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Press Release

Guatemalan Man Sentenced for Possession and Importation of Liquid Meth in Gas Tank

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 52-year-old man from Guatemala who was residing in Ciudad Hidalgo Chiapas, Mexico, has been ordered to federal prison for his two convictions of possessing with intent to distribute and importing methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A jury convicted Hector Feliciano Lopez-Monzon following a three-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation on March 13, 2015,

Today, U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle, who presided over the trial, ordered Lopez-Monzon serve a total of 292 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

The case arose from a seizure at the international bridge in Los Indios on Dec. 26, 2014. On that date, a tractor trailer pulling an empty car hauler was found to have 378.5 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine in one of the diesel tanks. Testimony at trial revealed that a “cruzador” (crosser) had been hired at the Mexican border to cross the car hauler into the United States for delivery to a transmigrant forwarding company. 

Transmigrants from Central America travel to the U.S. to buy vehicles, tractors and other items to export to their country for resale. The cruzador and another witness testified that cruzadors are routinely hired by transmigrants from Central America to drive the vehicles from the Mexican border to an importation/forwarding company in Los Indios.

Lopez-Monzon crossed into the United States the day after the tractor trailer seizure. He identified himself as the owner of the conveyance saying he had traveled in it with a companion from Guatemala through Mexico and then hired a cruzador to cross it into the U.S. He denied knowledge of the drugs. However, testimony at trial revealed he had false documentation regarding the tractor and car hauler. In addition, he gave an inconsistent version of how the traveled from Guatemala through Mexico.

The jury ultimately convicted him on the two charges.

Lopez-Monzon will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This charges were the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Oscar Ponce and David Coronado are prosecuted the case.

Updated November 4, 2015

Drug Trafficking