CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 41-year-old resident of Edinburg has been sentenced for his role in a drug conspiracy involving the federal mail system, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Axel Noel Rodriguez Rivera pleaded guilty July 23.
Today, U.S. District Judge David S. Morales ordered Rivera to serve a 120-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard information detailing how Rivera used multiple mail center mailboxes to receive cocaine through the mail. In handing down the sentence, Judge Morales noted Rivera’s prior felony drug convictions.
“Illegal drugs have no business being a part of the mail stream,” said Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzalez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.“Postal inspectors work tirelessly to rid the mail of illicit and dangerous drugs and provide a safe environment for postal employees and Postal Service customers. Today’s sentencing demonstrates that postal inspectors will never tolerate the use of the U.S. Mail to distribute illegal substances. We thank the members of the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force task force for partnering with us to bring this criminal to justice.”
In January, law enforcement in McAllen began an investigation into a suspicious parcel which was later found to contain cocaine.
The investigation revealed Rivera had retrieved multiple parcels from mail centers within the Corpus Christi area. The packages were either sent through third-party shippers or the U.S. Postal Service. Each of the parcels contained cocaine.
Rivera was ultimately held accountable for approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine which had an estimated street value of $250,000.
He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The U.S. Postal Inspector Service and the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Manning is prosecuting the case.