San Benito; Sandra Guerra Medina, 68, Rancho Viejo; and Mireya Miranda, 56, La Feria, conspired to repair costs and allocate the marketplace for transmigrante companies in violation of Part 1 of the Sherman Act. Additionally they allegedly conspired to monopolize the identical market in violation of Part 2 of the Sherman Act. The indictment alleges they carried out price-fixing agreements and created a centralized entity generally known as “The Pool” to gather and divide revenues among the many conspirators.
Transmigrante company house owners and business individuals who refused to cost the fastened costs, pay into the pool or pay an extortion tax have been subjected to threats, intimidation and acts of violence in opposition to themselves and their households, workers, associates and companies, in line with the fees.
Martinez, Medina, Calvillo and Garcia, together with Diego Ceballos-Soto, 48, Matamoros, Mexico, and Carlos Yzaguirre, 63, Mission, have been additionally charged with one depend of conspiracy to intervene with commerce by extortion. The indictment alleges a number of violent acts perpetrated in opposition to transmigrante business individuals and people intently related to them who disrupted the scheme or refused to pay the extortion charges. Martinez, Ceballos-Soto and Yzaguirre have been additionally charged with one depend of interference in commerce by extortion. They allegedly compelled one transmigrante company proprietor to pay greater than $80,000 for working exterior of the Pool and failing to pay the extortion tax.
Lastly, Martinez, Medina, Calvillo, Ceballos-Soto and Yzaguirre, together with Juan Hector Ramirez Avila, 32, and Jose de Jesus Tapia Fernandez, 44, each of Brownsville, have been charged with cash laundering conspiracy and substantive counts of cash laundering associated to the underlying scheme.
“The indictment costs that defendants monopolized an business by way of horrific violence and threats of violence,” stated Assistant Legal professional Normal Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Division’s Antitrust Division. “The division will use all of the instruments at its disposal – together with Part 2 of the Sherman Act – to focus on anticompetitive conduct that undermines our nation’s financial vitality and freedom.”
“As alleged, this prison group dedicated heinous acts of violence in opposition to those that wouldn’t take part in its unlawful actions,” stated Assistant Legal professional Normal Kenneth A. Well mannered Jr. of the Justice Division’s Felony Division. “Along with our companions, we’re dedicated to dismantling violent enterprises that victimize people merely attempting to earn an trustworthy dwelling.”
“The costs introduced at the moment display our workplace’s dedication to defending Texans from violent crime and exploitive enterprise practices,” stated U.S. Legal professional Jennifer Lowery. “Working with our companions throughout the federal government, we are going to proceed to research and prosecute violent criminals who prey on our communities.”
“This case is additional proof that organized crime is energetic and negatively impacting our communities,” stated Performing Particular Agent in Cost Craig Larrabee of Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) San Antonio. “These violent prison organizations monopolized the transmigrante business by utilizing acts of violence, threats and even extortion. HSI employs a full vary of legislation enforcement methods and cross-border authorities to fight this egregious prison exercise. HSI and its legislation enforcement companions are dedicated to dismantling organized crime by eliminating their corrupt affect in our communities and defending our nation’s borders.”
“Right now’s actions are the results of the FBI’s continued collaborative efforts with our legislation enforcement companions on this necessary investigation,” stated Particular Agent in Cost Oliver E. Wealthy Jr. of the FBI San Antonio Division. “The FBI stays devoted to defending American communities from threats of violence and financial crime.”
HSI and the FBI are investigating the case.
An indictment is a proper accusation of prison conduct, not proof.
A defendant is presumed harmless except convicted by way of due technique of legislation.