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Guadalajara man sentenced for smuggling drugs through San Francisco International Airport

OAKLAND, Calif. — A man from Guadalajara, Mexico, who attempted to smuggle a significant quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine through San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in 2011 has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison.

Pedro Daniel Rodriguez, 22, was sentenced March 28 to 150 months in prison for his role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rodriguez pleaded guilty in September 2012 to six felony counts resulting from his attempt to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine and four pounds of cocaine through SFO. In pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted he knew that three suitcases in his possession contained a significant quantity of drugs and that he intended to distribute the drugs to a person in Sydney, Australia.

HSI's investigation revealed that on Dec. 29, 2011, Rodriguez arrived at SFO from Guadalajara aboard a Continental Airlines flight. When Rodriguez, who is a U.S. citizen, entered the baggage control area of the airport, he was selected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for a secondary inspection. A subsequent search of Rodriguez's suitcases revealed the contraband hidden in a false bottom of three suitcases.

In sentencing Rodriguez, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White noted that the smuggling of methamphetamine and cocaine was a "serious crime" and that such drugs have a "detrimental effect on our society." The sentence also included a five-year period of supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wegner, with the support of legal technician Erica Doerr.