June 17, 2013
Federal authorities on Monday charged a Dallas man in a drug trafficking conspiracy case with ties to Amarillo and Mexico.
Fabian Orlando Ortega was charged with conspiring with others unknown to the grand jury and traveling with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Authorities allege that on Oct. 17, 2008, Ortega agreed with a person whose name he didn’t know to accept and store more than 10 pounds of cocaine he knew was being smuggled from Mexico to Dallas. The next day, an unknown courier hauled the package across the border to Hidalgo. Later that day, another courier known as Licenciado picked up a white SUV with the drugs and drove toward Dallas.
Ortega then telephoned the courier, met him at Interstate 40 and Inwood Road and picked up the SUV.
He was arrested April 14 in the El Paso area and remains in the Randall County jail awaiting sentencing.
Ortega also was indicted on methamphetamine and drug trafficking charges in May with several other men.
In May, Juan Gabriel Mejia and Ortega were indicted by a Lubbock federal grand jury on two counts of conspiracy to commit a drug offense, a money-laundering-related charge; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine — aiding and abetting; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and methamphetamine — aiding and abetting.
One of the indictments alleges the men conspired with Victor Deangelo Brooks, Thomas Tallant, Kitprasong Chanthavong, Rodolfo Alcorta Jr., Reymundo Uriel Haro, Vongsavat Sayasane, Roberto Juan Martinez and others unknown to the grand jury to distribute more than 5 pounds of cocaine between January 2008 and January 2009.
Mejia also was indicted on a money-laundering charge alleging he received about $125,000 in cash from an unknown Mexican national, money authorities said was linked to drug trafficking. Mejia and Ortega also were indicted on drug-trafficking charges of possessing more than 14 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 8 pounds of cocaine.
Last year, Alcorta was sentenced to serve more than 16 years in federal prison after state troopers discovered methamphetamine in a 2008 traffic stop.
Charges against Haro were dismissed after he cooperated in the investigation. Sayasane was sentenced in 2010 to serve more than 20 years in federal prison on conspiracy and meth distribution charges.
Chanthavong was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking.
Brooks, Tallant and Roberto Juan Martinez pleaded guilty to drug-related charges and were sentenced to prison terms.
Brooks, who made a partial payment to a DEA informant for more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Tallant was sentenced to serve more than 16 years, and Martinez was sentenced to serve seven years.
Mejia has not yet been sentenced.