Former person of interest in 2016 slayings sentenced for trafficking suitcase full of cocaine

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A Magnolia man accused of trafficking a suitcase full of cocaine was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal prison.

Jose Jaime Solis Jr., 35, was collared last year in a pre-dawn SWAT raid at a Montgomery County mobile home, a site authorities once said was possibly linked to the slayings of a Katy teen and her father.

Federal agents set out on the drug dealer’s trail in early 2016, when a confidential informant tipped off the DEA about an upcoming deal, according to court documents.

TIED TO MURDER: Laredo drug ring tied to home that may be linked to Coronado deaths 

At the time, both Solis and co-defendant Ramon Hipolito Sanchez were involved in a Laredo-based drug trafficking ring that was regularly shipping multi-kilogram loads of cocaine to the Houston area.

But Sanchez wanted a bigger cut, so he asked someone – who turned out to be a confidential informant – to help steal some of the drugs from his employer. The plan was that Sanchez’s fellow traffickers would bring a suitcase full of cocaine to the Tornado bus station, and a man in a winter vest would take a ride to Houston with the blow-filled bag.

En route, the confidential informant would steal the luggage from the undercarriage of the bus during a stopover in San Antonio.

But that never happened.

Instead, the DEA asked Border Patrol to check the bus and check all the luggage before it left the station – but no one claimed the suitcase full of more than 12 kilograms of cocaine.

Surveillance footage of the Tornado bus station showed Solis dropping off the drug-filled bag and leaving.

Initially, agents called in Sanchez for questioning that March but eventually he and Solis were arrested. Sanchez has since pleaded guilty and is slated for sentencing in May.

MEDICAL EXAMINER: Missing Katy teenager was shot to death

When authorities picked up Solis at a trailer on Abersteen Drive in Magnolia later that month, they said the site had been identified as possibly harboring persons of interest in the killings of 14-year-old Adriana Coronado Cavazos and her father, Caesar Vladimir Coronado.

In March 2016, Coronado’s badly burned body was found in Walker County. Authorities put out an Amber Alert for his daughter, who was later found days later shot to death in west Houston.

After the Magnolia arrest, Solis was hit with drug charges and flagged as a person of interest in the Coronado killings.

His lawyer, Juan L. Guerra Jr., said Monday that Solis played no role in the 2016 deaths. 

“There is nothing at this point that would indicate that he had any involvement in the kidnapping and the death of the Coronado family. I don’t anticipate him continuing to be a person of interest or being charged,” he said.

“The Solis family wants justice for the Coronado family but not at the expense of ruining or implicating another family or individual who had nothing to do with the Coronado killings.”

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