Major drug trafficking and money laundering ring with ties to Houston area busted

April 10, 2013 4:48:30 PM PDT
Law enforcement officials went after alleged drug traffickers Wednesday across southeast Texas, including in the Tomball area.

Agents were at a home on Boudreaux Estates in Tomball Wednesday morning and the man who lives there, Cesar Alvarez Barrera, was indicted on drug and money laundering charges. It's part of what the U.S. Attorney's Office in Beaumont calls Operation South Park.

Early Wednesday morning, a house on Boudreax Estates was the center of attention in the neighborhood. It is, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, one of 11 addresses raided in a drug trafficking bust that stretches from the Rio Grande Valley to Atlanta, Georgia, and has ties to drug cartels.

"They've been operating apparently with impunity on the southeast and south Texas counties. And again all over the United States distributing large quantities of cocaine," said U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

The man who lives in that Tomball house, Cesar Alvarez Barrera, was one of 11 people indicted earlier this month. Seven of them live here in the Houston area.

One lives in McAllen, where agents raided a home Wednesday morning. The others live in Austin, in the Valley and in Georgia.

Barrera is accused, along with seven others, of conspiring to distribute cocaine and launder money since 2003.

Another three people were indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and launder the money going back to 1995.

"Operation South Park was a direct intentional strike that we formulated here in the eastern district at these two drug trafficking organizations," Bales said.

Neighbors we talked to say they didn't see the people in the house very often, but it's discomfiting to have a drug raid on their street.

"Not much surprises me these days. We're moving anyway," said resident Mark Sacchieri.

A spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney's Office told us that Barrera is believed to be one of the leaders of one of the drug trafficking rings. Agents found at least five handguns and plenty of ammunition in the Tomball house.

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