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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 1, 2013

Guadalajara Resident Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Prison for Smuggling Drugs Through SFO

OAKLAND – Pedro Daniel RODRIGUEZ, 22, a resident of Guadalajara, Mexico, was sentenced to 150 months in prison on March 28, 2013, for his role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty this past September to six different felony counts that resulted from his attempt to smuggle over 13 pounds of methamphetamine and 4 pounds of cocaine through the San Francisco International Airport. In pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted that he knew that three suitcases in his possession contained a significant amount of drugs and that he intended to distribute the drugs to a person in Sydney, Australia.

The investigation revealed that on December 29, 2011, Rodriguez arrived at San Francisco International Airport from Guadalajara, Mexico, aboard a Continental Airlines flight. Rodriguez, a United States citizen, was bound for Sydney, Australia. When Rodriguez entered the baggage control area of the airport, he was selected by United States Customs and Border Protection officers for a secondary search. A subsequent search of Rodriguez’s suitcases revealed a large amount of amount of methamphetamine and cocaine hidden in a false bottom of three suitcases.

In handing down the sentence, United States District Judge Jeffrey S. White noted that the smuggling methamphetamine and cocaine was a “serious crime” and noted that such drugs have a “detrimental effect on our society.” The sentence handed down by Judge White also included a five-year period of supervised release.

Aaron Wegner is the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, with the assistance of legal technician Erica Doerr. The prosecution is the result of an investigation led by agents from Homeland Security Investigations.