Nearly four years after his arrest, former Rio Grande City Police Department detective, Ramon de la Cruz Jr. was sentenced to a 14-year prison term. De La Cruz Jr. appeared in front of the Honorable John D. Rainey on August 7th.
Ramon de la Cruz was arrested in September of 2016 on a complaint stemming from illegal activity during his time with the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.
In January of 2013 the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately six hundred pounds of marijuana hidden in a horse trailer. Investigators ultimately tracked it down to the Beltran drug trafficking organization of Rio Grande City.
The incident led to the convictions of at least two members of the Beltran family but ultimately it led to the conviction of about 22 people. El Tejano had already reported that Raul Beltran Jr, age 50, and his son Edward Beltran, age 24, of Rio Grande City pleaded guilty on Monday, February 25th of this year. The pair made an appear in a court setting presided by U.S. District Judge John Rainey in a Victoria Federal Court. Both admitted to smuggling massive amounts of marijuana. U. S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick made the announcement public through a press release dispersed by the Department of Justice.
Sometime in May of 2016 an informant discussed an incident in which rifles and tactical equipment that had been used in a kidnap and murder were brought to the Beltran ranch to be hidden. At the request of Gulf Cartel leader Comandante Puma; Ramiro and Rodolfo Beltran hid the equipment. When the two men realized that the equipment had been used in a crime they asked “Ramey” de la Cruz, described as a police officer, to remove and dispose of it. De la Cruz, the informant explained took the guns to a local gun store to be sold. The member of law enforcement would also scout for the family during their smuggling operations.
In August another informant told investigators that Ramey de la Cruz would also stage drug busts to aid the organization in ripping off loads of marijuana.
The following month investigators heard from another informant who explained that the officer had requested his aid in contracting a driver for a load, scheduled the date and then escorted the load in an unmarked F-150 truck. He then reportedly staged a drug bust at a stash house manipulating the documents on the amount of narcotics present.
Yet another informant detailed that de la Cruz had given law enforcement radios to members of the Beltran family.
By September of 2016 his arrest was made and the information led to a conviction.
Minute entry for the contested sentence hearing of former Rio Grande City Police Department Detective Ramon “Ramey” De La Cruz Jr. confirms a sentence of 14 years and five years in supervised release.
Along with pictures the government used testimony from a former officer assigned to the Starr County HIDTA Taskforce and several members of the Beltran family including Rodolfo Beltran, Rigoberto Beltran, Rosbel Beltran, as well as Roel Garza, Victor Alonso Romero, and Oscar Martinez to back up their sentence. Character witnesses for the defense included Pastor Jesse Guerra and Martin Benitez Jr.