DALLAS, Texas — Three search warrants were executed this morning in Dallas County in connection with an ongoing investigation into a drug trafficking and money laundering organization, the target of Operation Dirty Bird.
Those search warrants, executed as residences in Dallas and Mesquite, Texas, yielded the seizure of six firearms; a large quantity of ammunition; more than 27 kilograms of suspected cocaine; suspected marijuana; approximately $200,000.00 in cash, jewelry, and luxury goods; five vehicles, and other drug trafficking paraphernalia and proceeds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
27-year-old Jose Armando Rosales-Bernal, of Dallas, and 35-year-old Julio Villarreal, of Mesquite, Texas, were arrested this morning in connection with the warrant executions. They both face federal drug and firearms charges. A third man, 30-year-old Armando Moreno Jr. of Roma, Texas, was arrested on October 29, 2019, in George West, Texas, after a traffic stop revealed $349,600 in cash hidden in secret compartments in the vehicle he was driving.
Rodolfo Javier Falcon, Claudia Claribel Gardea, Jose Geraldo Ornelas-Pineda, and Gerardo Cabrera Ramirez were previously charged and arrested as a result of this investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The investigation previously yielded the seizure of almost 10 kilograms of cocaine that was being smuggled from Pittsburg, Texas, through Tennessee to North Carolina, and more than a quarter kilogram of methamphetamine in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
Rosales-Bernal, Villareal, and Moreno have been charged in a federal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin and with carrying a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking conspiracy. If convicted, each faces a minimum of 10 years and as much as life in federal prison.
The case remains pending in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Gardea and Ornelas-Pineda have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Falcon and Ramirez are awaiting trial.
This case is being investigated by the Mt. Pleasant office of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division. In addition, the following agencies have played critical roles in this investigation: the Dallas office of Homeland Security Investigations; the Mesquite, Texas, Police Department SWAT team; the Texas National Guard; the Texas Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division and Aircraft Division; the George West, Texas, Police Department; and the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force in Dickson, Tennessee. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan R. Hornok.