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Press Release

Transporting $800,000 of liquid meth sends trafficker to prison for over two decades

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 54-year-old naturalized citizen residing in Mexico has been sentenced for importing nearly 91 pounds of meth from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Manuel Ignacio Ley Villa pleaded guilty Nov. 28, 2023.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez has now ordered Ley Villa to serve 255 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Ley Villa had been previously convicted for the same offense.

On April 30, 2023, Ley Villa approached the Hidalgo port of entry driving a maroon Chrysler Pacifica. Law enforcement noticed he appeared nervous and referred him to secondary inspection. There, an X-ray inspection revealed anomalies within the vehicle’s fuel tank.

Upon further investigation, law enforcement discovered a fuel tank filled with a liquid material which crystalized upon contact with the floor. The weight of the liquid meth was approximately 41.14 kilograms and had an estimated street value of $810,000.

He 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 February 14, 2024

Drug Trafficking