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Press Release

Resident alien sent to prison for conspiracy to distribute meth and fleeing while out on bond

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 54-year-old legal permanent resident of Mexico residing in San Antonio has been sentenced for possession with intent to distribute meth and failure to appear, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Abel Avendano pleaded guilty for failing to appear and the underlying drug offense Feb. 1, 2022, and Oct. 27, 2022, respectively.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has now ordered Avendano to serve 158 months in federal prison for the possession with intent to distribute meth. He also received 10 months for the failure to appear which must be served consecutively. Not a U.S. citizen, Avendano is expected to face removal proceedings following his total 168-month-term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, the court noted his role in the conspiracy and the amount of narcotics involved.

On June 19, 2020, Avendano approached the Falfurrias Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint. Authorities became suspicious when the driver of the vehicle appeared nervous. At secondary inspection, they found four kilograms of meth and discovered the vehicle had been stolen.

The investigation revealed a seizure of five kilograms of meth concealed in the same manner at the Pharr Port of Entry May 31, 2020. At that time, those arrested identified Avendano as the individual who hired them to transport the narcotics from Mexico. 

The court permitted Avendano to be released on bond after his arrest pending conditions. He subsequently cut off his ankle monitor and fled.

Avendano was been in custody since his re-arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara J. De Peña prosecuted the case.

Updated December 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking