Mission man gets more than 17 years in cocaine conspiracy

McALLEN — A Mission man was sentenced Wednesday in connection with a drug-smuggling ring also involved in local home invasions and carjackings.

Arturo Vargas, also known as “Petu” or Cholo,” 35, stood before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez on Wednesday for his sentencing hearing in connection with cocaine conspiracy charges.

Vargas, who government prosecutors say was part of a conspiracy to broker a deal involving 20 kilos of cocaine, was sentenced to 210 months in prison, court records show.

He joins Jorge Antonio Calvo-Ayala, 25, of Pharr, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. In May, Alvarez sentenced that man to 95 months in prison, court records show.

Others who have also pleaded guilty in the conspiracy and are pending sentencing are:

Antonio Javier Gomez, or “Little T,” 28; Francisco Javier Montemayor, or “Fat Boy” or “el Fat” or “Rambo,” 31; and Roberto Lee Rodriguez, or “el Tio” or “Pica,” 39 — all of Mission.

According to court records, Mexican nationals pleading guilty in the conspiracy are: Miguel Marin Cerda, or “Tigre,” 30; Jose Garcia-De La Torre, or “Coco,” 22; Carlos Guadalupe Aquino-Pacheco, or “Tomy,” 20; Alfredo Avalos-Sanchez, “Chore,” 26; Gustavo Angel DeLeon-Covarrubias, or “Tripa,” 19; Jose Arturo Reyes-Sanchez, or “Gordo,” 19; and Cesar Alejandro Tovar-Guillen, or “Nucho” or “el Sobrino,” 31.

Montemayor, of Mission, and Macrin Cerda, a Mexican national, who were scheduled for a status hearing Thursday afternoon, were also part of a group called “Los Mikis,” who were arrested in October 2017 in connection with a series of burglaries of a habitation, intent to commit other felonies, and engaging in organized criminal activity, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said last October.

Alvarez further imposed supervised release conditions on Vargas, which consist of five years to be served upon completion of his more than 17-year prison term.

Another co-defendant, Juan Antonio Flores, or “Paisa,” was also scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but his hearing was rescheduled for Dec. 13, court notes show.