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Sept. 11, 2009

JURY CONVICTS MEXICAN NATIONAL CAUGHT CARRYING MARIJUANA BUNDLES INTO U.S.

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A federal jury has convicted Javier Medina-Obregon, 55, a Mexican national, of conspiring to possess and possession with intent to distribute 321kilograms (707 pounds) of marijuana, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

During the course of the trial, which began on Tuesday, June 8, 2009, and ended on Thursday afternoon with the jury’s verdict, the United States presented testimony and physical evidence which proved that on June 10, 2009, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Rapid Interdiction Strike Team agents intercepted a group of individuals as they crossed the river levee near the San Pedro, Texas, area at about 10:00 p.m. carrying bundles of marijuana. When CBP agents approached, the individuals dropped the bundles and ran through heavy brush south towards the border in an attempt to escape back into Mexico. Agents apprehended Miguel Hernandez-del Angel, 37, as he came within 100 yards of the river. Javier Medina-Obregon, was located a few minutes later with the assistance of a K-9 search. He was found in the area hiding along the levee in grass three to four feet high. Strike Team members recovered 10 bundles, each weighing approximately 70 pounds, wrapped in cellophane and then painted black to conceal them in the darkness. The marijuana and defendants were transferred into the custody of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Both men were charged by criminal complaint and later charged in a two-count indictment with conspiring to and possessing with intent to distribute 321 kilograms of marijuana and have been in federal custody since their June 2009 arrest.

Following the announcement of the jury’s verdict, United States District Judge Hanen, who presided over Medina-Obregon’s trial, remanded him into the custody of the United States Marshals pending sentencing set for Dec. 14, 2009. Medina-Obregon faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 imprisonment as well as a $2 million fine each of the two counts of conviction.

Miguel Hernandez-del Angel, also a Mexican national from Matamoros, Mexico, pleaded guilty before Judge Hanen to possession with intent to distribute 321 kilograms of marijuana on Sept. 1, 2009. The court remanded Hernandez-del Angel into federal custody pending his sentencing on Dec. 7, 2009.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Oscar Ponce.

 

 

 

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