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Press Release

Foreign woman gets substantial sentence for importing meth

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

McALLEN, Texas - A 36-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison for attempting to enter the United States with more than 50 kilograms of meth concealed within her vehicle, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Miriam Nayely Lopez-Hernandez pleaded guilty to importation of a controlled substance July 28, 2021. 

Today, District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced her to 135 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, Lopez-Hernandez is expected to face removal proceedings following her imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, the court noted her role in the offense was not a minimal nor minor one and emphasized the dangerousness perpetuated by drug trafficking in both the United States and in Mexico.  

On March 24, 2022, Lopez-Hernandez attempted to enter the United States from Mexico via the Hidalgo Port of Entry in a motor vehicle, at which time a K-9 alerted to the vehicle. An x-ray examination ultimately resulted in the discovery of 24 packages containing 51.78 kilograms of meth concealed within the tires of the vehicle.

Further investigation revealed Lopez-Hernandez’s vehicle had crossed into the United States seven days prior. Authorities had discovered no abnormalities. Messages on her phone indicated she had delivered the vehicle to others the night before her attempted arrival.

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

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Fry prosecuted the case.

Updated February 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking