Jury convicts Laredo man on cocaine charges

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LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo federal jury has convicted a 35-year-old legal permanent resident for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

The jury deliberated for approximately four hours before convicting Baldemar Guadiana following a two-day trial which included four witnesses.

At trial, the jury heard about the investigation which resulted in the discovery of approximately 3.68 kilograms of cocaine.

On Jan. 31, 2018, an undercover officer received eight bundles of narcotics at a local grocery store parking lot. Later that day, Guadiana contacted the officer and made arrangements to meet and take possession of the cocaine. Once at the pre-arranged location, Guadiana parked behind the officer. He then took the drugs and attempted to leave.

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Law enforcement soon stopped him and took him into custody. authorities ultimately discovered a total of nearly four kilograms of cocaine in the eight bundles.

The defense attempted to convince the jury Guadiana had no knowledge the bundles in his truck contained narcotics. They also contended law enforcement did not perform an adequate and thorough enough investigation to convict him. The jury disagreed and found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over trial and set sentencing for Oct. 25. At that time, Guadiana faces up to 40 years of imprisonment and a possible $5 million maximum fine. Not a U.S. citizen, he could lose his status as a legal permanent resident.

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Previously released on bond, Guadiana was taken into custody following the trial today where he will remain pending his sentencing.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys José Angel Moreno and Yoona Lim are prosecuting the case.Topic(s): Drug Trafficking