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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Leigha Simonton, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 9, 2023

Cocaine, Meth Trafficker Who Stashed $1.5 Million in Trap House Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

A drug trafficker who had more than $1.5 million stashed in his residence when agents raided his home was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Hector Manuel Castro-Quirino, 49, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and was sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, who also ordered him to forfeit the $1,595,185 in U.S. currency seized from his home.

According to court documents, in June 2021, a confidential informant tipped off law enforcement about a drug house on South Acres Drive in Dallas. Over the next few weeks, agents and officers made a series of undercover purchases at the home.

On July 13, 2021, a SWAT team executed a search warrant. Officers initially confronted Mr. Castro in his kitchen, but he then fled to the attic before finally surrendering.

During a search of his master bedroom, law enforcement located five gallon sized bags containing bulk quantities of methamphetamine (594 grams) and cocaine (1,447.8 grams), along with drug ledgers containing customer and payment information and 14 firearms, several of them loaded. They also recovered copious amounts of cash stashed inside tube socks, shoe boxes, a trash bag, and a banker box. It took them several hours to count.

In plea papers, Mr. Castro-Quirino admitted that he regularly sold methamphetamine and cocaine, noting that he received roughly a kilogram of cocaine each week and a kilogram of methamphetamine each month. He said his common law wife, Vanesa Cervantes, 39, kept his books.

Ms. Cervantes pleaded guilty in September 2022 to misprision (concealment) of a felony and was sentenced in Wednesday to 21 months in federal prison.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, the Dallas Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phelesa Guy prosecuted the case.

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