Mexican national headed to prison for importing $375,000 in cocaine | USAO-SDTX

LAREDO, Texas – A 47-year-old man from Durango, Mexico, has been sentenced to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Jaime Barraza-Pena pleaded guilty July 8.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Barraza-Pena a 46-month sentence. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence.

Barazza-Pena attempted to enter the United States Jan. 26, at the Colombia Solidarity International port-of-entry in Laredo. At that time, a service K-9 alerted to the possible presence of narcotics. Authorities conducted a search and found 14 bundles inside a hidden compartment underneath the center console. They were found to contain approximately 15 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $375,000.

“Cocaine is a vicious drug that destroys lives, devastates our communities and compromises the public’s safety,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), San Antonio. “The sentence in this case is fitting of the serious crime committed by this defendant. HSI will continue to combat this serious threat.”

HSI conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Petters is prosecuting the case.

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