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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A Dallas-area man was charged by federal criminal complaint stemming from his role in selling the heroin that caused a young woman’s overdose death at a McDonald’s restaurant in Farmers Branch in June 2016.
Additionally, two other men were charged by federal criminal complaints stemming from their trafficking of illegal narcotics.
“Tragically, heroin deaths like this are not isolated events anymore,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “We obviously can’t bring this life back, but we can, together with our state and local partners, bring the full weight of law enforcement to bear on finding and prosecuting those who sell this poison. We will find you.”
Specifically, the complaint charges Rogelio Bernal, 20, of Dallas and Zakariah Michael Wolf, 29, of Greenville with conspiracy to distribute heroin in November of 2016, and separately charges Bernal with conspiracy to distribute heroin in June of 2016. Bernal and Wolf made appearances in federal court this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver, who ordered that Bernal remain in custody pending the detention hearing set for March 20, 2017, and Wolf remain in custody pending his detention hearing set for March 22, 2017.
In a separate complaint, Steven Gomez, 18, of Dallas was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on March 9, 2017.
According to the affidavit filed with the federal complaint for Bernal and Wolf, on November 9, 2016 investigators learned that Bernal distributed heroin in Farmers Branch. Bernal was the source of supply of heroin in the area since at least April 2016, and supplied Nancy Pineda, who was previously charged in a separate complaint for her role in the conspiracy. Investigators discovered Bernal had several text conversations with co-conspirators coordinating meetings to conduct illegal drug transactions.
On November 17, 2016, Farmers Branch Police Department observed Bernal arrive at a shopping center parking lot in Dallas. Officers observed a white male get into the front passenger seat of Bernal’s vehicle. The white male was later identified as Wolf. Approximately five to ten minutes later, Wolf exited Bernal’s car and left.
In the early morning hours of November 18, 2016, a Greenville Police officer saw a green 1994 Chrysler Concord, traveling east on Templeton Street in Greenville. The car was stopped after committing multiple traffic violations, and the driver was identified as Wolf. Wolf was eventually arrested and the Greenville Police Department located a safe in the vehicle containing digital scale, several small clear zip lock style baggies, a syringe, a spoon with possible heroin residue, Suboxone sublingual packs, a half pill of Alprozolam, a plastic baggie containing suspected cocaine, a plastic baggie containing suspected methamphetamine, and a plastic baggie containing suspected heroin. Texas Department of Public Safety Laboratory Analysis of the drugs seized from the safe revealed 11.20 gross grams of heroin and 1.77 gross grams of methamphetamine. Two glass pipes, a wood stick, and 50 packaged syringes were also found in the vehicle.
According to the affidavit filed with the Gomez complaint, a federal search warrant was executed on March 9, 2017, at the residence of Bernal and Gomez. A search of Gomez’s room revealed a number of weapons, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine. Specifically, 490 gross grams of crack cocaine, 2,036 gross grams of suspected methamphetamine, and multiple firearms were located.
The penalty for the offenses charged in these criminal complaints is not more than 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.