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Press Release

Two men sentenced after selling drugs in Home Depot parking lot

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

LAREDO, Texas – A local man and Mexican national have been ordered to federal prison following their roles in a conspiracy to distribute 42.5 kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Frederico Hernandez, 29, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Miguel Angel Cruz-Recio, 44, Laredo, pleaded guilty Oct. 2, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo handed Cruz-Recio a sentence of 120 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. Hernandez was previously sentenced to 40 months. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his incarceration. At the hearings, the court heard evidence including the high amount of drugs found. While imposing the sentences, Judge Marmolejo noted the seriousness of the crime.

At the time of their pleas, both men admitted that on June 7, 2019, they conducted a drug transaction involving 5.5 kilograms of cocaine at a Home Depot parking lot located in Laredo.

Hernandez had left the scene but authorities attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle Cruz-Recio was driving. That ultimately led to a brief police chase that ended as he crashed his vehicle into a telephone pole. He attempted to flee on foot, but was soon apprehended.

Authorities later discovered an additional 37 kilograms of cocaine and a handgun at Cruz-Recio’s residence. Law enforcement apprehended Hernandez as he attempted to apply for entry into Laredo from Mexico at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge.

Hernandez and Cruz-Recio have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Harrison is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 6, 2022

Drug Trafficking