New charges filed in RGC drug trafficking case

Five Rio Grande City men alleged to be members of a drug trafficking organization are facing new federal charges after prosecutors filed a superseding indictment earlier this week.

Evaristo Sepulveda III, Juan Indalecio Garcia, Rene Sepulveda, Daniel Sepulveda and Jose Luis Garcia were already charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine when a second superseding indictment filed Tuesday lodged new charges against two of them.

Daniel Sepulveda and Jose Luis Garcia are now facing charges that stem from money that the government allegedly seized from the pair on August 2019 and in February.

The three new charges against Daniel Sepulveda include a new count of possession with intent to distribute 123 kilograms of cocaine.

He’s also alleged to have received more than $88,000 in proceeds from the distribution of a controlled substance. Of that amount, the government reportedly seized $83,920 from him on Aug. 30, 2019, and they seized $4,100 from him on Feb. 5.

For his part, Jose Luis Garcia is facing four new charges in the superseding indictment.

Like Daniel Sepulveda, he is charged with possession with intent to distribute 123 kilograms of cocaine.

The government also purports to have seized more than $346,000 from Jose Luis Garcia, for which he is facing three counts of receiving proceeds from the distribution of a controlled substance.

The three separate amounts include $275,205 which was allegedly seized from him on Aug. 30, 2019, $52,442 which was seized on Feb. 5 and a separate amount of $18,620 which was also seized on Feb. 5, according to the superseding indictment.

In addition to these new charges, Jose Luis Garcia was previously indicted on a charge of attempting to alter or destroy an object with intent to impair it for use in an official proceeding. That charge stems from allegations that he ordered the destruction of government surveillance cameras, according to court records.

Additionally, Jose Luis — along with Evaristo Sepulveda III, Juan Indalecio Garcia and Rene Sepulveda — was previously charged in this case with possession with intent to distribute 320 kilograms of cocaine. Daniel Sepulveda had also been charged on this count but pleaded guilty to it during a re-arraignment on Sept. 3.

All five men are still charged with conspiracy.

They are all scheduled to be arraigned on the charges next Wednesday and a previously set schedule for the defendants, including a final pre-trial conference on Oct. 30 and jury selection on Nov. 3, remains in effect.

bereniceg@themonitor.com