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Press Release

Woman Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Obstruction of Justice in So-Called “Blind Mule” Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – October 20, 2023

SAN DIEGO – Victoria Carmona of San Antonio, Texas, pleaded guilty in federal court this week to a four-count indictment charging her and an unnamed codefendant with importation of cocaine, conspiracy to import controlled substances, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice. The obstruction charges stem from Carmona’s extensive efforts to concoct a cover story beforehand if she was caught smuggling drugs and paint herself as a so-called “blind mule.”

According to the indictment and plea agreement, Carmona conspired with her codefendant and others to import illicit narcotics into the United States from Mexico. The conspiracy culminated in Carmona’s arrest at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on February 20, 2023, after she imported 19.22 kilograms (42.37 pounds) of cocaine into the United States in her vehicle.

After her arrest, as part of the planned cover story, Carmona claimed she was unaware of the hidden drugs and said she recently accepted a job offer on Facebook to pick up cash in the United States and transport it to Mexico. According to Carmona, earlier that day she was instructed to give her vehicle to others to install a GPS device as an added security measure for the cash Carmona would be transporting. Carmona suggested those individuals planted drugs in her car without her knowledge.

Carmona showed investigators detailed Facebook Messenger conversations purportedly between herself and the individual who offered her the job that supposedly confirmed her account.

In her plea agreement, however, Carmona admitted she and her codefendant fabricated the Facebook Messenger communications to make it appear she was tricked into smuggling narcotics. In the communications, the codefendant played the part of the fictitious person who supposedly hired Carmona to transport cash to Mexico. Carmona admitted she smuggled drugs into the United States seven times and, with the aid of her codefendant, falsified Facebook Messenger communications before each trip that purportedly corroborated the account she planned to tell investigators if she was caught.

“Ms. Carmona went to extraordinary lengths to try to conceal over 40 pounds of cocaine from customs officers,” said U.S. Attorney Tara K. McGrath. “But her concocted story did not fool them or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ms. Carmona’s guilty plea today reflects the serious charges drug smugglers face when they try to bring dangerous drugs into this country.”

“HSI is committed to investigating criminal organizations that smuggle dangerous drugs into the United States and ultimately into our communities,” said Chad Plantz, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. “I commend the work of our special agents and the U.S. Attorney’s office for uncovering this conspiracy and disproving this fabricated story used by the defendant to conceal her involvement in this smuggling conspiracy.”

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 29, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Miller.

DEFENDANTS                                             Case Number 23cr1119-GPC                           

Victoria E. Carmona                                       Age: 25                                   San Antonio, CA


Conspiracy to Import Cocaine – Title 21, U.S.C., Sections 952, 960 and 963

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $1,000,000 fine

Importation of Cocaine – Title 21, U.S.C., Sections 952 and 960

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $1,000,000 fine

Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice – Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 371 and 1519

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine

Obstruction of Justice – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1519

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine


Homeland Security Investigations


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated October 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS23-1020-Carmona