Texas Mexican gang members arrested in connection with brutal Spring Break attack
POSTED: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 12:04am
AUSTIN, TX (NBC) — DPS and other agencies arrested 11 alleged Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) gang members in the San Antonio and Pleasanton areas this morning in connection with federal search warrants—and state arrest warrants related to a South Padre Island assault.
Agencies involved in this morning’s search and arrests included the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Texas Rangers Division and Texas Highway Patrol Division, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation; San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff's Department, New Braunfels Police Department, South Padre Island Police Department, Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Marshals Service.
A total of 10 federal evidentiary search warrants were executed along with multiple state arrest warrants. The state warrants for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity stem from an investigation by the South Padre Island Police Department involving a March 17 incident. San Antonio-based Texas Mexican Mafia members are accused of attacking a man on the South Padre Island beach during Spring Break.
The executed warrants resulted in the seizure of narcotics, U.S. currency, weapons, cell phones, laptop computers, gang paraphernalia, documents, recovery of a stolen motorcycle and arrests of the following TMM members and associates:
Eric John Gomez, 35, Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) General
Carlos Saenz III, 26, TMM Member of Leadership
Michael J. Rangel, 33, TMM Member of Leadership (in custody since 03/17/2012)
Alfredo Valdez, 30, TMM Soldier
Emilio J. Ruvalcaba, 28, TMM Soldier
Jamie A. Matos, 30, TMM Soldier
Gilbert Balderas, 30, TMM Associate
Omar I. Guerrero,27, TMM Soldier
Thomas Wayne Garcia, 27, TMM Associate
Michael Villarreal, 21, TMM Associate
Matthew Villarreal, 17, TMM Associate (not related to South Padre Island case)
Daniel Fernandez, 29, TMM Soldier (not related to South Padre Island case)
The Texas Rangers and the South Padre Island Police Department are transporting 9 arrested Texas Mexican Mafia members and associates to the Cameron County Jail. Three other men are still being sought in connection with the South Padre Island assault.
The DPS strives to protect our communities and combat the escalating threat of gangs in Texas.