Tuesday, September 6, 2016
In Del Rio this afternoon, a federal judge sentenced two brothers, owners and operators of the Real Street Paint and Body Shop in Eagle Pass, to federal prison for distributing approximately six kilograms of cocaine in the Eagle Pass area announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio.
United States District Judge Alia Moses handed down a 216-month-federal-prison sentence to 37–year-old Xavier Cardona. Judge Moses handed down the same prison sentence to his 33-year-old brother, Michael Cardona. In addition to the prison terms, Judge Moses ordered that the defendants pay a $372,320 money judgment and be placed on supervised release for a period of five years after completing their prison terms.
On October 23, 2015, jurors found the defendants of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. They also found Michael Cardona guilty of possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine.
Evidence presented in trial revealed that from January 2009 until April 2014, the Cardonas used Real Street Paint and Body Shop and Michael’s residence to sell cocaine and launder drug proceeds. The Cardona brothers used the proceeds from their cocaine distribution to fuel their lifestyle of custom built modified cars that they showed at various car shows in Texas and to buy and remodel homes. During recorded phone calls played at trial, Michael Cardona stated that he provided cocaine to other dealers already packaged and cut so that it would move more quickly. Testimony and evidence showed that the Cardonas also employed firearms in their drug trafficking business. A search of the residences of both brothers resulted in the seizure of $162,795 in currency, approximately 160 packages of cocaine ready for distribution and five weapons.
Both defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrests on April 23, 2014.
The case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and United States Border Patrol. Also assisting in the investigation was the Texas Department of Public Safety - Criminal Investigations Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Ralph Paradiso, Lewis Thomas and Diana Cruz-Zapata prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.