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Nov. 1, 2011

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Indiana Man Pleads Guilty as Trial About to Begin in Two-Ton Marijuana Case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – An Indiana man has entered a guilty plea to possessing with intent to distribute more than 2,300 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

James Henry, 40, of Michigan City, Ind., was scheduled to begin a jury trial today before visiting Senior United States District Judge Harry L. Hudspeth, but at the last minute, opted to plead guilty to the one-count indictment.

The charge stems from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Border Patrol (BP). In May 2011, Henry arrived at the Falfurrias checkpoint driving a tractor trailer. A routine K-9 exam resulted in an alert prompting BP agents to refer Henry and his vehicle to secondary for further inspection. That inspection resulted in the discovery of 256 bundles concealed within a load of mangos in the trailer which tested positive for marijuana. At the time of the seizure, law enforcement officials estimated the marijuana had a value of approximately $5.1 million. 

Released on bond after his arrest, Henry will remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing set for January 2012. At that time, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a maximum $10 million fine and a minimum five-year-term of supervised release.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt.