DEL RIO, Texas -

U.S. attorneys say a 31-year-old Texas Mexican Mafia member of Crystal City was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, Eliseo Sanchez, III will also serve an additional 24 months in federal prison for violating supervised release conditions stemming from a prior alien smuggling conviction.

Sanchez is the last of 12 convicted Uvalde and Crystal City, Texas-based TMM members and associates charged in the racketeering investigation to be sentenced, announced U.S. attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.

The other TMM members convicted of the RICO conspiracy also received the following prison sentences:

  • Jorge "Hondo" "Superdope" Abel Ramirez of Hondo and Crystal City -- 240 months;
  • Geronimo "Jerry" "G" Torres of Uvalde -- 180 months;
  • Benito "Benny" Benavides of Uvalde -- 240 months;
  • Chris "Fire" Gutierrez of Uvalde -- 108 months;
  • Albert "Terrible" Torres of Uvalde -- 168 months;
  • Eric "Kilo" Velasquez Solis of Uvalde -- 162 months;
  • Mario Zavala of Crystal City -- 108 months;
  • Rodolfo "Rudy" Villegas of Crystal City --72 months;
  • Charles "Charlie" Martinez of Crystal City -- 115 months; and,
  • Sebastian "Seabass" Cortinas of Crystal City and Eagle Pass -- 72 months.

Additionally, authorities said Robert "Tiny" Marcus Castro of Crystal City pleaded guilty to committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering, and was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison.

U.S. attorneys said the members conspired to engage in a pattern of organized criminal conduct including attempted murder, retaliation against an informant, extortion, and distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine.

As a result of the same indictment, authorities said Carlos Guerrero, Zachary Vasquez and Jose Ibarra all pleaded guilty and were sentenced for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Guerrero was sentenced to 52 months incarceration, Vasquez to 24 months incarceration and Ibarra to 18 months incarceration.

Jorge Abel Ramirez was also found guilty of violently assaulting a prison guard while the RICO case was pending. Officials said he received 37 months incarceration for that offense, set to run consecutive to his 240 months RICO sentence, for a total of 277 months imprisonment.

"In this case, a dozen members of a violent drug gang have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, and the community can rest assured that we will continue to use the resources of federal law enforcement to target the most dangerous offenders in the illegal drug trade," said U.S. attorney Robert Pitman.