Federal and local law enforcement recovered more than a kilogram of cocaine, half a kilogram of methamphetamine, 14 firearms, and nearly $1.6 million dollars in cash during a drug bust at a two-bedroom home in southeast Dallas last week, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
The agents also arrested Hector Manuel Castro-Quirino, 47, and his girlfriend Vanesa Ann Cervantes, 38. Charged via criminal complaint with drug conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute, they made their initial appearances in federal court on Friday.
“Far too often, gun and drugs are a lethal combination. We are thankful to the tenacious agents who took these dangerous items, and their owners, off our streets,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “The law enforcement community will not rest until we’ve made a real dent in violent crime in Dallas.”
“Mr. Castro and Ms. Cervantes were allegedly involved in more crimes than a Hollywood script. Fortunately for the people of Dallas, their criminal escapades came to a crushing end last week. ATF and our partners remain committed to Chief Garcia’s plan to reduce violent crime in Dallas. These arrests were another win for the good guys” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
According to the complaint, the investigation began in June, when law enforcement was tipped off about drug dealers operating out of a home on South Acres Drive in Dallas. Later that month, agents with ATF, the Dallas Police Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety completed a series of undercover drug buys from the individuals living in the home.
On July 13, they raided the residence . Mr. Castro allegedly fled to the attic before surrendering; Ms. Cervantes was confronted in the kitchen.
During a search of the home, agents found five gallon-sized plastic bags containing bulk quantities of drugs stashed in the master bedroom alongside distribution-sized plastic baggies of assorted colors. They also found drug ledgers containing customer and payment information, as well as 14 firearms, some of them loaded. Inside tube socks, shoe boxes, and a large trash bag, agents found large sums of U.S. currency.
After his arrest, Mr. Castro allegedly admitted to trafficking drugs, saying he received roughly one kilogram of cocaine and one kilogram of meth each month. Ms. Cervantes allegedly admitted that she maintained the drug ledgers.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Castro-Quirino and Ms. Cervantes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, they face up to 20 years in federal prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, the Dallas Police Departments’ Narcotics and SWAT units, and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phelesa Guy and Rick Calvert are prosecuting the case.