Zapata man admits attempt to smuggle marijuana | USAO-SDTX

LAREDO, Texas – A 48-year-old man has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute 183 kilograms of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Roberto Villarreal admitted that on March 15 he drove to a ranch near Falcon Lake intending to pick up 18 bundles of marijuana. He initially grabbed the 183 kilograms, but saw authorities and returned the drugs to the ranch with a plan to get them later.

Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop, at which time he admitted what he had done. He then led authorities to the ranch where he had planned to pick up the marijuana. There, they discovered a boot print matching Villarreal’s shoes.

Villarreal has been and will remain in in custody pending his sentencing, which is set for Dec. 1 before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. At that time, Villarreal faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol and the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Harrison is prosecuting the case.

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