• 86°

Instagram Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 19+ Years

A drug trafficker who advertised narcotics on Instagram and Telegram was sentenced yesterday to more than 19 years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Ricardo Rosas Garcia, the 24-year-old leader of an Irving drug trafficking ring, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced Thursday to 235 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.

According to plea papers, Mr. Rosas admitted his organization used the social media handles “Ricky Rosas,” “rickyrosastv3,” and “rickyrosastc6” to hawk controlled substances and firearms.

After receiving numerous complaints from Irving-area high schools, the Irving Police Department identified Mr. Rosas and conducted 14 undercover buys of cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, TCH and other drugs advertised on his account, including one from Mr. Rosas himself. They also negotiated with Mr. Rosas to purchase a black .40 caliber Beretta handgun, which an associate delivered to an undercover agent.

Mr. Rosas was arrested on Aug. 1, 2020, with a two-tone green and black Glock in his pocket. After his arrest, he made numerous phone calls to coconspirators, providing them with his account passwords to continue the advertisement and sale of illegal narcotics.

Three of Mr. Rosas’ coconspirators also pleaded guilty:

  • Anthony Isaac Ventura, 20, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to possess with intent to contribute controlled substances and was sentenced in August to 57 months in federal prison.
  • Addiel Isaias Portillo, 25, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to possess with intent to contribute controlled substances and was sentenced in yesterday to 36 months in federal prison.
  • Uziel Hernandez, 26, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to possess with intent to contribute controlled substances. His sentencing hearing has been set for Oct. 7.

At sentencing, prosecutors presented evidence that this group had been tied to violent crime in Irving and was involved in illegal firearm sales. They also knowingly employed several juveniles as young as 15 years old to sell drugs for them around the metroplex, and put the lives in danger by publishing on social media the names of individuals they believed to be cooperating with the government.

Irving Police Detectives testified at sentencing about the negative impact Mr. Rosas and his coconspirators had on the community and the importance of these arrests to the citizens of Irving.

The Irving Police Department conducted the investigation with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myria Boehm prosecuted the case.