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Press Release

Mexican national sentenced for trafficking $5 million in meth

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 51-year-old resident of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been handed a significant sentence for possession with intent to distribute 69 kilograms of meth, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Mario Gabriel Sorcia-Quintana pleaded guilty Jan. 8, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez sentenced Sorcia-Quintana to a total of 100 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the prison sentence.

On July 20, 2018, Quintana arrived at the Gateway port of entry in Brownsville driving a Nissan Xterra. At the time, he claimed to be en route to San Antonio with his family, including his four-year-old child, and presented travel permits for all three occupants.

He was referred to secondary inspection where authorities then discovered an unusually high-density reading of all four tires. Further investigation revealed an anomaly, resulting in the discovery of a rectangular metal compartment found inside the tire. Authorities then drilled a hole in it and found a white powdery substance which tested positive for the properties of meth.

The packages were not properly sealed. Therefore, authorities called a hazmat team for assistance in extracting the narcotics due to the potential exposure of the contents in the metal compartments.

They removed a total of 69.10 kilograms from all four tires which was found to have an approximate value of $5 million.

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

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elena Llanos-Salinas prosecuted the case.

Updated January 22, 2020

Drug Trafficking