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June 19, 2012

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Jury Convicts Laredo Man for Cocaine Trafficking

LAREDO, Texas - Elizardo Vasquez Ortegon, 37, a legal permanent resident living in Laredo, Texas, has been convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 18 kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The jury returned its verdict after two days of trial and approximately one hour of deliberation. 

During trial, the jury heard testimony from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents who described the events of April 13, 2012. On that date, at the World Trade Bridge, the cocaine arrived in a tractor driven by co-defendant Felipe Gonzalez Martinez. Agents engaged in a controlled delivery of the cocaine and Ortegon showed up to meet the driver with a Halloween bag of sufficient size to hold the cocaine.

The jury returned its verdict convicting Ortegon late this afternoon. United States District Court Judge George P. Kazen, who presided over the trial, ordered him to custody pending a sentencing hearing to be set in the near future. Martinez pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute yesterday. He also will remain in custody. Both face up to 10 years in prison.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection. AUSA Roel Canales & D.J. Young prosecuted the case.