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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Houston Man Convicted In Brownsville Of Importing Methamphetamine

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A federal jury has found Derrick Hargrove, 34, guilty on all four counts as charged related to the trafficking of 4.99 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The verdict was returned today following three days of trial.

Hargrove, of Houston, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy to import and importation of methamphetamine.

The jury heard that Hargrove crossed from Mexico into the U.S. on Oct. 9, 2014, at the Gateway Port of Entry pedestrian lane with a suitcase. Upon inspection, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer felt something in the suitcase, x-rayed it and observed two packages inside. A search revealed 4.99 kilograms of pure crystal methamphetamine. 
                                                
Hargrove initially claimed ownership of the suitcase, but later claimed a stranger in Mexico gave it to him on the streets of Mexico. He claimed the stranger asked him to deliver the suitcase to a person he knew who was helping Hargrove get a liquor license for a nightclub he was allegedly opening in Matamoros.

Hargrove is from Houston but had been living in Matamoros after losing his job.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who presided over trial, set sentencing for June 22, 2015. At that time, Hargrove faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. He will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Betancourt and Justin Dinsdale prosecuted the case.

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Updated April 30, 2015