LAREDO, Texas – Three Mexican men and one U.S. citizen have entered guilty pleas for their part in a conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to deliver a large amount of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Aaron Hervey Esparza Villarreal, 27, of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, pleaded guilty today, admitting he was part of a conspiracy that involved smuggling cocaine hidden in a semi-truck. Mexican citizens Jose Contreras Rodriguez, 58, and Ernesto Yadir Martinez Campos, 39, and, Viviano Hernandez, 41, a U.S. citizen residing in Mexico, pleaded guilty last month.
On Jan. 17, law enforcement observed two men, later identified as Rodriguez and Hernandez, working on the vehicle. They then got into a sedan, left the area and met up with an SUV. At that time, Hernandez handed over trash bags to Villarreal in the SUV.
Authorities attempted to stop the SUV, but Villarreal led them on a high-speed pursuit before crashing into the Evelyn Motel on San Bernardo Avenue. Inside the vehicle were 31 kilograms of cocaine in the trash bags.
Law enforcement also apprehended Hernandez and Rodriguez as they attempted to enter Mexico.
Campos was the driver of the semi and brought the drugs into the United States from Mexico. He was also taken into custody.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing for Rodriguez, Hernandez and Campos Oct. 28, while Villarreal is set for Dec. 1. At the time of their sentencing hearings, all men face up to life in prison. They have been and will remain in custody.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett is prosecuting the case.