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October 8, 2020Laredo, TX, United StatesContraband

Mexican drug smuggler sentenced for his role in conspiring to import 100% pure meth

LAREDO, Texas – A 43-year-old Mexican national was sentenced to federal prison Oct. 8, after he admitted to conspiring with others to import approximately 25 kilograms of 100% pure methamphetamine from Mexico.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Laredo, Texas, in cooperation with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations and CBP Border Patrol.

Edgar Eliud Villarreal Munoz, 32, from Mexico, was sentenced Oct. 8 by U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana. Judge Saldana sentenced Munoz to serve 57 months imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted Munoz was responsible for the transportation of narcotics from Mexico. Munoz pleaded guilty Nov. 4, 2019. On June 29, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo sentenced his con-conspirator Pablo Xavier Castillo Jaramillo to 84 months during a video conference sentencing hearing. Jaramillo entered his guilty plea Feb. 4. During the course of the investigation, ICE HSI learned that both were not U.S. Citizens. Upon completion of their prison term, they will be turned to ICE custody and be placed in removal proceedings.

“This sentence reflects the seriousness of the charges and the danger this drug poses to our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of ICE HSI San Antonio. “The vast scope of this criminal scheme would have had a devastating effect on the citizens of south Texas. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek out and bring justice to those involved in the illicit drug trade.”

Munoz and Jaramillo planned to import meth from Mexico on Aug. 22, 2019. On that date, Munoz attempted to cross the border at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge in Laredo driving a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 hauling a utility trailer. Upon his arrival, authorities conducted an inspection of the truck’s interior and found packages concealed within the door frame.

The packages were ultimately found to contain approximately 25.04 kilograms of meth. Jaramillo admitted he was paid 10,000 pesos to build the compartments and conceal the narcotics inside Munoz’s vehicle. Munoz admitting he expected to be paid $5,000 for importing and transporting the narcotics inside the vehicle.

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

ICE HSI conducted the investigation with assistance from CBP Office of Field Operations and CBP Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yoona Lim, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Updated: 10/16/2020