Gonzales man pleads guilty in Houston area drug conspiracy

Staff Report

A Gonzales man pleaded guilty July 6 to conspiring with members of the Aryan Circle (AC) and others to sell methamphetamine.

A Gonzales man pled guilty to drug conspiracy

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, 46-year-old Shane Louque was the fourth and final defendant charged in the conspiracy to enter a guilty plea.

As revealed in court documents, Louque purchased substantial quantities of methamphetamine, at least two kilograms, from an AC member based in the Houston area over a number of occasions in 2016.

Louque then personally distributed the methamphetamine to other buyers in Louisiana.

While Louque himself is not known to be an AC member, the drug conspiracy was uncovered as part of Operation Noble Virtue, an investigation into the AC that has targeted AC leadership.

Previously entering guilty pleas as part of this conspiracy were Jeremy Klintman, 38, of Texas; Eulalio Torres-Cadenas, 43, of Mexico; and Breanna Beckley, 40, of Texas.

Louque pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum prison sentence of life.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei for the Eastern District of Texas made the announcement.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Trial Attorneys Alexander Gottfried and Bethany Lipman of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rapp for the Eastern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States, using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. 

According to a report in sister publication the Herald Democrat, the AC is a violent, white supremacist organization that originated in the Texas Department of Corrections and operates in federal prisons across the country, as well as outside prisons in states including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.