UPDATE: Federal officials previously stated Nieto had received a presidential pardon, but the story has been corrected to reflect that it was a commutation).
SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – A San Antonio man whose previous sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in 2016 is behind bars again on federal drug charges.
Forty-one-year-old Texas Syndicate Lt. Hilario Nieto (aka “Shorty”) is one of 8 individuals from San Antonio arrested this week on federal drug trafficking charges. In 2004, Nieto was sentenced to 248 months in federal prison on drug charges and was scheduled to be released in 2021, but he received a presidential commutation in 2016, which became effective in August of 2018.
Also arrested were 31-year-old Daniel Castaneda, 29-year-old Joe Sanchez, 40-year-old Melissa Molina, 31-year-old
Deanna Diaz , 56-year-old former Texas Mexican Mafia member Martin Reynos, and 58-year-old Maria Rivas. Texas Syndicate Lieutenant Danny Rivas (aka “Pelon,” “Klumzee”), was previously arrested on this indictment.
The indictment alleges that the defendants have conspired since June 2019 to distribute methamphetamine and heroin in the San Antonio area. Search warrants executed in conjunction with arrest warrants resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, heroin and two firearms.
“With these arrests, DEA and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners have dismantled an organization responsible for supplying large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin to communities in the San Antonio region,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple,Whipple. “Methamphetamine and heroin trafficking, along with the associated crimes, are particularly destructive to the quality of life in our communities. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target and eliminate these criminal organizations and hold them accountable for the destruction they cause.”
The DEA and DPS Criminal Investigations conducted this investigation with assistance from IRS-Criminal
Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Seguin Police Department, Terrell Hills Police Department and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation called Operation Blended Familia.
All of the defendants remain in federal custody. Those arrested on Tuesday are expected to have their detention hearings in U.S. Magistrate court in San Antonio beginning next week.
(NOTE: Federal officials previously stated Nieto had received a presidential pardon, but the story has been corrected to reflect that it was a commutation).