Mexican man pleads guilty to hiding cocaine in car battery following HSI, federal partner investigation
McALLEN, Texas — A Mexican man pleaded guilty to importing cocaine into the United States through a U.S. port of entry following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Felipe Abad Medina-Rubio, 22, of Tamaulipas, Mexico, pleaded guilty before a federal judge for attempting to smuggle approximately 4 kilograms of cocaine into the United States through the Hidalgo Port of Entry. He also admitted to receiving $2,000 to smuggle the cocaine into the United States.
According to court documents, on Dec. 2. 2022, Medina-Rubio arrived at the checkpoint and said he had no illegal drugs in his vehicle. Authorities referred him to secondary inspection, where a K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics near the battery of his vehicle. An X-ray examination revealed several anomalies that resulted in the discovery of four bricks of cocaine weighing approximately 4 kilograms. The drugs’ estimated street value is $16,000.
A federal judge will impose sentencing Aug. 17. At that time, Medina-Rubio faces up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
Medina has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Parran III of the Southern District of Texas prosecuted the case.
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HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 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’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.