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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Traveler Heads To Prison For Importing Cocaine From Mexico

LAREDO, Texas– Ruben Judas Ruiz-Vazquez, 42, a legal permanent resident from Mexico, has been ordered to prison for conspiracy/importation/possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Ruiz-Vazquez pleaded guilty Oct. 21, 2014.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Ruiz-Vazquez a sentence of 70 months in federal prison. He is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

On July 28, 2014, Ruiz-Vazquez attempted to enter the United States from Mexico by crossing the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge (POE #2) in Laredo. He was driving a 2007 Jeep Compass vehicle which a drug canine alerted to contain contraband.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents conducted an x-ray examination of the vehicle and discovered 18 bundles of cocaine weighing 18.24 kilograms within the vehicle’s undercarriage. Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents were notified for further investigation.

Ruiz-Vazquez initially denied knowledge of the drugs and claimed he was traveling in a work vehicle. Agents contacted his employer in Wisconsin who indicated he did not have permission to travel into the United States for work.

Ruiz-Vazquez later wrote a letter to his employers from jail, apologizing for his conduct. 

The charges are the result of an investigation HSI and CBP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker is prosecuting the case.   

Updated April 30, 2015