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Posted on Dec 01, 07:04PM | IBNS
An alleged Houston gang member, Raul Sergio Madrigal of League City, will make his initial appearance in federal court Friday, December 7, following his recent extradition from Mexico, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced on Friday.
Madrigal. 33, was originally charged in a five-count indictment alleging conspiracy and marijuana and cocaine trafficking along with 13 other defendants in January 2009.
Madrigal fled to Mexico prior to the return of the indictment. He was taken into Mexican custody earlier this year shortly after anonymous information was received on the stophoustongangs.org website.
Madrigal waived extradition and was returned to the United States via Chicago, Illinois, on November 15. He is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge December 7, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2007, Madrigal and others conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana and more than five kilograms of cocaine in the Southern District of Texas and elsewhere.
The substantive counts allege violations of possessing the marijuana and cocaine with the intent to distribute.
The indictment also provides notice that the government intends to seek forfeiture of USD 18 million.
Madrigal faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years' imprisonment as well as a USD 4 million fine for the conspiracy charge. All substantive counts carry an equal or lesser possible sentence depending upon the amount of drugs involved.
To date, 12 of the 14 charged have already been convicted. Those include Edgar Madrigal, 28; Manuel Damian Juarez, 32; Sabas Cruz Deleon, 33; Eric Victor Arauza aka E, 31; Sergio Rivera, 32; Mario Alberto Gonzalez, 38; and Phillip Jerome Barajas, 32, all of Houston; Enrique Rodriguez Jr., 34, of Pearland; Saul Salinas, 39, of League City; Cornelio Moreno aka Mono, 26, of Pasadena; Ivan Nacianceno, 29, of College Station; and Ronnie Elmer Jackson, 40, of Navasota.
Juan Mario Rangel, 32, remains a fugitive in the case and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest, said the FBI.
The investigation leading to the charges was the efforts of the Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, a multi-agency gang task force whose goal is to disrupt and dismantle gangs in the Houston area. Agencies who assisted in the investigation and task force include FBI, Houston Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.