Two Eagle Pass, Texas brothers who owned a auto body shop were each given 18-year sentences for drug dealing and ordered to pay $372,320 as restitution, officials announced Thursday.
In Del Rio, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses on Tuesday handed down the 18-year sentence to 37–year-old Xavier Cardona. The judge handed down the same prison sentence to his 33-year-old brother, Michael Cardona.
The two brothers, owners and operators of the Real Street Paint and Body Shop in Eagle Pass, distributed about six kilograms of cocaine in Eagle Pass, according to officials.
From January 2009 until April 2014, the Cardonas used their body shop and Michael’s residence to sell cocaine and launder drug proceeds, the evidence indicated.
The Cardona brothers used the drug money to fuel their lifestyle of custom built modified cars that they showed at various car shows in Texas and to buy and remodel homes, according to authorities.
During recorded phone calls played at trial, Michael Cardona stated that he provided cocaine to other dealers already packaged and cut so that it would move more quickly. Testimony and evidence showed that the Cardonas also used firearms in their drug trafficking business, officials said.
A search of the residences of both brothers resulted in the seizure of $162,795 in currency, approximately 160 packages of cocaine ready for distribution and five weapons.
On October 23, 2015, jurors found the defendants guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. They also found Michael Cardona guilty of possession with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine.
Both defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrests on April 23, 2014.
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