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Justice News

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Man Heads to Prison for Trafficking Drugs Through Port of Entry

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 33-year-old U.S. citizen who was residing in Mexico has been ordered to federal prison for cocaine trafficking, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Gerardo Leal pleaded guilty July 19, 2017.

Today, U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera sentenced Leal to a total of 36 months imprisonment followed by two years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Olvera noted that no matter the difficulties Leal may encounter, he should do some prison time and that there was no reason that existed in this world to break the law.

On June 15, 2017, Leal arrived at the Gateway port of entry in Brownsville driving a Mazda 3. At the time, he claimed to be enroute to Sun Loan Company in Brownsville. When officers sent Leal to secondary inspection and moved the Mazda to the vehicle lift for further inspection, Leal attempted to run back to Mexico but was detained before he reached the Mexican border. 

Several officers had to assist in placing Leal in handcuffs. After securing Leal, officers continued their inspection and soon discovered five kilograms of cocaine concealed in a false compartment within the center console of the vehicle.

Leal will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elena Salinas prosecuted the case.

Drug Trafficking
Updated February 21, 2018