East Texas man pleads guilty to cocaine smuggling scheme, forfeits $5 million in proceeds


TEXARKANA, Texas (KETK) – An East Texas man pleaded guilty in federal court last week to a wide-ranging cocaine smuggling ring in a law enforcement bust known as “Operation Dirty Bird”, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.

Rodolfo Javier Falcon, 36, who hails from Titus County, was a part of a large group that brought cocaine from Mexico into several U.S. states. The statement also said that the drug ring smuggled meth.

Falcon and his partner, 27-year-old Jose Armando Rosales-Bernal, from Dallas, also were responsible for the transportation of large cash supplies back over the border. One shipment that was stopped by law enforcement contained more than $350,000.

During the investigation, law enforcement observed several members of the organization—including Rosales-Bernal—carrying firearms. Rosales-Bernal admitted that he possessed multiple firearms because he knew that the large quantity of drugs being trafficked by the organization made their activities inherently dangerous.

Rosales-Bernal also described how he spent 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.

Both men face up to life in prison for their charges and had to forfeit any profit or items gained as part of their ring.

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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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