Three arrested in Brownsville for "Big Momma" cocaine scheme
Wed, 15 May 2013 16:57:03 GMT —
FBI and ICE agents spent Tuesday criss-crossing the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and Arkansas to arrest more than a dozen suspects in a high-dollar and cross-border cocaine trafficking scheme.
Authorities arrested at least three people in Brownsville on Tuesday in connection to the scheme.
ICE agents arrested both Homar Martinez and his wife Yadira Anahy Martinez at their home off Arroyo Boulevard in Los Pinos neighborhood of Brownsville.
FBI agents arrested Denice Duran Martinez at her Lilac Court home in central Brownsville.
All three appeared before U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Ronald Morgan on Wednesday morning where they were all dened bond pending extradition to Arkansas.
Arrests In Multiple Cities
According to the Arkansas Online website, the three arrests in Brownsville were all part of the FBI's "Operation Dirty Bird."
Both FBI and ICE agents arrested suspects connected to the case in Arkansas, Austin and Brownsville.
ICE agents arrested 26-year-old Nishme Martinez and 27-year-old Jaime Benavides, Jr. in Austin.
Both of them appeared before a federal judge in Austin where they were denied bond and are facing extradition to Arkansas.
Suspects Mervin "Slim" Johnson, Manuel "Manny" Garza, Dwatney Noid and Gerard "Fly" Trice all remain listed as fugitives.
Court records show that all three are among 16 people named in a 25-count, 16-page federal indictment from Little Rock, Arkansas.
Federal prosecutors allege that Homar Martinez's mother Idalia Ramos Rangel oversaw the shipment of hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Matamoros to Arkansas.
The indictment reveals that Rangel, who goes by the nicknames "La Tia" or "Big Momma," as a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel.
Homar, Yadira and Denice are among several people listed who oversaw the shipments of cocaine from the border to Arkansas.
Rangel's other son Mohammed Kazam Martinez was jailed at a federal prison in Arkansas where he allegedly recruited other inmates to work for the group once they got released from prison.
Martinez allegedly used a phone inside the prison to coordinate activities and even threaten people connected to the scheme.
Homar Martinez is also named in a separate two-person federal indictment filed in Brownsville back in April.
The case remained sealed until his arrest on Tuesday.
The second indictment alleges that he and another person whose name has not been revealed shipped cocaine and marijuana up north.
Federal prosecutors have moved to seize $20 million dollars in drug profits that Homar Martinez and other person made since January 2006.
Court records show that Homar Martinez will be prosecuted first on the Brownsville case before he is extradited to Arkansas.