AUSTIN, Texas — According to the Department of Justice, federal, state and local authorities have arrested 17 individuals with ties to the Texas Syndicate gang in connection to a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking operation in Central Texas.

The federal grand jury indictment was unsealed in Austin on Sept. 4 and charged those arrested with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

The defendants had, allegedly, conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin in several central Texas cities, including Austin, San Marcos, Luling, Gonzales, New Braunfels, Hutto, Kenedy, Seguin and Bastrop, and also in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, since 2018.

More than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine and multiple firearms were seized during the investigation.

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Those charged in the indictment include:

  • Juan Carlos Castilleja, New Braunfels, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Roman Gabriel Luna, Austin, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one kilogram of heroin
  • Julio Alvarez, Austin, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Osbellia Jimenez-Jaimes, Austin, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Brandon Carrasco, Kenedy, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • David Cantu, Gonzales, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Ian Accord, Hutto, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • John Vera, Gonzales, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Josh Vera, Gonzales, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Lisa Anzaldua, Luling, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Noemi Medina, Seguin, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Paul Villarreal, Luling, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Sean May, Tuscaloosa, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 100 grams or more of heroin
  • Michael Armstead, San Marcos, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine
  • Steven Klasing, Austin, less than 50 grams of methamphetamine and less than 100 grams of heroin
  • Rafael Salas, San Antonio, one kilogram or more of heroin
  • Pascual Salazar, Austin, one kilogram or more of heroin

All of the defendants are in federal custody, and detention hearings are expected to happen over the next few weeks in Austin for all defendants except Sean May.

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If convicted, Castilleja, Luna, Salazar, Salas and Alvarez face between 10 years and life in federal prison.

If convicted, Jimenez-Jaimes, Carrasco, Cantu, Accord, Josh and John Vera, Anzaldua, Medina, Villareal and may face between five and 40 years in federal prison.

If convicted, Armstead and Klasing face up to 20 years in federal prison, depending on their involvement with the group, drug type and drug amount.

An indictment is not evidence of guilt and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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