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.