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June 10, 2010

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(LAREDO, Texas) - Jerry Chance, a U.S. citizen from Fort Smith, Ark., was sentenced today to 262 months in the Bureau of Prisons for conspiring with Donald Joe Huckaba to possess with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Both Chance and Huckaba, 33, pleaded guilty Oct. 6, 2009.

United States District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Chance on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Chance has been in custody since his July 2009 arrest and will remain in U.S. Marshals Service custody pending a transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve his sentence.

Chance, 46, was arrested on July 30, 2009, after he attempted to enter the United States from Mexico via the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge #1 carrying almost two kilogram of heroin in his boots. According to pleadings filed of record in this case, on that date, both Chance and Huckaba arrived at the bridge in separate taxis approximately two minutes apart from one another. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found Chance had an active warrant for his arrest and referred him to secondary. Minutes later when Huckaba arrived, he too was referred to secondary for further inspection.  While in secondary, CBP officers noticed both Chance and Huckaba appeared to be having difficulty walking. After a patdown search of each man, CBP officers found a bundle wrapped in tan packing tape weighed approximately .90 kilograms each in the soles of each man’s boots. Both men were arrested.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continued the investigation and learned through interviews with the cab drivers that both men had been picked up by one taxi driver at the bus station in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Both men had loaded their luggage in to the taxi cab along with a case of beer. After Chance had entered the cab but before Huckaba could enter, an unknown Hispanic male approached Huckaba and told the driver only Chance would be riding.  Huckaba’s suitcase and one case of beer were removed from this cab and subsequently loaded onto a second taxi cab.

Both men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin.

Huckaba was sentenced by Judge Alvarez to 140 months in federal prison on March 2, 2010. He has been in custody since his arrest and, like Chance, will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve out his sentence.

The investigation was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Elliott.


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