MCALLEN, Texas — A U.S. permanent resident from Mexico residing in Mission, Texas, was sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison Tuesday for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine.
This sentenced was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Felipe Rivera-Paredes, 55, to 210 months imprisonment on both counts that are scheduled to run concurrently. Since Rivera-Paredes is a not a U.S. citizen, he will be placed in removal proceedings after he completes his prison sentence.
As part of his sentence, Judge Alvarez also found Rivera-Paredes was a leader-organizer of a drug trafficking group of five or more people. Rivera-Paredes was arrested Oct. 22, 2015, after negotiating the sale of about 485 grams (about 17 ounces) of methamphetamine with an undercover agent. Rivera-Paredes pleaded guilty to the charge March 31, 2016.
According to court documents, Rivera-Paredes began communicating with HSI and DEA in July 2014 and soon began discussions regarding marijuana smuggling. He coordinated transporting marijuana on multiple occasions from September to October 2014. Each of those instances resulted in the arrest of the individuals who later took possession of the marijuana. In total, Rivera-Paredes turned over about 842 kilograms (1,856 pounds) of marijuana.
Rivera-Paredes remains in custody pending his transfer to the Bureau of Prisons.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Leonard, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.