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Press Release

Rio Grande City resident sent to prison after attempt to transport over $370,000 of marijuana

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 41-year-old man has been sentenced following his conviction of possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Jeremiah Hawthorne pleaded guilty May 5, 2021.

Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane has now ordered Hawthorne to serve 60 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release.

On Sept. 9, 2020, law enforcement observed a suspicious GMC Yukon approaching the Rio Grande River at an area known for drug trafficking. Shortly thereafter, they noticed the vehicle returning from the river, then heading north. At that time, the vehicle appeared to be riding low as if it was carrying a heavy load.

Authorities attempted to conduct a traffic stop. However, the vehicle rolled over after trying to reverse in uneven terrain. The vehicle’s operator - Hawthorne - then attempted to flee on foot. Authorities successfully apprehended him after he had physically resisted. Inside of the vehicle, law enforcement discovered multiple bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 214 kilograms.


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

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Phelps prosecuted the case. 

Updated June 17, 2024

Drug Trafficking