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Press Release

Mexican man imprisoned for organizing multiple cocaine shipments

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 36-year-old resident of Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been sentenced following his conviction for trafficking cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Manuel Alejandro Soto-Bazan pleaded guilty Dec. 19, 2022.

Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane has now ordered Soto-Bazan to serve 135 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that detailed how Soto-Bazan organized multiple cocaine shipments to be smuggled into the United States. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that Soto-Bazan played a key role in the trafficking scheme.

At the time of his plea, Soto-Bazan admitted he facilitated multiple cocaine shipments into the United States through the Hidalgo port of entry.

Between April and June 2022, Soto-Bazan coordinated at least four separate shipments of cocaine totaling approximately 20 kilograms. Soto-Bazan would direct others who were smuggling drugs into the United States in vehicles to specific locations. He would then coordinate the transfer of the drugs to other vehicles for further distribution.

The drugs Soto-Bazan was responsible for transporting had an estimated street value of $200,000.

Soto-Bazan admitted he was paid to traffic drugs and assisted in removing drugs from concealed compartments hidden in vehicles after their entry into the United States.

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

Homeland Security Investigations and Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Parran III prosecuted the case.

Updated February 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking