Houston Man Sentenced for Importing Methamphetamine
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 35-year-old Houston man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction related to the trafficking of 4.99 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury sitting in Brownsville convicted Derrick Hargrove on all four counts as charged following a three-day trial in March 2015.
Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who presided over the trial, handed Hargrove a 180-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.
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.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Betancourt and Justin Dinsdale prosecuted the case.
Updated November 17, 2015