Laredo drug smuggler pleads guilty in marijuana conspiracy
LAREDO, Texas – A 28-year-old Laredo native has admitted to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 135 kilograms of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
On Sept. 13, authorities observed a man - later identified as Jose Eduardo Flores – carrying a black bundle near an entrance to a ranch in Laredo. After he returned to his vehicle, authorities attempted to conduct a traffic stop. However, Flores quickly fled the scene.
Law enforcement found his abandoned vehicle at a nearby gas station. They conducted a search and removed four black bundles of marijuana weighing 135.8 kilograms.
The marijuana has an estimated street value of nearly $66,000.
Authorities were able to locate Flores and took him into custody. He admitted he knew he was illegally transporting a controlled substance.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia-Marmolejo will impose sentencing March 18, 2020. At that time, Flores faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $5 million maximum fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with assistance from Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yoona Lim is prosecuting the case.