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Press Release

Trafficker sent to prison for transporting 18 kilos of cocaine across border

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 41-year-old woman from Mission has been sentenced for importing cocaine from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Brenda Bazaldua-Mariscal pleaded guilty May 22, 2023.

Chief U.S. District Judge Randy Crane has now ordered Bazaldua-Mariscal to serve 120 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence about the organizational structure of the drug trafficking organization. In handing down the sentence, Judge Crane noted her a previous 60-month sentence.

On Aug. 12, 2021, Bazaldua-Mariscal approached the Pharr Port of Entry driving a Lincoln MKX. Authorities noted inconsistencies in her travel itinerary and referred her to secondary inspection. There, a K-9 alerted to the odor of narcotics in the front of the vehicle.

Authorities then discovered the front bumper was lined with a non-factory compartment containing 16 bundles of cocaine with a total weight of 18 kilograms and an estimated street value of $234,000.

Further investigation revealed text messages indicating Bazaldua-Mariscal was aware she was importing narcotics.

She 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 Jose A. Garcia prosecuted the case.

Updated June 24, 2024

Drug Trafficking