Criminal JusticeFederalImmigration & BorderIssuesSouth Texas Man Who Sold Drugs for Mexican Mafia Faces Life Imprisonment, $10 Million Fine

The 28-year-old defendant with previous convictions pleaded guilty to illegally possessing drugs and weapons.
August 1, 2022
A 28-year-old South Texas gang member who worked for the Mexican Mafia could be sentenced to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine after pleading guilty to charges of possessing illegal weapons and narcotics, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a news release last week.

The federal government said it executed a search warrant at Manual Moya’s home on April 22. The contraband authorities found included 11.2 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of marijuana, and $120,000 in cash.

The DOJ indicated police also discovered “psilocybin mushrooms, crack cocaine, synthetic cannabinoid and MDMA.”

The weapons included six pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, and high-capacity magazines, as well as body armor. Moya also had “several rounds of ammunition” in his possession, according to the DOJ. 

“In addition, they discovered several ledgers that documented Moya’s controlled substance distribution activities and a notebook with instructions on how to make drugs,” the news release stated. “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.”

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Moya provided narcotics to the Mexican Mafia and dealt drugs “on both an individual and large-scale basis,” according to prosecutors.

Federal Judge David S. Morales is scheduled to sentence Moya in Corpus Christi on October 19. Moya, who has previous convictions on similar charges, remains incarcerated in the meantime.

The Mexican Mafia is a criminal organization that operates in the U.S. and has control over other predominantly Hispanic prison gangs.

In its operational update for June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that seizures of cocaine and methamphetamine increased by 62 percent and 14 percent respectively from the previous month. However, heroine seizures dropped by 49 percent and fentanyl seizures decreased by 41 percent.


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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."