EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) –  An El Paso County property from where a “mansion party” and shooting death allegedly stemmed is owned by Raul “Sonny” Chavez, who in 2021 was convicted of supplying a major cocaine pipeline in Connecticut.

Chavez is listed as the owner of property and home at 5081 Fort Defiance Dr., according to the El Paso Central Appraisal District.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year-old Cisqo Rodriguez, of El Paso, attended a party at the home the night he was fatally shot.

Investigators say Isaac Carlos, 18, shot Rodriguez early Sunday on the 3700 block of N. Zaragoza Road.

Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

Carlos was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and booked into the El Paso County Jail with bond set at $500,000.

Sheriff’s investigators say before the alleged shooting, Rodriguez and Carlos went to a “mansion party” together at 5081 Fort Defiance.

KTSM searched for the owner of the property, and according to El Paso CAD, Chavez is listed as the owner, and the house is valued at $1.1 million.

Aerial photo of 5081 Fort Defiance from federal court documents

According to federal court documents, Chavez was arrested in Hartford, Connecticut in 2014 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. Records also show that Chavez maintained a residence at 5081 Fort Defiance Road in El Paso and lived in the area all his life.

In September of 2021, a federal jury in New Haven found Chavez guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

According to court documents, Chavez was sentenced to 168 months (14 years) in prison in July this year and a supervised release for a term of five years upon release from prison. He was also fined $250,000.

In federal court documents, prosecutors said Chavez had references to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said there have been over 20 incidents this year alone at the Fort Defiance residence including:

• 1 death
• 6 drug offenses
• 4 driving while intoxicated
• 2 aggravated assaults
• 3 assaults
• 4 injured parties
• 2 information received
• 1 burglary of vehicle
• 1 runaway
• 1 abandoned property

The sheriff’s office is addressing the issues at 5081 Fort Defiance through various means of enforcement and working jointly with other local law enforcement agencies.

Like the El Paso Police Department, the sheriff’s office strongly encourages parents to monitor their children’s activities and understand the dangers of these parties.

“Teenagers and young adults are putting themselves in what can easily be a life-or-death situation,” the sheriff’s office news release said.

Cocaine Trafficking

According to a 2021 U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, the evidence and testimony at Chavez’s trial showed he headed a cocaine trafficking operation that smuggled cocaine from Mexico into El Paso and then transported the drug to Connecticut and elsewhere.

The investigation revealed that the Chavez organization supplied multiple kilograms of cocaine to Hartford-area distributors for approximately 10 years.  The shipments, which would typically be in the range of 30 to 40 kilograms, were sent regularly from El Paso multiple times per year.

In 2014, the Chavez organization attempted to find an additional source of supply for its Hartford area cocaine customers. In July 2014, a DEA confidential source met Andrew Duron, also known as “Chavo,” in North Carolina. During the meeting, Duron told the confidential source that he wanted to purchase up to 50 kilograms of cocaine for $28,000 per kilogram.  

Court documents also state Christopher Chavez, Raul Chavez’s son, coordinated the diversion of a shipment of 34 kilograms of cocaine, which was en route to Connecticut, to a high-level drug distributor in Cleveland, Ohio after learning his father was arrested.

Raul Chavez initially admitted his role in this conspiracy and pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2016.  In January 2017, shortly before Chavez was scheduled to be sentenced, he moved to withdraw his guilty plea. 

The judge denied the motion and sentenced Chavez to 12 years of imprisonment and ordered him to pay a $250,000 fine. Chavez successfully appealed the decision, the conviction and sentence were vacated, and the case proceeded to trial.

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