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Press Release

Meth trafficker gets over 10 years in prison

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 48-year-old Corpus Christi resident has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiring to distribute 243 grams of meth, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. 

Willie James Sorrell III pleaded guilty Nov. 12, 2020.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered Sorrell to serve a 121-month sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Sorrell’s previous criminal conduct, to include aggravated sexual assaults, drug possessions and unlawful possession of firearms.

On May 30, 2019, Sorrell and Jennifer Saldana were traveling on a Greyhound bus from McAllen to the Corpus Christi area. Authorities conducted a search while at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias where they discovered a backpack near Sorrell’s feet. It contained nearly 250 grams of meth and a  loaded semi-automatic firearm.

The investigation established Sorrell and Saldana traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to obtain the meth for potential distribution in Corpus Christi.   

Saldana, 38, Rockport, had also pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing March 24.   

Sorrell has been and 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 along with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection and Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Manning is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 2, 2021

Drug Trafficking