ALPINE – A federal judge today sentenced 37-year-old Mexican national Jose Miguel Lazarin-Zurita to 60 months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle methamphetamine and a firearm into Mexico earlier this year.
On March 5, 2021, Lazarin-Zurita pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of attempting to export to Mexico a rifle and several firearm-related accessories without a license.
According to court records, Lazarin-Zurita attempted to cross into Mexico on January 27, 2021, at the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio. While inspecting the defendant’s vehicle, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered two plastic bags hidden in the engine compartment. One bag contained 26 grams of methamphetamine; the other, 26 grams of cocaine. Inside the vehicle’s seats, agents found a Kel-Tec PLR-16 rifle, a 60-round capacity drum magazine for 5.56mm ammunition and two empty 30-round 5.56mm magazines.
“This case represents the commitment of our law enforcement partners and our prosecutors to thwart smugglers’ attempts to pedal dangerous narcotics and firearms in and out of the country,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “We have and will continue to prosecute these important cases with full force.”
Along with USA Hoff, Erick P. Breitzke, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), El Paso Division made today’s announcement.
HSI conducted this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eduardo R. Mendoza and Fidel Esparza III prosecuted this case.