Rip crew members who terrorized South Texas residents sentenced to federal prison

Seven other suspects await fate in federal court

By Fares Sabawi - Digital Producer

McAllen, Texas - Two members of a rip crew responsible for violent home invasions and carjackings in South Texas were ordered to federal prison Tuesday.

Miguel Marin Cerda, 31, and his nephew Alfredo Avalos-Sanchez, 27, both pleaded guilty to drug charges but U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez considered the violent nature of the crimes as well, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas.

Cerda was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison, while Avalos-Sanchez was sentenced to seven years and three months. Both are Mexican citizens and will undergo deportation proceedings following their imprisonment.

The rip crew mainly targeted other drug traffickers, according to the news release.

On March 12, 2017, the crew stole a car believed to contain narcotics in McAllen. The next month, they fired guns while trying to steal 14 kilograms of cocaine in two other vehicles, according to the news release.

However, on June 6, 2017, the crew invaded the wrong McAllen home and terrorized an innocent family with a pregnant woman.

In another case, the suspects invaded a San Juan home and assaulted juveniles in an effort to steal cocaine.

Several other defendants in the case have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing. They include Roberto Lee Rodriguez, Sergio Alejandro Gallegos, Jose Garcia-De La Torre, Carlos Guadalupe Aquino-Pacheco, Gustavo Angel DeLeon-Covarrubias, Jose Arturo Reyes-Sanchez and Cesar Alejandro Tovar-Guillen.

Rodriguez and Gallegos are American citizens, while the rest are Mexican nationals.

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