Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hidalgo Man Gets Lengthy Sentence for Smuggling Meth

McALLEN, Texas – Manuel de la Cruz Jr., 32, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute nearly 11 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. De la Cruz, a U.S. citizen from Hidalgo, pleaded guilty Feb. 2, 2015.

Today, visiting U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo sentenced de la Cruz to 150 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Marmolejo discussed de la Cruz’s involvement in a DWI wreck where his children were passengers and his involvement in further drug-related activity.

On Sep. 24, 2013, de la Cruz was traveling north on U.S. Highway 281 in Brooks County when he was stopped for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of his vehicle led to the discovery of approximately 11 kilograms of methamphetamine. He initially claimed to be traveling for work, but later admitted being paid $1,500 to transport the narcotics.

De la Cruz has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges were the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Leonard is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 7, 2015