Four arrested on narcotics charges

Jose “Junior” Fernandez, Francisco “Frank” Fernandez, Aaron Fernandez and Thomas Joseph Salazar, all of Borger, were arrested on Thursday, October 27, 2011 following investigations by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel. Arrest warrants were issued under the authority of the United States based on Special Agent Daryl Walker’s personal knowledge, experience and investigations of the four men who allegedly conspired to have with intent to distribute narcotics (including cocaine and methamphetamine.Walker’s report states that on November 10, 2010, a confidential source (CS) purchased what was later determined to be 193.8 grams of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, from Jose “Junior” Fernandez for $6,300. This transaction occurred in the parking lot of a home improvement store in Amarillo after arrangements were made via telephone conversation.According to his report, after exiting the store with his wife, Stacie Fernandez, Jose Fernandez walked her back to their vehicle, a white GMC Yukon, and then walked over to and entered the CS’s vehicle. Jose greeted the CS and said they were waiting for the product to be delivered. He told the CS he would call to check when the delivery would arrive and then placed a phone call from his cellular phone. Toll records subpoenaed from Fernandez’s cellular service provider show that he placed and received calls from a phone registered to Thomas Joseph Salazar.Minutes later, a pickup truck pulled into the parking lot and parked behind the Yukon. Agents observed an individual later determined to be Thomas Joseph Salazar exit this vehicle, open up the rear driver’s side door of the Yukon and sit down inside with Stacie Fernandez. Agents watched as Jose Fernandez exited the CS’s vehicle and got into the driver’s seat of his Yukon.Almost immediately, Jose Fernandez exited the Yukon carrying a small Styrofoam cup and walked back over to the CS’s vehicle. Once back inside the CS’s vehicle, Jose Fernandez gave the CS the Styrofoam cup containing cocaine and waited while the CS counted out the cash payment of $6,300.After discussing future narcotics deals, Jose Fernandez exited the vehicle, returned to his Yukon and drove away. At the direction of the DEA agents on at least two other occasions, the CS purchased like quantities of cocaine from Jose Fernandez. Beginning on December 13, 2010, and pursuant to court order, Federal authorities began watching intercepted telephone calls on two other cellular phones used by Jose Fernandez. The effective wiretap on one of these cellular phones lasted about three days.During this time period, Jose Fernandez had repeated telephone conversations with Thomas Joseph Salazar (utilizing the same phone number he had used during the November 10, 2010 narcotics purchase) in which Jose asked Salazar to buy him a disposable phone at a local electronics store.After Salazar purchased the phone, no other phone communications were intercepted on Jose’s wiretapped phone number. This behavior – “dropping a phone” in favor of a new, often-times pre-paid number – is consistent with narcotics traffickers reducing the risk of their telephone conversation being monitored.A second cellular phone, however, was also monitored by court order beginning around December 13, 2010. During the course of this interception, Jose Fernandez had conversations as part of the narcotics conspiracy with Francisco “Frank” Fernandez in which they discretely discussed narcotics transactions with his brother, Jose “Junior” Fernandez on several occasions. During theses conversations, Frank Fernandez mentioned needing “work” - a term cooperating defendants have stated means narcotics distribution - and getting “getting his hustle on.” Frank Fernandez asked his brother about orchestrating drivers, discussed checkpoints or “puntos” along the anticipated route of travel, and referred to narcotics through a colored-coding system. Frank and Jose also routinely discussed large amounts of money.In many of his intercepted conversations with his brother Jose, Aaron Fernandez, a/k/a “Fat A--,” discusses receiving shipments of unnamed goods, money transactions and driving directions for avoiding law enforcement. On several occasions, Aaron asked Jose for permission to go “pick up a couple” and asked if the door was unlocked or if he needed to “get the key”.In addition several cooperating defendants have identified Frank Fernandez, Jose Fernandez, and Aaron Fernandez as narcotics traffickers. These defendants have stated that the Fernandez brothers introduced them to a source of supply of narcotics (either cocaine or methamphetamine), and orchestrated shipments for them. These shipments involved multi-kilogram amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine through the northern District of Texas.All four men are being detained in a Randall County facility.