Skip to main content
December 7, 2023Yuma, AZ, United StatesNarcotics

HSI Yuma case sends methamphetamine smuggler to prison for 10 years

YUMA, Ariz. — A Casa Grande resident was sentenced to Nov. 27 to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for drug-related offenses. This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“This lengthy sentence is the result of HSI and our partner agencies’ commitment to curbing the flow of drugs attempting to infiltrate our communities,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown. “Let this case serve as a warning to those who believe they can smuggle drugs into the United States undetected: You cannot. Law enforcement will detect you and you will face justice.”

Jesus Vega Perez, 22, of Casa Grande, was convicted by a federal jury on Jan. 19 of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and importation of methamphetamine.

On April 2, 2022, Perez drove a 2018 BMW sedan into the United States through the San Luis Port of Entry in San Luis, Arizona, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered 30 packages hidden throughout the vehicle. The packages contained a white, crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. The packages’ combined weight was over 30 pounds. Perez presented, and the jury rejected, a duress defense at trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona in Phoenix handled the prosecution.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.