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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

February 9, 2011

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

MEXICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO PRISON TERM FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A Mexican national who drove a minivan into the United States with rocker panels loaded with cocaine earned  10 years behind bars for his smuggling effort, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.  

Gilberto Rivera-Razo, 26, a Mexican citizen, was sentenced to 121 months imprisonment by United States District Judge Hilda G. Tagle on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.  Rivera-Razo was convicted following a jury trial in November 2010 of both conspiring to and possessing with intent to distribute the 10 kilograms of cocaine found in the rocker panels of a minivan that he drove through the Gateway International Port of Entry in Brownsville, Texas in April 2010.

On April 21, 2010, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent at primary inspection at the Gateway International Port of Entry referred  Rivera-Razo and the 1999 silver Chrysler Grand Voyager he was driving to secondary inspection after questioning. In secondary, a K-9 alerted to the presence of a controlled substance near the rocker panels of the minivan. CPP agents discovered and seized a total of 16 bundles of cocaine located throughout the rocker panels on both the driver and passenger side of the vehicle.

Rivera-Razo has been in federal custody since his April 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve his sentence.  Rivera-Razo is subject to deportation upon completion of his prison term.
 
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ana Cano and Joe Esquivel prosecuted the case.

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