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Jan. 19, 2011


(LAREDO, Texas) – Earlier today, a federal jury returned its verdict convicting Cesar Sanchez, 29, of Laredo, Texas, of possessing with intent to distribute more than 2800 pounds of marijuana, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

United States District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez, who presided over the trial, accepted the jury’s verdict and convicted Sanchez of the drug trafficking offense. Immediately thereafter, the court revoked Sanchez’s bond and remanded him into custody without bond pending sentencing. Sentencing has been set for April 11, 2011. Sanchez faces no less than 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment as well as millions in fines for the conviction.

During trial, the jury heard testimony from agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Border Patrol, who described the events of Nov. 5, 2010. On that date, during an inspection of the tractor trailer Sanchez was driving at the United States Border Patrol Interstate 35 checkpoint north of Laredo, agents found 48 bundles of marijuana hidden among a load of air conditioning units. Sanchez was transporting the load north to the Dallas, Texas area. The total weight of the marijuana was 1309 kilograms with a wholesale value, according to testimony, in excess of $1,000,000. Further investigation lead to additional evidence that Sanchez had switched locks on the truck’s trailer and forged delivery documents in a failed attempt to conceal the load of contraband from detection. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Calhoun-Lopez prosecuted the case.


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