HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – A Mexican national has entered a guilty plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Victor Manuel Morales-Moreno, 35, admitted to conspiring to distribute heroin to street level dealers and users for more than two years.
According to court records, Morales relocated to Houston from California to take over a heroin trafficking ring following the arrests and incarceration of his relatives Jose Herrera-Alvarado and Pedro Herrera-Alvarado. The Herrera-Alvarado brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and later sentenced to life in federal prison.
Erasto Aguirre-Suarez, 52, a Mexican national, also pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. He admitted he moved to Texas with Morales-Moreno to assist him in the daily operations of the heroin business. A third co-defendant, Valentin Anthony Cardenas, 35, of Houston, previously entered his plea possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen. At that time, Morales-Moreno faced a minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
They have been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey N. MacDonald is prosecuting the case.