Police and federal agents surrounded a dozen homes in Guadelupe County Friday morning targeting members of the Mexican Mafia.
Eight of the residences were within the city limits of Seguin where Deputy Chief Bruce Ure says they began an investigation into the drug gang 18 months ago.
"The Mexican Mafia sells drugs. That's how they make their money. We were able to infiltrate and get enough evidence that we were able to get arrest warrants to go in and get them. These folks are the people who are selling drugs to our kids. We wanted that stop,” said Ure.
Ure says during the raids, officers located heroin, cocaine, meth, marijuana, $60 thousand dollars worth of cash and six firearms.
Fifteen men were arrested including a high ranking "lieutenant" who was the local leader. Ure says several of the suspects had been convicted of murder.
Those arrested include:
- Joey Mertz Gonzales (aka “Wheel Chair”), age 47, of Seguin;
- Mario Leal, age 34, of Seguin;
- Jeffrey Ozell Sarabia (aka “Guero”), age 43, of Seguin;
- Eddie Flores (aka “Lil E”), age 29, of Seguin;
- Carlos Rios, age 45, of Live Oak, TX;
- David Phillip Urdiales (aka “Termite”), age 37, of New Braunfels;
- Cruz Carlos Acosta, age 36, of New Braunfels;
- Noel Arce, age 44, of Mario, TX; and,
- Mario Albert Leal, Jr. (aka “Lil Man”), age 34, of Seguin.
- Nathan Gomez, age 34, (aka "Luck"), of Seguin;
- Bryan Pelcastre, age 28, (aka "BP"), of Seguin;
- Jerry Sarabia, age 32, (aka "Flaco"), of Seguin;
- Damien Clack, age 30, of Seguin;
- Sam Flores, age 33, (aka "Little Sammy"), of Seguin, and
- Seguin policeJose Saenz, age 41, of Seguin
Authorities are still searching for: Adrian Francisco Barbosa (aka “Lil A”), age 29, of New Braunfels; John Gary Ortiz (aka “Big John”), age 30, of Seguin; and, Christopher James Davila (aka “Luck”), age 32, of Seguin.
"They're a vicious, vicious gang and our philosophy in Seguin and this region is not in my community. Not here,” said Ure.
The small town runs along the well-known drug trafficking route of I-10.
Ure says raids will be carried out on other residences from San Antonio all the way to Houston.
"This was our largest coordinated effort and a criminal investigation in the history of the Seguin Police Department and we are really proud of it not because we had a drug problem in the region but because when they came out we were ready. We're going to be ready the next time,” said Ure.
The federal charges carry a sentence of 20 years in prison. Guns confiscated will be sent to a lab to be traced for further criminal involvement.