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La Quarenta gang drug dealers sent to federal prison for drug conspiracy

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Posted at 1:00 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 14:00:10-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two Corpus Christi men were sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute meth, heroin, and cocaine.

Ricky Reyna, 36, and Jayden Wandell Coleman, 20, pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, 2021, and Jan. 27, 2022, respectively.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales ordered the two men to serve 300 months in federal prison on January 19, which will be followed by five years of supervised release.

During Thursday's hearing, the court heard additional evidence that Ricky Reyna, a member of the La Quarenta street gang, ran a 24/7 narcotics storefront that sold heroin, meth, cocaine, crack cocaine, and synthetic marijuana.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office, Coleman was previously sentenced on April 20, 2022, and was ordered to serve a 121-month term of imprisonment.

A third member of the conspiracy, Fernando Martinez, 44, also pleaded guilty on Nov. 23, 2021, and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15.

“Thursday's sentence sends a strong message that our office will relentlessly work toward dismantling and disrupting local street gangs such as La Quarenta,” said Hamdani.

Officials said the investigation began in September 2020 and revealed the narcotics trafficking organization used a Corpus Christi home on Cortez Street to distribute meth, heroin, crack, and marijuana.

Authorities saw Reyna, Martinez, and Coleman entering and exiting the drug stash house at all hours of the day, directing people to the residence.

Over the course of the investigation, officers observed a high amount of foot traffic approaching and entering the residence.

"Traffic stops resulted in the seizure of narcotics they had obtained from the drug stash house," said investigators.

Investigators then executed search warrants at four residences and a storage yard in August 2021.

Officers found a total of over five kilograms of cocaine, over four kilograms of meth, and more than two kilograms of heroin. Nearly 200 grams of crack, 13 kilograms of marijuana, over $100,000, digital scales, a drug ledger, loaded firearms, and ammunition was also found during the raid.

The investigation also revealed the men were in constant communication with each other about the purchase and sale of various narcotics.

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, Corpus Christi Police Department’s Gang Unit and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for their continued partnership and commitment to combating violent crime,” said Special Agent in Fred Milanowski.

Reyna will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, according to officials.

Homeland Security Investigations and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and Corpus Christi Police Department’s Gang Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marck prosecuted the case.