Corpus Christi Resident Sentenced in Laredo for Marijuana Distribution
LAREDO, Texas – A 47-year-old Corpus Christi man has been sentenced in Laredo federal court following his conviction of possession with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal Jury convicted Michael Taylor on May 4, 2016, following a three-day trial.
Today, U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen handed Taylor a 180-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. He was further ordered to complete 200 hours of community service in lieu of a fine.
At trial, the government presented evidence that on Aug. 31, 2015, Taylor attempted to smuggle a load of marijuana in a pickup truck through a ranch located east of Laredo near Bruni. After Border Patrol (BP) agents attempted to stop Taylor, he led them on a four-mile high-speed chase along Highway 359 before turning off the highway and into the brush outside of Hebbronville. He travelled approximately 150 yards before abandoning the vehicle and absconding on foot.
Border Patrol reached the truck but it was engulfed in flames within minutes. They contacted the Hebbronville Volunteer Fire Department who extinguished the fire that was beginning to spread into the surrounding brush.
Meanwhile, BP agents tracked Taylor through the brush with the assistance of BP’s Air Operations. They eventually found him approximately 100 yards from the pickup truck hiding in the brush. At the time of his arrest, agents also discovered a loaded Ruger handgun in his back pocket.
Taylor will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
BP and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher S. Coker and Michael Bukiewics prosecuted the case.