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Press Release

Jury Convicts Raymondville Man of Meth Distribution

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 20-year-old Raymondville man has been convicted of conspiracy to import and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The federal jury sitting in Brownsville returned its verdicts against Zack Anthony Sayas late yesterday following two days of trial and less than two hours of deliberation.


During trial, the jury heard that Sayas had recruited and conspired with Jose Angel Reyes Jr., 23, also of Raymondville, to travel from Raymondville to Mexico with the intention of smuggling the methamphetamine and transporting it to Houston.


On Dec. 8, 2015, at approximately 6:15 a.m., Reyes attempted to enter the United States via the Veterans Port of Entry as the driver and single occupant of a silver Chevy Aveo. The car was randomly selected for secondary inspection, at which time officers discovered bundles wrapped in tape hidden in each door panel. The substance in the bundles tested positive for crystal methamphetamine and weighed approximately 11.94 kilograms. He was taken into custody at that time.


While detained, agents observed his cell phone receiving continuous messages from the same number. They were also able to obtain an extraction report that included previously deleted text messages from the same sender.


Reyes identified the individual that recruited him to go to Mexico as Sayas. Reyes was to travel to Brownsville where Sayas would take possession of his car and travel to Mexico where the vehicle would be loaded with drugs. Then both Reyes and Sayas would drive the car back to Houston to deliver the drugs. However, there was a slight change of plans and Reyes agreed to drive the car through the port of entry by himself and pick up Sayas on the U.S. side of the border. However, Reyes was intercepted at the Veteran’s Port of Entry.


Evidence showed that the phone number associated to Sayas was the same as the one that sent messages and voicemail to Reyes. The jury also heard that Sayas had driven the Chevy Aveo into Mexico through the Gateway Port of Entry on Dec. 7, 2015, at and re-entered the U.S. via the pedestrian lane the following day.  


Sayas attempted to convince the jury that he was working the case as a confidential informant. However, the jury heard rebuttal testimony to the contrary, did not believe his claims and convicted him on all counts as charged.


U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera presided over trial and has set sentencing for Jan. 31, 2018. At the time, Sayas faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life  in federal prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.


Reyes previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and is set for sentencing Oct. 30, 2017.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Coronado and Ana Cano are prosecuting the case.

Updated October 25, 2017

Drug Trafficking