Two South Texas men, Tri City Bombers, sentenced for racketeering crimes

Published 7:55 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

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HOUSTON – Two South Texas men have pleaded guilty and received significant sentences for their convictions related to an ongoing racketeering conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Mike Bueno, 50, Edinburg, and Octavio Muniz, 45, McAllen, admitted their roles in the TCB racketeering conspiracy today and were immediately sentenced.

Today, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake sentenced Bueno 262 months in federal prison, while Muniz received a 151-month term of imprisonment.

In handing down the sentences, Judge Lake found Bueno to be a ranking member of the Tri City Bombers (TCB). The court noted his involvement in an ongoing marijuana trafficking conspiracy, a carjacking and a home invasion burglary that resulted in the death of the homeowner. The homeowner’s son was also shot, but survived and was present in court for today’s hearing.

The court found Muniz to be involved in the distribution of marijuana and an attempted murder of a woman the enterprise was hired to kill. The victim was shot six times, but survived.

The TCB is a national gang active in multiple states that was formed in the early 1980s in the Pharr, San Juan and Alamo areas of South Texas. The TCB have an organized decision-making hierarchy, including a person in charge of each city and leaders within the organization who determine whether its members violated the gang’s rule and deserved punishment. To instill loyalty, including participation in gang’s criminal activities and adherence to its strict rule structure, TCB leaders determine and order the severe beating of members and associates for acts of disobedience or non-observance of TCB rules.

The scope of the TCB’s crimes is wide-ranging and consistent in its nationwide operation. This RICO conspiracy includes murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, firearm crimes, money laundering and other crimes in furtherance of the organization’s enterprise. The TCB brought money into the gang through murders, drug trafficking, home invasion robberies and money laundering.

To date, 25 individuals have been convicted in the case.

Bueno and Muniz have been in custody since their arrests and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI led the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed “Operation Bomb Disposal,” along with IRS-CI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Weslaco and Pharr. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Casey N. MacDonald of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.