LAREDO, Texas — A citizen of Mexico faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Oct. 1 to conspiring to import marijuana into the U.S.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Southern District of Texas, announced the guilty plea. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol, investigated the case.
On Aug. 1, according to court documents, Benjamin Gil Aguilera, 51, from Mexico, arrived at the World Trade International Bridge in Laredo driving a semi-truck and trailer.
During the inspection, a service canine alerted to the vehicle’s trailer where authorities observed anomalies within the doors.
A search of the trailer yielded 2,949 pounds of tightly wrapped bundles of marijuana. The drugs weighed a total of 1,338 kilograms with a value of $560,000.
Gil Aguilera faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Aguilera will remain in custody pending his sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Harrison, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.