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Press Release

Mexican National faces federal marijuana smuggling charges in New Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jose Angel Frias-Mendoza, 45, of Chihuahua City, Mexico appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on March 23 for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute and importation of marijuana.

            According to the criminal complaint, Frias-Mendoza allegedly tried to enter the United States on March 20 at the port of entry in Santa Teresa, New Mexico with 88 bundles (approximately 67.5 pounds) of marijuana hidden in the dashboard, roof, and fuel tank of the vehicle he was driving.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the vehicle and located the hidden contraband, according to the complaint. 

            Frias-Mendoza is currently in custody pending a detention hearing on March 26.  He faces up to five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana and five years in prison for importation of marijuana.  A criminal complaint is only an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

            Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin C. Segovia is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 2, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-053