Members of prominent Borger family granted continuance in drug conspiracy case

Thomas Salazar

Members of a prominent Borger family were granted a continuance in a federal court Tuesday afternoon for charges related to a drug conspiracy.

Jose "Junior" Fernandez, 37, Aaron Fernandez, 26, Thomas Joseph Salazar, 23, and Francisco "Frank" Fernandez, 43, all are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The arraignment for the Fernandez's is scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m. Arraignement for Salazar is scheduled on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. because he did not have an attorney yet.

Amy Fernandez, 43, wife of Frank Fernandez, was arraigned on the charge of structuring, or attempting to structure, a financial transaction. She was granted a $20,000 bond with restrictions. Those restrictions include her staying in the North Texas District unless granted permission. She must also wear a monitored ankle bracelet. Amy waived her right to a preliminary examination.

On Oct. 27, nine individuals in the Amarillo area were arrested on various drug charges, U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaa said. The Fernandez family was included in the nine arrested. The charges were outlined in recently unsealed federal criminal complaints.

Read the court documents Drug conspiracy criminal complaint Structuring currency transactions criminal complaint

In the criminal complaint obtained by Pronews 7, the district court alleges the men all conspired to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and/or five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Included in the investigation were subpoenaed phone records and drug transactions in an Amarillo home improvement store parking lot involving a cash payment of $6,300 and a styrafoam cup of cocaine.

The complaint also said cooperating defendents identified Frank, Jose and Aaron as narcotic traffickers. Those defendents said the men introduced them to a source supply for the narcotics and orchestrated shipments for them. Those shipments allegedly involved multi-kilogram amounts of cocaine and meth throughout the northern district of Texas.

In a separate criminal complaint , the district court alleges that Amy Fernandez structured currency transactions with one or more domestic financial institutions. According to the complaint, she purchased 39 cashier's checks in amounts of $3000 or less. Amy paid a debt of $402,673.98 to the Texas Comptroller for Frank's Floor Covering.

Francisco Fernandez and his wife Amy own the Borger businesses of Franks Floor Covering and the Tan Palace, court records show.

Four others were also charged in separate criminal complaints. They are charged with methamphetamine-distribution offenses. Those man were identified as Dustin Engler, 25, Raphael Garcia, Jr., 36, Leonard Anthony Scott, 47, and Tomar Embers, 38.

"The maximum statutory penalty for the structuring offense is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine," a news release said. "However, if the violation occurred in conjunction with another violation of federal law or as part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Each defendant charged with a narcotics offense faces a maximum statutory penalty of life imprisonment and up to a $10 million fine."