Accused Rio Grande Valley cocaine trafficker with cartel connections asks to be released due to coronavirus

A man accused of participating in a major drug trafficking organization in Starr County, Texas, has asked to be released from jail because he's concerned about the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel Sepulveda, 28, of Rio Grande City, was arrested in July 2019. According to federal court records seen by KRGV-Channel 5 News, which covers events in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, he had been caught driving an ATV loaded with 320 kilograms of cocaine by the U.S. Border Patrol.

Sepulveda is one of three defendants accused in a federal indictment for conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine.

KRGV adds, in the name of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas, that Daniel Sepulveda is believed to be part of a drug trafficking organization with cartel connections. DEA Case Agent Christopher Donahue, who testified during the detention hearing. says the defendant is also accused of participating in the kidnapping and murder of his cousin, Joaquin Sepulveda.

Rio Grande City Rio Grande City
Rio Grande City is the county seat of Starr County, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.

The defendant's attorney, Daniel Sanchez, says he is currently being held in the Brooks County Detention Center, which is actually an ICE facility. Sanchez has filed a motion requesting a bond be set that would allow his client to be held under in-house arrest. The attorney wrote that he is concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the inability to meet with the defendants at the detention center for risk of virus spread.

In a response filed on Wednesday afternoon, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Profit expressed opposition to the motion due to the severity of the charges, Sepulveda's propensity for violence, and his being considered a flight risk. Text messages obtained by the government were said to reveal that Sepulveda had previously talked about leaving to Mexico.

Background information

For coverage of the grand jury indictment and the arrest of Daniel Sepulveda, 28, of Rio Grande City; Evaristo Sepulveda III, 35, of Rio Grande City; and Juan Indalecio Garcia, 38, of Rio Grande City on drug trafficking charges, see Federal task force arrests 3 men, seizes $25,000 in cash [February 8].

For information on the charges contained in the indictment against the three men, in explicit detail where relevant, see Government investigating drug trafficking organization in Starr County [February 21].

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