Rip crew gets significant sentences for multiple violent crimes
HOUSTON, TX -- Three illegal aliens from Central America have been ordered to prison following their multiple convictions involving conspiracy to rob a drug dealer, drug trafficking, as well as firearms and immigration offenses, announced Acting U.S. Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Nestor Henriquez-Parada, aka Homie, 37, Edwin Martinez-Brilia, aka Jarrito, 42, and Josue Marquez-Oseguera, aka Nahun, 37, Sept. 4, 2019, following a nearly three-week trial. Christain Benjhamin Martinez-Meraz, aka Peludo, 39, pleaded guilty in the middle of trial. All had repeatedly and unlawfully re-entered the United States.
Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed Martinez-Meraz a 220-month sentence, while Martinez-Brilia and Marquez-Oseguera received respective total sentences of 205 and 210 months in federal prison. Not U.S. citizens, all are expected to again face removal following their incarceration. At the hearing, the court heard evidence about numerous robberies they committed prior to their arrests for these charges, multiple previous deportations and other convictions. One of those noted was a violent assault Martinez-Brilia committed against his wife.
Henriquez-Parada is set for sentencing July 30.
The four men were “Tumbadores” known to be part of a “rip crew” who engage in armed robberies of game rooms, drug dealers, alien smugglers and human traffickers.
During trial, the jury heard from a total of 24 witnesses and saw 38 exhibits.
The jury heard the crew was involved in several robberies, or “rips,” in the Houston area.
Martinez-Meraz decided to plan a robbery of a local drug dealer and employed the three others as his crew. They thought a pickup truck was coming to Houston from Mexico and contained 25 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of meth, but later heard drugs were actually located at a residence in Houston. They went there armed with a sledgehammer and three loaded firearms, one of which had an extended magazine.
Martinez-Brilia was the armed getaway driver, while the other three forced their way into the house. Marquez-Oseguera was armed with a sledgehammer and used it to knock down several doors in the house while Martinez-Meraz and Henrinquez-Parada were armed with firearms. They eventually broke into a closet and found what they thought were drugs. Law enforcement apprehended them as they were preparing to move the narcotics to the truck.
Authorities later executed a search of Martinez-Meraz’s residence and recovered additional drugs, a loaded assault rifle and several other magazines containing ammunition.
All have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation along with Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Laurence Goldman and Lisa Marie Collins are prosecuting the case.