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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Transporter Guilty of Moving Huge Cocaine Load

LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo man has entered a guilty plea to possessing with the intent to deliver 58 kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Heriberto Benavides Jr., 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia. At the hearing, Benavides admitted that on May 4, 2015, he drove a green Jeep Liberty he knew was loaded with 40 bundles of containing cocaine from Laredo, intending to take the drugs across the country to New York City.

As he attempted to cross through the Border Patrol checkpoint on I-35, a canine alerted to the presence of drugs hidden somewhere in the vehicle. Authorities soon discovered the bundles which were found to weigh 128 pounds. Benavides them admitted to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents that he was transporting he drugs in order to avoid paying for a prior incident when he had unsuccessfully attempted to transport another drug load.

Benavides has been in custody since his arrest on May 4, 2015, where he will remain pending sentencing, which will be set in the near future. At sentencing, Benavides faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a possible $10 million fine.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Border Patrol and HSI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Homero Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

Drug Trafficking
Updated July 10, 2015