Mexican Truck Driver Sentenced To 120 Months For Drug Trafficking With Wooden-Hampers
LAREDO, Texas – Mexican national Moises Rodriguez-Ortega, 36, has been ordered to federal prison for 10 years for possessing with intent to distribute almost 10 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Rodriguez-Ortega pleaded guilty July 8, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana handed Rodriguez-Ortega the total 120-month-term of federal imprisonment. As a non-U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following release from prison.
On May 21, 2013, Rodriguez-Ortega was arrested at the Columbia Solidarity International Bridge in Laredo after applying for admission into the United States. He was driving a tractor-trailer, and upon inspection by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, was referred to secondary inspection for further investigation.
CBP agents discovered methamphetamine inside his tractor cab. Agents had located wooden-wicker hampers and drug dogs alerted to the presence of narcotics. Upon X-ray examination of these hampers, CBP agents discovered and extracted approximately 9.4 kilograms of methamphetamine from the wooden frames. Upon questioning, Rodriguez-Ortega admitted to smuggling the narcotics into the United Stated with the intention to traffic and sell these drugs throughout the United States.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker is prosecuting.