LAREDO, Texas – A 42-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to import, and for importing, 8.8 kilograms of cocaine into the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Omar Jaime Flores, Monterrey, Mexico, pleaded guilty Dec. 2, 2019.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña handed Flores a 36-month term of imprisonment. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings after serving his sentence. In imposing the sentence, the court noted he was a border crosser and now will be forever banned from the United States.
“While some may mistakenly view smuggling controlled substances as a path to a quick profit, this sentencing demonstrates that serious consequences await those who engage in this criminal activity,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – San Antonio. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to bring to justice those who blatantly ignore the laws of this nation and threaten the welfare of our communities.”
On Sept. 20, 2019, Flores attempted to enter the United States at the Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry in Laredo driving a 2003 Ford Explorer. Authorities conducted an x-ray inspection of the Explorer and saw anomalies near the vehicle’s front fender.
Upon further examination, they discovered a hidden compartment filled with bundles of cocaine. The packages had a total weight of 8.8 kilograms with an estimated street value of nearly $225,000.
Flores ultimately admitted he had been hired to smuggle narcotics into the United States.
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.
HSI conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fawcett prosecuted the case.