LAREDO, Texas – A 31-year-old resident of Laredo has been ordered to federal prison for bringing drugs into the country concealed in his “lunch,” announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Nicolas Castro Jr. pleaded guilty Nov. 30, 2020.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana ordered him to serve an 87-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Saldana noted Castro’s background and her concerns about how his graduation to drug smuggling after a prior conviction for alien smuggling.
On Sept. 8, 2020, Castro attempted to enter the United States at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge in Laredo. Authorities inspected Castro’s belongings and found a plastic bag with tacos and chips. Castro claimed the food was for his lunch.
Law enforcement referred him to secondary inspection where a K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics within the bag. It then tested positive for meth.
Castro eventually admitted to knowing the tacos contained a kilogram of drugs and that he was going to be paid $1,500 to transport the drugs to Austin.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Bajew prosecuted the case.