Taking 'H' Off the Street
APD on a recent heroin ring bust.
By Wells Dunbar,
11:08AM, Mon. Mar. 5, 2007
Interesting press release from APD:
DRUG ARRESTS REDUCE HEROIN DISTRIBUTION IN AUSTIN
In mid 2005 members of the Austin Police Department Organized Crime Narcotic Conspiracy Unit began investigating the heroin trafficking activities of three brothers: Henry Castro, 30 (DOB: 08-07-76), Rene Gaitan Castro, 35 (DOB: 10-19-71) and Randy Gaitan Castro, 24 (DOB: 07-20-82).
As the investigation progressed, the Austin Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms participated in the investigation and provided invaluable assistance. Officers made repeated seizures of heroin packaged within balloons for distribution, as well as seizures of “black tar” heroin that had not been processed for distribution from members of this organization.
As a result of this long-term joint investigation, 14 members of this Austin based “Castro” heroin trafficking organization were indicted by the federal Grand Jury for Conspiracy to Distribute one kilogram or more of heroin on February 20, 2007. On February 28th the following suspects were arrested pursuant to the sealed federal indictments:
Henry Castro, 30 (DOB: 08-07-76)
Rene Gaitan Castro, 35 (DOB: 10-19-71)
Randy Gaitan Castro, 24 (DOB: 07-20-82)
Amy Gaitan Castro, 22, (DOB: 03-12-84)
James Xavier Lara, 24, (DOB: 09-18-82)
Miranda Rae Ruiz, 26 (DOB: 08-21-80)
Mindy Paredes Valdez, aka: Mindy Duran, 27 (DOB: 08-20-79)
Samuel James Saldana, 27 (DOB: 02-05-80)
The following subjects were charged pursuant to the sealed indictments and were already in custody:
Johnny Ruiz, Jr., 27 (DOB: 01-13-80)
Angel Fajardo Palaminos, 24 (DOB: 08-15-82)
Jimmy Lucio, 46 (DOB: 07-18-60)
Juan Ramirez, 42 (DOB: 06-19-64)
Mark Gomez, 30 (DOB: 07-02-76)
Joe Louis Garcia, Jr., 57, (DOB: 10-12-50)
The investigation of the “Castro” heroin trafficking organization followed a separate federal joint investigation conducted by members of the Austin Police Department Organized Crime Narcotic Conspiracy Unit, Austin Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service which targeted and dismantled the Austin based “Celedon” heroin trafficking organization. On November 29, 2006, a United States District Judge sentenced 17 members of the “Celedon” organization in United States Federal District Court. Louis Celedon, Jr., 31 (DOB: 07-24-75) was sentenced to 240 months incarceration and three years supervised release.
These two long-term, time intensive investigations provided information that the “Castro” and “Celedon” organizations were responsible for a significant amount of the heroin that is distributed within Austin and the surrounding areas.