Meadville Tribune

Local News

November 2, 2012

Texas twins plead guilty in massive drug case

MEADVILLE — Two Texas brothers charged this summer by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office with coordinating the transportation and distribution of as much as 20 pounds of marijuana a month into northwestern Pennsylvania have entered guilty pleas in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.

Marcelino Rodriguez, 29, of Eddy, and Miguel Rodriguez, 29, of Corpus Christi, each pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon before Judge John Spataro to one count each of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and criminal use of a communication device.

The pleas in the case were in connection with the trafficking of more than 10 pounds of marijuana, Doug Wright, the senior deputy attorney general prosecuting the case, told Spataro.

The Rodriguez brothers are among nine people charged by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Pennsylvania State Police involved in the shipment of drugs to Pennsylvania and the transfer of money back to Texas. Authorities allege Miguel Rodriguez operated from Texas, speaking with his brother Marcelino and others by telephone to arrange drug shipments to Pennsylvania and transfer money back to Texas.

Authorities allege the Rodriguez brothers were assisted by Robert Karl Conaway, 29, in the distribution of marijuana in and around Crawford County. In August 2010, Marcelino Rodriguez and Conaway were arrested in Crawford County on unrelated warrants, but the two allegedly attempted to continue operating their drug organization from inside the county jail, according to authorities.

Rodriguez and Conaway made numerous telephone calls while inside the Crawford County jail, which were recorded for monitoring by law enforcement, according to court records.

With their guilty pleas, Marcelino Rodriguez now faces up to 12 years in prison and $30,000 in fines when sentenced Dec. 14 in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas while Miguel Rodriguez faces up 17 years in prison and $45,000 in fines when sentenced.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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