LAREDO, TEXAS – A 37-year-old legal permanent resident (LPR) of Mexico has pleaded guilty to participating in a drug importation conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Jose Martinez Torres had been residing in Chicago.
On Feb. 2, Torres attempted to enter the United States at the Juarez–Lincoln Port of Entry in Laredo. An x-ray scan of his vehicle revealed some anomalies in the dashboard which prompted authorities to conduct a search. They ultimately found 13 hidden duct-taped bundles – 11 packages of heroin weighing 12.96 kilograms and two of fentanyl with a weight of 2.22 kilograms.
The narcotics had a combined estimated street value of $350,000.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing Aug. 10. At that time, Torres faces up to life in prison. He has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending that hearing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett prosecuted the case.