DPS Arrests 13 in Criminal Investigation

April 1, 2019

EL PASO, TX – Since last week, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Special Agents, in collaboration with multiple agencies, arrested 10 suspects on state drug charges and other crimes as a result of a 16-month investigation. Three additional individuals who were already in custody on unrelated criminal charges were also charged as part of this investigation. DPS' investigation initially targeted members and associates of the Barrio Azteca and Chuco Tango gangs for their alleged involvement in trafficking narcotics and weapons.

DPS Special Agents within the Texas Anti-Gang Center (TAG), along with the Texas Highway Patrol (THP), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), El Paso Police Department (EPPD), El Paso Sheriff's Office (EPSO), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Honorable Judge Ida Gardner from the town of Anthony, Texas, and members of the 34th District Attorney's Office-Border Prosecution Unit assisted in this operation. Significant seizures during the course of the ongoing investigation include:

  • 2.13 kilograms of methamphetamines
  • 169.36 grams of heroin and
  • 7 weapons

Those arrested include the following individuals:

  1. Andrea Garcia, 30, of El Paso, Texas
  2. Crystal Aguilar, 32, of El Paso, Texa
  3. Luis Martinez, 30, of El Paso, Texas
  4. Leslie Ortiz, 24, of El Paso, Texas
  5. Brenda Moreno, 18, of El Paso, Texas
  6. Vanessa Meza, 24, of El Paso, Texas
  7. Amber Norman, 29, of El Paso, Texas
  8. Paula Riggs, 55, of El Paso, Texas
  9. Bonnie Hernandez, 30, of El Paso, Texas
  10. Dashawn Wilkes, 27, of El Paso, Texas

These individuals were booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility for drug offenses and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Subjects already in state or federal custody, pending additional charges:

  1. Ricardo Chavez, 32, of El Paso, Texas
  2. Jimmy Tinjaca, 33, of El Paso, Texas
  3. Janet Moreno, 21, of El Paso, Texas

### (DPS-West Texas Region)