Federal Grand Jury Indicts 13, Including Inmates and Officers, in Texas Prison Drug Smuggling Operation

Federal Grand Jury Indicts 13, Including Inmates and Officers, in Texas Prison Drug Smuggling Operation

A federal grand jury in San Antonio has indicted 13 individuals, including inmates and correctional officers, for their involvement in smuggling narcotics into Texas prisons. Inmate Juan Francisco Munoz, also known as “Joker,” is accused of leading the Juan Munoz Drug Trafficking Organization (Munoz DTO) while serving a 35-year prison sentence for murder. Allegedly using contraband cellphones, Munoz and fellow inmates directed and coordinated drug trafficking activities.

The indictment claims the DTO obtained narcotics from various sources, including Osama Mohammed Elwan, and involved correctional officers like Osauwa Emmanuel Williams, Anival Ruiz Porras, and Ryan Ty Melchor. Officers allegedly collaborated with non-incarcerated DTO members Rosa Teromina Miller and Daniel Guadalupe Flores to smuggle narcotics, cellphones, and contraband into correctional facilities for substantial payments.

The DTO is also accused of using mail services to smuggle narcotics and contraband into prisons. Non-incarcerated members, including Melissa Amador, Ashley Marie Arriaga, Amber Tanae Huey, and Aida Gerardina Gomez Ortiz, reportedly packaged drug-soaked paper sheets and mailed them to inmates.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized over 520 grams of fentanyl-soaked paper sheets, more than 120 grams of heroin-soaked paper sheets, and 254.6 milliliters of liquid synthetic cannabinoids from defendant residences, along with envelopes addressed to inmates. The indictment alleges that once inside correctional facilities, DTO members could sell a single sheet for up to $1,000.

Rosa Teromina Miller is said to have transferred nearly $333,000 from peer-to-peer payment platforms during the dates covered in the indictment.

Juan Francisco Munoz and Rosa Teromina Miller face charges including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, Munoz faces 15 years to life, while Miller faces 10 years to life in prison.

Other defendants, including Paul Govea, Osama Mohammed Elwan, Verndale Ray Seals, Melissa Amador, Daniel Guadalupe Flores, Ashley Marie Arriaga, Anival Ruiz Porras, Amber Tanae Huey, Ryan Ty Melchor, and Aida Gerardina Gomez Ortiz, face various charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering, with potential sentences ranging from 10 years to life in prison.

The investigation involves the DEA, FBI, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and Wichita Falls Police Department. U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas announced the indictment.