LAREDO, Texas — A Mexican national admitted Wednesday in federal court to importing 26 pounds of cocaine 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 (CBP), investigated the case.
Pedro Moreno-Garcia, 48, from Mexico, entered his guilty plea on Oct. 2, in front of U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo.
Garcia told Judge Marmolejo that he knew there were narcotics in his vehicle and expected to be paid for transporting them.
Moreno-Garcia faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
According to court documents, on June 29, Pedro Moreno-Garcia applied for admission into the country driving a 2010 pickup truck.
During the x-ray inspection, officers noticed anomalies within the vehicle’s side door pillars.
Immediately thereafter, a service detection dog alerted to the vehicle.
Law enforcement then searched the truck and discovered 12 bundles of cocaine wrapped in black tape.
The drugs weighed a total of 26 pounds with a value of $384,000.
He will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Evans, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.