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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

May 23, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Mexican National Sentenced for Moving 600 Lbs. of Marijuana

LAREDO, Texas – Joel Hugo Robles Perez, 25, has been sentenced to federal prison following his conviction of possessing nearly 600 pounds of marijuana intended for distribution, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Robles Perez opted to plead guilty Feb. 3, 2012, in advance of trial before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia-Marmolejo.

Today, visiting U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood handed him a 33-month sentence and further ordered he serve three years of post-prison supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hood told Perez that he was young and that if he kept violating the law, his situation would be worse in the future, stating “I advise you to do 2 things - Don’t come back and stay away from trafficking drugs.”

According to documents in support of his conviction, on Dec. 9, 2011, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Border Patrol (BP) assisted by deputies with the Zapata County Sheriff’s Department acted on information that a large amount of marijuana was being held at a residence in Zapata, Texas. Upon their arrival, Perez, a Mexican national legally in the United States at the time, answered the door and gave permission to search the property. He subsequently informed the agents they would find approximately 600 pounds of marijuana hidden in the a truck parked behind the home. Agents then discovered approximately 270 kilograms of marijuana hidden in various places within the vehicle.

Perez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by HSI, BP and the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case. Assistant United States Attorney Roel Canales handled the sentencing hearing today.