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February 21, 2012McAllen, TXUnited StatesNarcotics

Mexican national sentenced to 17 1/2 years in federal prison for possessing methamphetamine

MCALLEN, Texas — A Mexican national was sentenced on Wednesday to 17 ½ years in federal prison for possessing with intent to distribute about two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jose Angel Saavedra-Moreno, 23, was sentenced to 210 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez Feb. 22, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. Saavedra-Moreno was charged by criminal complaint in September 2010, and was subsequently arrested and indicted in December 2010. He later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

At his June 7, 2011 plea hearing, he admitted that Sept. 9, 2010 he met with another person to arrange to hire a driver to transport narcotics from McAllen, Texas, to Atlanta, Ga. During that meeting, Saavedra-Moreno provided a Texas certificate of title for the vehicle that was to be used to transport the controlled substance and instructed him to have the title placed in that individual's own name. The following day, the individual retrieved the loaded vehicle from a location in McAllen. Shortly thereafter; the vehicle was stopped by law enforcement. During a search of the vehicle, HSI special agents discovered the methamphetamine concealed within a metal container inside the gas tank.

In arriving at the lengthy prison term, the court took into consideration Saavedra-Moreno's role in the offense. He has been held without bond since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Requénez, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Updated: 12/09/2014