Laredo Federal Jury Convicts Florida Woman for Meth Importation
LAREDO, Texas – A 28-year-old woman has been found guilty of importing 15.62 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for five hours following a two-day trial before convicting Mayra Aguirre, of Bradenton, Florida.
On Oct. 9, 2017, Aguirre attempted to enter the United States via the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge driving her recently-purchased silver 2012 Dodge Durango. Her sister and young toddler were with her. Officers became suspicious after she gave inconsistent replies to standard questions and could not provide proof of vehicle registration.
She was referred to secondary inspection, at which time officers detected a powerful chemical odor emanating from the interior of the vehicle. The odor did not dissipate and initially made some officers nauseous. An inspection revealed obvious signs of mechanical tampering with the discovery of non-factory bolts, glue and unusual welding under the carpeting. A subsequent search revealed 15.62 kilograms of methamphetamine stored within 29 plastic bags hidden inside a false “trap door” panel manually attached to the inside of vehicle.
At trial, the jury also heard that the drugs have an estimated value of up to $500,000 in Florida.
The defense attempted to convince the jury the methamphetamine was placed in her client’s vehicle when it was stolen in Mexico a month prior to her arrest. They did not believe her claims and found her guilty as charged.
Sentencing will be set a later date. At that hearing, Aguirre faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Eaton, Christopher Dos Santos and Francisco J. Rodriguez are prosecuting the case.