Mexican drug smugglers head to federal prison | USAO-SDTX

LAREDO, Texas – A 43-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison after he admitted to conspiring with others to import approximately 25 kilograms of 100% pure meth from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. 

Edgar Eliud Villarreal Munoz pleaded guilty Nov. 4, 2019, while his co-conspirator – Pablo Xavier Castillo Jaramillo, 32 – entered his plea Feb. 4.

Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana handed Munoz a 57-month term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted Munoz was responsible for the transportation of narcotics from Mexico. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo sentenced Jaramillo to 84 months during a video conference sentencing hearing June 29. Not U.S. citizens, both men are expected to face removal proceedings following his sentence.

“This sentence reflects the seriousness of the charges and the danger this drug poses to our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – San Antonio. “The vast scope of this criminal scheme would have had a devastating effect on the citizens of south Texas. HSI along with our law enforcement partners will continue to seek out and bring justice to those involved in the illicit drug trade.”

Munoz and Jaramillo planned to import meth from Mexico on Aug. 22, 2019. On that date, Munoz attempted to cross the border at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge in Laredo driving a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 hauling a utility trailer. Upon his arrival, authorities conducted an inspection of the truck’s interior and found packages concealed within the door frame.

The packages were ultimately found to contain approximately 25.04 kilograms of meth. Jaramillo admitted he was paid 10,000 pesos to build the compartments and conceal the narcotics inside Munoz’s vehicle. Munoz admitting he expected to be paid $5,000 for importing and transporting the narcotics inside the vehicle.

Munoz has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

HSI conducted the investigation with assistance from Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yoona Lim prosecuted the case.

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