Remaining defendants in drug conspiracy case prep for trial

11 already sentenced; 9 pending

McALLEN — Two men face a federal jury beginning Monday in connection to a drug conspiracy case that led to the arrest of a Donna school district police officer and the conviction of a Hidalgo County bailiff.

Jose Miguel “El Mickey” Montemayor and Marin “Filtro” Macrin Cerda face multiple federal charges related to an alleged drug conspiracy that operated for nearly a year, a ninth superseding indictment states.

Macrin Cerda, faces 19 counts against him, including multiple counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, carjacking and violent crime involving drugs and machine guns, while Montemayor faces 13 similar charges.

Montemayor, of Mission, and Macrin Cerda, a Mexican national, and others, including Juan Fernando Mata, a former Donna ISD police officer, were part of a group called “Los Mikis.” They were arrested in October 2017 in connection with a series of burglaries, intent to commit other felonies, and engaging in organized criminal activity, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said at the time of their arrests.

Montemayor and Macrin Cerda are accused of leading the group, which participated in violent carjackings and other thefts involving drugs as an associate group of the Gulf Cartel drug trafficking organization.

The group terrorized the Rio Grande Valley for nearly a year between July 2016 and June 2017, the court document states.

Earlier this year, Oscar De La Cruz, a former Hidalgo County bailiff, was sentenced to a five-year prison term for his role in the drug conspiracy.

De La Cruz, who was facing several federal charges including drug conspiracy, drug importation and federal forgery charges, was originally indicted in early May 2018 on drug conspiracy charges. He was included in a superseding indictment involving multiple defendants less than a month later and charged with forgery as well.

The 53-year-old Pharr native was accused of playing a role in the movement of cocaine in conjunction with an unnamed drug trafficking organization between Jan. 14, 2016 and Feb. 5, 2018, court documents show.

Federal prosecutors said that during that time, De La Cruz obtained “law enforcement sensitive documents not generally available for the public and generated fraudulent search warrants for members of a drug trafficking organization,” court records state.

De La Cruz helped associates, including Montemayor and Macrin Cerda, get their hands on falsified court documents to help facilitate the theft and reselling of cocaine — a common practice by to deceive the main supply source in Mexico.

The warrants were ultimately given to the sources of the drugs in order to make it appear like law enforcement had seized the controlled substances. The drug traffickers could then retain and steal the controlled substance from the source of supply for further distribution themselves.

De La Cruz and Mata, Juan Antonio “Paisa” Flores, Francisco Javier Montemayor, Marlyn Gonzalez, Arturo Vargas, Jorge Antonio Calvo-Ayala, Danny Cano, Miguel Marin Cerda, Alfredo Avalos-Sanchez and Moises Delevi have also been sentenced in connection with the case.

Still pending sentencing in connection with the case are the nine remaining defendants, including: Sergio “Tovey” Alejandro Gallegos, who is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 25. Cesar Alejandro Tovar-Guillén, Robert Lee Rodriguez, Jose Garcia-De La Torre, Gustavo Angel De Leon-Covarrubias, Carlos Guadalupe Aquino-Pacheco, Antonio Javier Gomez, and Jose Arturo Reyes-Sanchez, are scheduled for sentencing Oct 22., while Marcos Antonio Villarreal is set to be sentenced Nov. 20.

The men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the drug charges.