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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

McAllen Man Sentenced for Using Government Vehicle to Deliver Cocaine

McALLEN, Texas ‐ Mario Guadalupe Saenz, 28, of McAllen, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of attempting to possess with intent to distribute approximately nine kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Saenz pleaded guilty Jan. 28, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Saenz a 135-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. The sentence was enhanced because the defendant possessed a dangerous weapon in the course of committing the offense and because he used Facebook to advertise he could use a vehicle with U.S. government license plates to bring drugs north of the border fence.

On Oct. 9, 2014, Saenz was observed driving a white Dodge Ram registered to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He drove through an opening in the border fence and retrieved a bag from the brush near the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo County. He then used the government vehicle to transport the bag to a business parking lot in McAllen where Saenz bragged to an undercover officer that he had waived at the Border Patrol agents during the transport.

Saenz was subsequently arrested as investigators discovered the bag contained approximately 9.39 kilograms of a suspected controlled substance, 1.1 kilograms of which tested positive for the properties of cocaine.

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

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, USDA-Office of Inspector General and the McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Rees prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 30, 2015