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May 31, 2012

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Two Arkansas Residents Indicted for Transporting Methamphetamine

HOUSTON - Two residents of Judsonia, Ark., have been charged in a two-count indictment with conspiring to possess and possessing with intent to distribute 12.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The federal grand jury returned the indictment late yesterday in Houston against Saul Moron Ramos, 42, aka Andres Ramos Balboa, and Leticia Hernandez-Juarez, 38, both Mexican nationals.

The charges arose after Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers discovered and seized 12.5 pounds of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment in the car in which they were traveling on Feb. 8, 2012.

Originally charged by the Walker County District Attorney’s office, a federal complaint was filed on May 1, 2012. According to allegations in that complaint, in exchange for $5000, Ramos and Hernandez-Juarez traveled together in a Nissan Maxima from Arkansas to Houston on Feb. 6, 2012. The Maxima, provided by others, was registered and insured in someone else’s name.

Acting on instructions, upon their arrival in Houston, Ramos and Hernandez-Juarez checked into a motel. They remained there while others picked up the vehicle which later returned loaded with the contraband. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Ramos and Hernandez-Juarez traveled along Interstate 45 in Walker County bound for Arkansas when they were stopped for traffic violations by the DPS trooper. A consensual search of the Maxima resulted in the discovery of an after-market access panel to a compartment in the right rear wheel well of the vehicle. Inside the compartment, troopers discovered nine bundles of methamphetamine weighing 12.5 pounds with a wholesale value of approximately $500,000. 

Taken into state custody on Feb. 8, 2012, Ramos and Hernandez-Juarez were later transferred to federal custody following the filing of the criminal complaint. Both have been ordered held without bond pending further criminal proceedings.

This case is being investigated by agents with DPS-Criminal Investigative Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy G. Herrera.