Man from Ascensión, Mexico pleads guilty to federal marijuana smuggling charges | USAO-NM

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Inocente Rivera, 20, of Ascensión, Chihuahua, Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on July 14 to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms and more of marijuana.

            According to his plea agreement, Rivera admitted to committing these offenses in Luna County, New Mexico, on May 12.  He tried to enter the United States at the port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico with 305 wrapped bundles of marijuana hidden in the cargo bed of the vehicle he was driving.  Rivera intended to distribute the smuggled marijuana in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the vehicle and located the hidden contraband, according to the complaint. 

            Rivera is currently in custody awaiting sentencing.  He faces up to 40 years in prison. 

            Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Bartlett is prosecuting the case.

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