East Texans arrested for money laundering, drug trafficking

East Texans arrested for money laundering, drug trafficking
Gregg County Jail

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 10:40am

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 4:15pm

U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Wednesday that six individuals have been arrested following a lengthy investigation into illegal gambling, money laundering and drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.

On July 15 2014, a combined task force of federal, state and local law enforcement executed six federal arrest warrants and four federal search warrants in the Tyler, Texas and Gladewater, Texas area as a result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Smith County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Texas Racing Commission.

The operation resulted in the arrest of all six defendants and the seizure of over $30,000 cash, methamphetamine, and several firearms.

The following defendants were arrested and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, prohibition of illegal gambling businesses, and conspiracy to money launder:

  • Omar Bonifacio Bonilla, aka “Pelon,” 32, of Tyler;
  • Renault Lansing Kay, aka “Nault Pete,” a/k/a “Chocolate,” 47, of Tyler;
  • Jessica Maria Bonilla, 31, of Tyler;
  • Joel Orlando Bonilla-Loya, 36, of Tyler;
  • Guillermo Rivera-Bonilla, 58, of Tyler;
  • Sheena Shavette Perry, 31, of Tyler.

If convicted, the defendants face as much as life in federal prison.

Homeland Security-Deportation and Removal Operations, Tyler Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety also assisted in the arrests and searches. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan and Richard Moore.

A complaint or arrest is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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