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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Masseuse Sent to Federal Prison for Heroin Trafficking

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 42-year-old Houston woman has been sentenced in Corpus Christi federal court following her conviction of possessing with the intent to distribute approximately 10 pounds of heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. A federal jury convicted Marlo Denise Young Feb. 6, 2019, following two days of trial and approximately 20  minutes of deliberations.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed Young a 168-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, additional evidence was offered that demonstrated Young lied under oath and detailed how she attempted to obstruct justice by having a family member remotely delete text messages and map data from her cell phone.

On Oct. 30, 2018, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop on Young near Kingsville. At that time, officers found more than $4,800 in cash, hydroponic marijuana and approximately 4.7 kilograms of heroin. The heroin was concealed inside Young’s car battery and valued at approximately $188,000.

Young claimed she was a licensed physical therapist in the Houston area. However, the evidence showed she was actually an unlicensed masseuse who provided massages to people in their hotels and homes.

At trial, Young denied knowingly transporting the narcotics, claiming instead that she was taking a trip to the valley with a friend who was moving.

However, federal agents testified about their investigation which revealed the Young was traveling alone, had made another trip to the valley the previous day and that she had fabricated the story she told law enforcement officers.

Young also attempted to obstruct justice and impede the investigation after her arrest. While in custody, she instructed an individual to remotely log into her phone account and delete specific text messages from her phone, which was in law enforcement’s possession. Young also directed this individual to delete travel information from the navigation application on her phone, which might have allowed authorities to retrace her route. 

Young 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 and the South Texas Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy C. Fugate and Robert D. Thorpe are prosecuting the case.   

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated April 11, 2019