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Press Release

Meth importer and courier sent to prison

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

LAREDO, Texas – Two Laredo residents have received significant sentences for their roles in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 19 kilograms of meth from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Antonio Ruiz, 37, and Timothy Andrew Hernandez, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import a controlled substance Nov. 9 and 1, 2022, respectively.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered Ruiz to serve 30 years in prison, while Hernandez received a 130-month-term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentences, the court noted Ruiz’s long history of crime since turning 18 years of age. She further noted that as an older relative of Hernandez, Ruiz should have pushed him away from crime, instead of bringing him into it. After she imposed the sentence, Ruiz remarked that he was not the kind of man who uses or traffics in drugs and that the sentence was too long. The judge replied that sometimes it’s enough if you do it just once.

On May 7, 2022, an undercover agent whom Ruiz believed he had hired drove a meth-laden truck to a location Ruiz had designated. Ruiz had hired Hernandez to pick it up from him. Ruiz remained in the area to oversee the operation – guiding Hernandez to the location of the vehicle and informing the driver of his progress.

Upon arrival, the driver showed Hernandez the hidden compartment within the truck where the meth was stored. Hernandez was then supposed to drive the vehicle to another location in Laredo where the drugs would then be transferred to different vehicle. Another driver would then transport the drugs into the interior of the United States.

The meth was found to be 99% pure.

Hernandez and Ruiz were was taken into custody after arrest warrants were issued for them on July 7 and Sept. 9, 2022, respectively.

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

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Public Safety and the United Independent School District Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case.

Updated February 10, 2023

Topic
Drug Trafficking