Feds’ ‘Operation Dirty Bird’ nets $9 million in drug proceeds, 2 guilty pleas

Feds’ ‘Operation Dirty Bird’ nets $9 million in drug proceeds, 2 guilty pleas
(Source: Gray News)

TEXARKANA, Texas (KLTV) -Two Texas men have pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas.

Rodolfo Javier Falcon, 36, of Titus County, agreed to forfeit $5 million in drug proceeds after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances on Aug. 20.

Jose Armando Rosales-Bernal, 27, of Dallas County, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances on Sept. 1. Rosales-Bernal agreed to forfeit $4 million in drug proceeds, $234,971 in cash, his home in Dallas, numerous firearms, two luxury watches, a gold necklace with a rooster-shaped pendant covered in jewels, and three vehicles, including a Dodge Charger Hellcat.

According to information presented in court, Falcon, Rosales-Bernal, and others conspired to distribute more than 150 kilograms of Mexican cocaine in Dallas, East Texas, and beyond. Falcon and others—including two children—were stopped in Tennessee carrying nine kilograms of cocaine to distribute in North Carolina. The organization was also responsible for shipping drug proceeds, in the form of bulk cash, back to Mexico. Law enforcement intercepted one bulk cash shipment of approximately $350,000.

Rosales-Bernal and Falcon both occupied leadership roles in the drug trafficking organization, which also distributed methamphetamine. Rosales-Bernal possessed multiple firearms because he knew the large amount of drugs being trafficked made their activities dangerous. Rosales-Bernal described spending his drug proceeds on lavish lifestyle items, including a Dodge Charger Hellcat, flashy watches, a jewel-encrusted rooster necklace, and numerous pairs of shoes and boots.

Falcon faces 10 years up to life in federal prison at sentencing; Rosales-Bernal faces five years up to 40 years in federal prison at sentencing.

Operation Dirty Bird is a long-term drug trafficking and money-laundering investigation that has led to the seizure of more than $500,000.00 in U.S. cash, almost 40 kilograms of cocaine, more than a quarter kilogram of methamphetamine, nine firearms, and multiple vehicles.

This case is being investigated by the Mount Pleasant office of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division and the Dallas office of Homeland Security Investigations SRT. In addition, the following agencies have played critical roles in this investigation: the Mesquite, Texas, Police Department SWAT team; the Texas National Guard; the Texas Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division and Aircraft Division; the George West, Texas, Police Department; the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force in Dickson, Tennessee; and the Mount Pleasant, Texas, Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan R. Hornok.

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