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Press Release

South Texan guilty of trafficking cocaine through checkpoint

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury in Corpus Christi has convicted a 42-year-old Mission resident for possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani today.

The jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes hours before convicting Juan Pablo Ramirez following a one-day trial.

At trial, the jury heard that on Jan. 19, Ramirez drove his pickup truck to the Falfurrias Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint. At initial inspection, Ramirez consent to a z-portal examination of his truck. The z-portal x-ray scan revealed anomalies in his truck which turned out to be packages of cocaine.

Testimony at trial revealed the total amount of cocaine was five kilograms with a street value of approximately $100,000.

Ramirez attempted to convince the jury he did not know the drugs were in his vehicle. However, the jury saw evidence from Ramirez’s cellphone which included pictures of cocaine, scales and cash.

The jury ultimately did not believe Ramirez’s claims and found him guilty as charged.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Ramos presided over trial and set sentencing for Oct. 11. At that time, Ramirez faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, Jim Wells Police Department and Corpus Christi Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley Martin, John Lamont and John Marck are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 12, 2023

Drug Trafficking