Roma man joins daughter in federal prison after sentencing hearing

McALLEN — A Roma man was sentenced to federal prison nearly a year after his daughter was sentenced in the same case.

Wenceslao Ortiz, of Roma, will serve 24 months in federal prison after U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa sentenced the man during a hearing Thursday morning.

Ortiz was the last of several people sentenced in connection with a drug smuggling operation and an indictment filed in November 2016, according to court records.

Upon transfer to a federal bureau of prisons facility, Ortiz will join his daughter, Maria Guadalupe Ortiz, 37, who was sentenced last June to 70 months in prison with five years of supervised release upon the completion of her prison term. Her sentencing hearing was held in Houston federal court, records show.

The indictment against Ortiz and his co-conspirators, which includes Jordan Lee Bermea, 29, and his sister, Evelina Irasema Bermea, 33, both of La Grulla, is light on details. It does, however, state that from Feb. 19 to 21, 2014, the accused conspired to possess and distribute hundreds of pounds of marijuana, according to court records.

“The controlled substance involved was 100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana,” the indictment reads.

Ortiz’s sentencing came after Hinojosa sentenced Jordan Bermea to 18 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Jordan will be placed on two years supervised release pending the completion of his prison term.

Jordan’s sister, Evelina Bermea, was sentenced in March to 60 months in prison with four years supervised release, court records show.

The elder Ortiz, who is 63 years old, had prior run-ins with the law, including drug possession arrests in 1991 and 1997, the court stated.

Characterizing his latest mistake as “stupid,” Ortiz addressed the court in Spanish with the help of an interpreter.

He said that he regretted his actions and now is remorseful because he will be away from his ill wife and their young granddaughter. He vowed not to stand before Hinojosa ever again.