By LeaAnne Klentzman
On May 5, 2011, in the 268th District Court before visiting Judge Regan Clark, John Aaron Cantu, 30, of Rosenberg entered a guilty plea to Manufacturing or Delivering a Controlled Substance and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
The case stems from what was called a routine traffic stop by members of the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force July 14, 2010. According to Assistant District Attorney Matthew Banister, Cantu was originally arrested and charged with Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance during the traffic stop. Banister went on to explain, “Based on intelligence gathered by clandestine methods, the Narcotics Task Force discovered Cantu and members of his immediate family were engaged in the manufacture and distribution of crack cocaine.”
The key members of this drug-trafficking organization were reportedly distributing high volumes of crack cocaine from a residence located across from George Junior High School in Rosenberg, said Banister. Furthermore, Banister said, the investigation revealed that not only was crack cocaine being distributed from the residence, but was also manufactured at the location using large supplies of powder cocaine bought by the group as one entity.
The powder cocaine was processed and “cooked” into crack and each member was given a share to distribute to their individual customers. Cantu is purported to be one of the main decision-makers for the family’s criminal organization, which includes his mother, brother, sister, and wife.
The investigation culminated on October 2, 2010, when a search warrant was executed at the residence assisted by the Rosenberg Police. During the search police discovered a large quantity of crack cocaine ready for distribution. Banister said, “Many key members of the trafficking organization were present at the time, including approximately nine of their children who were removed by Child Protective Services.”
Cantu was prosecuted for Manufacturing or Delivering a Controlled Substance and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. As a result he was sentenced to 33 years for each crime but the sentences will be served concurrently.
Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Banister and Mark Hanna prosecuted the case. Attorney Christian Becerra represented the defendant.