Criminal JusticeFederalImmigration & BorderIssuesJudicialFederal Judge Sentences Corpus Christi Drug Traffickers, Illegal Alien to Decades in Prison

Federal prosecutors say an illegal alien supplied methamphetamine and heroin for a drug ring based in Corpus Christi.
December 28, 2022
Federal prosecutors announced that a U.S. district judge sentenced a 34-year-old man to more than 11 years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine and heroin in the Corpus Christi area, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a news release.

Last week, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Matthew Cadena to 135 months in federal prison and another five years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The DOJ listed five other individuals who have been sentenced to prison in connection to the same trafficking ring: Jesse Soliz, 40; Joshua Cadena, 30; Luis Reyes-Camacho, 36; Yvette Hernandez, 39; and Julio Rodriguez, 52.

The DOJ named Reyes-Camacho, who was an illegal alien at the time of his arrest, as the supplier of the narcotics. He received a 324-month sentence, while Soliz, who “managed the local distribution network,” received 235 months. The news release called Joshua Cadena and Matthew Cadena “mid-level distributors.”

“At the hearing, the court noted the significant quantity of drugs involved and roles Matthew and Joshua Cadena held as mid-level distributors who worked under Soliz,” the news release stated.

The Texan Tumbler

Police arrested Reyes-Camacho and Soliz after finding kilograms of methamphetamine during a traffic stop in January 2021, according to prosecutors. Police had previously observed Reyes-Camacho coming and going from Soliz’s residence, where authorities discovered a handgun, ammunition, and several more kilograms of narcotics.

“Upon surveilling Soliz’s residence, law enforcement observed Luis Reyes-Camacho arrive in a vehicle. Soliz walked out of the garage as Reyes-Camacho retrieved a large bag from the vehicle. Both then entered the residence. A short time later, several individuals exited the garage and drove away in multiple vehicles,” the DOJ stated.

Joshua Cadena and Rodriguez were also taken into custody during the January traffic stop.

Previously, in April 2020, Matthew Cadena and Hernandez were pulled over with 60 grams of methamphetamine in the car, per the DOJ. Matthew Cadena was the driver and had no valid driver license, so his car was impounded at the time.

All of the accused traffickers except Reyes-Camacho were from Corpus Christi. They pleaded guilty in 2021 except Rodriguez, who pleaded guilty in March of this year. The bust was part of an investigation launched in March 2020.


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."