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Contraband
01/28/2011

Dallas woman sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for trying to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine into the US

LAREDO, Texas - A U.S permanent resident from Dallas, Texas, will be spending more than 11 years in federal prison without parole for trafficking heroin and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas, announced Friday. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sentenced Dora Maria Flores-Quintana, 45, to 135 months in prison for distributing more than a kilogram of heroin. Flores-Quintana pleaded guilty in November 2010 to the drug charges.

According to court documents, Flores-Quintana, a citizen of Mexico and U.S. permanent resident residing in Dallas, pleaded guilty in November 2010. At her re-arraignment hearing, Flores-Quintana admitted that she was paid $100 in Mexico, and was to be paid another $1000 upon arrival back in Dallas, to transport two bundles of narcotics.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer found the narcotics hidden in her luggage liner located in the taxi's trunk in which she was a passenger. She arrived via taxi during the early morning hours of Sept. 23, 2010 at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo seeking entry into the United States. Flores-Quintana had previously made the same admission to ICE HSI agents following the discovery of the contraband. The two bundles contained more than four pounds of heroin and more than two pounds of methamphetamine. On Thursday, the court considered the total weight of the controlled substances in deciding upon and handing down the sentence.

Flores-Quintana has been in custody without bond since her arrest. She will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility where she will serve out her sentence. The court also ordered Flores-Quintana to serve a five-year-term of supervised release after she completes her prison sentence. However, this conviction will make her eligible for deportation after she's released from prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank T. Pimentel, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.