A Los Zetas associate and Eagle Pass resident faces up to life in federal prison after a jury in San Antonio convicted him Friday afternoon of federal kidnapping and drug charges, authorities say.
The jury convicted 36-year-old Jose Luis Rodriguez, also known as "Pollo," of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, three substantive counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of conspiracy to kidnap.
Evidence presented during trial revealed that from September 2006 until April 2007 Rodriguez and others conspired to distribute more than 1,600 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico through Eagle Pass and transported it to San Antonio, then ultimately to Cleveland, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; Saginaw, Mich.; and New York, N.Y.
During the course of the investigation, U.S. attorneys said authorities seized a total of 113 kilograms of cocaine and in excess of $2 million in drug proceeds attributed to Rodriguez and his co-conspirators.
Evidence also revealed that Rodriguez and others conspired in early 2007 to unlawfully kidnap an Eagle Pass resident and hold him hostage in Piedras Negras, Mexico, for the purpose of collecting money and property in order to satisfy an illegal drug debt owed by the Eagle Pass resident, authorities said.
Rodriguez, who was arrested in Mexico on a provisional arrest warrant and extradited to the U.S. last year, remains in federal custody. U.S. attorneys said sentencing is scheduled for May 21 before a U.S. district judge.