LAREDO, Texas — A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment Tuesday charging two men and one woman with importing drugs into the country via various ports of entry.
This indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Southern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol.
Benjamin Gil Aguilera, 57, Jose Ramos-Delgadillo, 32, and Ariane Ramos-Piccone, 33, were each originally charged by criminal complaint.
On Aug. 27, the grand jury returned the respective indictments against them.
They are expected to appear for an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel S. Sheldon in the near future.
According to the indictment, Aguilera is charged with conspiring with others to import approximately 1.5 tons of marijuana, while Ramos-Delgadillo and Ramos-Piccone allegedly imported 40 kilograms of methamphetamine and 53 kilograms of cocaine, respectively.
Benjamin Gil Aguilera is charged for his involvement in the importation of 3,152 pounds (1,430 kilograms) of marijuana into the United States.
The charges against Aguilera allege he drove a semi-truck and trailer combination through the World Trade Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo Aug. 1, 2019.
During inspection, a canine unit allegedly alerted to the presence of narcotics in the trailer of the vehicle. Authorities then observed anomalies with the trailer doors, according to the charges.
After looking inside, the trailer, the officers allegedly discovered tightly wrapped bundles containing more than 1,400 kilograms of marijuana.
In the Ramos-Delgadillo case, the criminal complaint alleges that on Aug. 4, 2019, he drove a Ford Escape and attempted to enter the United States at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge Number 2 in Laredo.
There, authorities allegedly discovered the tires of the vehicle contained 24 bundles of methamphetamine, weighing a total of 39.58 kilograms.
Finally, on Aug 3, 2019, Ramos-Piccone allegedly arrived at the United States Border Patrol Check Point near Freer, driving a white Chevrolet Traverse.
The complaint against her alleges that at that time, an inspection revealed anomalies within the seats of the vehicle.
Authorities conducted a search and soon found 45 bundles of cocaine with a total combined weight of approximately 53 kilograms of cocaine, according to the charges.
If convicted, each faces up to life in prison and a potential $10 million maximum fine.
HSI conducted the Aguilar and Ramos-Delgadillo cases with the assistance from CBP Border Patrol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Paul A. Harrison and Jennifer Day, Southern District of Texas, are prosecuting those respective cases.
The DEA and CBP Border Patrol conducted the Ramos-Piccone case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Scott Bowling, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting that case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.