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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Importing Cocaine and Meth

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

LAREDO, Texas – A Mexican man has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for his role in importing cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.


Rafael Hernandez-Arrioja admitted during his re-arraignment hearing today that he knowingly imported 2.09 kilograms of cocaine and 2.34 kilograms of methamphetamine within the plastic engine manifold cover of his Volkswagen Golf. At the time of his arrest, he claimed to have no knowledge of the drugs. He initially stated he was driving to the outlet malls in San Marcos for the purpose of buying clothes.


Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana. At that time, Hernandez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. dos Santos is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 1, 2017

Drug Trafficking