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Press Release

Man sentenced for role in fentanyl trafficking operation

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 27-year-old resident of Laredo has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute nearly eight kilograms of fentanyl, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Jesus Homero Ortiz pleaded guilty Sept. 4, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ordered Ortiz to prison for 72 months to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard testimony that Ortiz transported the fentanyl hidden inside a speaker box he later delivered to the Mall Del Norte in Laredo.

On March 2, 2018, authorities intercepted a delivery Ortiz transported. The delivery consisted of approximately eight kilograms of a highly dangerous synthetic painkiller called fentanyl. It has morphine-like effects, but works at a mere 100th  of the dosage. Inadvertent exposure can result in overdose, respiratory failure and even death. 

Authorities ultimately learned the fentanyl was on the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ortiz was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 7, 2020

Drug Trafficking