August 12, 2022

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Mexican Mafia supplier and local gang member guilty of drug and gun charges

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 28-year-old man has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm as a felon and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

On April 22, authorities executed a search warrant at Manuel Moya’s residence, at which time they discovered approximately 11.2 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of meth, three kilograms of marijuana and $120,000. They also found other controlled substances such as psilocybin mushrooms, crack cocaine, synthetic cannabinoid and MDMA. He was the only one present at the location.

Law enforcement also found a Century Arms Inc. pistol, Ruger rifle, two Taurus pistols, three Glock pistols, a JTS Group shotgun, body armor, high-capacity magazines and several rounds of ammunition. Two of the firearms contained chambered rounds. Moya took responsibility of the weapons and ammunition.

In addition, they discovered several ledgers that documented Moya’s controlled substance distribution activities and a notebook with instructions on how to make drugs. Other supplies were found in the search including glassware with residue of controlled substances, bags, equipment for vacuum sealing, weight scales, small sandwich bags, money counters and razor blades.

The investigation revealed Moya was a local gang member and a drug supplier to the Mexican Mafia. He distributed narcotics on both an individual and large-scale basis.

Moya has been previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. As such, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition per federal law.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales will impose sentencing on Oct. 19. At that time, Moya faces up to life in prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.

He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing. 

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Parker Gochenour is prosecuting the case.

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