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Press Release

Smuggler sentenced for importing fentanyl bundles labeled as tomatoes

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 43 year-old Mexican citizen has been ordered to federal prison for conspiracy to import 13 kilograms of fentanyl, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Angel Amed Gomez-Garcia pleaded guilty Nov. 9, 2022.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez ordered him to serve a total of 108 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, Gomez-Garcia is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence.

On Aug. 23, 2022, Gomez-Garcia attempted to enter into the United States after driving from Mexico across the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge at Laredo. He claimed he was simply going to shop.

However, upon inspection, authorities found 12 bundles hidden in the rear seat which contained a total of approximately 13 kilograms of fentanyl. The word “tomate,” (tomato in English) was stamped on each bundle.

Gomez-Garcia admitted he had been working for a drug trafficking organization in Mexico sometime on or after December 2021 to bring drugs into the United States. He would also take large amounts of cash from drug proceeds to Mexico.

Upon his arrest, he further acknowledged he was on his way to Chicago, Illinois, to pick up $3 million for the drug trafficking organization.

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

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Homero Ramirez and former AUSA Samara Sweet prosecuted the case.

Updated February 10, 2023

Drug Trafficking