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March 2, 2021McAllen, TX, United StatesNarcotics

Mexican citizen sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting to smuggle methamphetamine into South Texas

MCALLEN, Texas — A Mexican man was sentenced Tuesday to 168 months in federal prison for attempting to import approximately 23 kilograms of methamphetamines into South Texas.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents assigned to McAllen, Texas, investigated the case in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Alan Herrera-Valenzuela, 27, pleaded guilty Oct. 18, 2019. At his hearing, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez informed him that his actions troubled the court because, as a noncitizen, he was willing to cause harm by engaging in criminal activity that brought drugs into our community.

According to court documents, on April 14, 2019, Herrera-Valenzuela attempted to enter the United States via the Hidalgo port of entry. Upon his arrival, an X-ray revealed anomalies in the tires of the vehicle he was driving. Authorities conducted a search and discovered 40 packages of methamphetamine that weighed about 23 kilograms.

Herrera-Valenzuela admitted he knowingly imported the drugs into the United States from Mexico with the intent to deliver them to Dallas. He acknowledged this was his second trip after successfully transporting drugs the previous month. Herrera-Valenzuela expected to be paid $7,000. The drugs had an approximate street value of $115,000.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Alexis Garcia, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196).

Updated: 03/08/2021