KRGV reported that four drug cartel leaders had their sentences commuted by Barack Obama this week. They were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, but will be released by May 17. The four relatives ran one of the largest cartel smuggling operations in South Texas. They are now free to return to Roma, Texas and continue their illicit activities.
One of they destinations was Chicago, Illinois, Barack’s hometown and the murder capital of the country. Houston, Detroit and Atlanta were other target areas.
Obama Freed Drug Kingpins
Brothers Cesar Moreno Sr.., Eduardo Moreno, Lazaro Moreno, and Luis Moreno along with other relatives and friends led a large-scale drug distribution operation based out of the border city of Roma, Texas, a main distribution hub for drugs.
In 2001, five Moreno brothers were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for leading a drug trafficking organization that ran tons of marijuana through South Texas.
Sometimes heroine was included.
Federal investigators believe that the family, which authorities believe constituted the core of the Moreno-Riojas organization, generated almost $150 million in proceeds and distributed 185,000 pounds of marijuana before agents cracked down on them in the winter of 1996.
The organization ran 770,000 pounds of drugs in a ten year period.
Federal investigators said the Moreno family conducted business from a series of palatial homes and other buildings outside Los Saenz, all clustered on a rise in the earth known as the Hill.
The Moreno family spent more than $90,000 on trucks and acquired almost 1,300 acres of ranchland in South Texas. The organization also paid lawyers to represent members who had been caught; in one instance, they provided $150,000 to a load driver to skip bond and flee to Mexico. He remains a fugitive to this day.
Even while they were on trial, they continued their drug business.
They were convicted of narcotics distribution, money laundering, conspiracy to evade currency reporting requirements, failure to file tax forms, aiding and abetting the use of a communication facility, aiding and abetting travel in foreign and interstate commerce, conspiracy to travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and continuing criminal enterprise.
Police risk their lives to arrest these dangerous criminals and people are dying from the products they sell.
The Moreno brothers invested heavily in real estate and the used car business to launder millions in drug proceeds.
The judges in Starr County had had enough as they saw the cartels take over the county, bringing other crimes to the county, including murder.
Why Starr County Arrests Are Important
In 1996, the streets of Starr County’s river towns, places like Fronton became quiet after a major federal drug raid netted dozens of people. Seven of them were members of the Moreno family, five of them brothers.
Starr County is one of the poorest in the nation. It’s remote and, while most tourist ads will describe it as a farming and oil community, it is a major pipeline, a veritable free trade zone, for Mexican marijuana. A state grand jury impaneled to investigate the situation estimated that somewhere between 10 and 35 per cent of the county’s 200,000 residents are engaged in drug trafficking.
Dealers in the border towns of the county are called “mafiosos.”
What began with college kids dealing in the 1960s as part of the cultural revolution grew exponentially during the Vietnam War. The dealers were a whole new breed of cartel leaders.
Generally, they avoid gun battles. Most of the drug-related killings are the result of internecine disputes between rival entrepreneurs. Such murders occur with alarming regularity on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, and they’re becoming more common in Texas.
How can a community permit a complete breakdown of law and order where it concerns drugs? The drug traffic is here because a community allows it. And why do they allow it? Well, it’s very simple—MONEY, PROFIT, AND LACK OF MORALS.
How can a president permit a complete breakdown of law and order where it concerns drugs?
The full list of this week’s commutations can be found on this link.