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Press Release

Two sent to prison after drug trafficking in local parking lot

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

McALLEN, Texas – Two Mission men have been ordered to federal prison following their convictions in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Eddie Perez, 29, and Juan Alberto Mendez Jr., 29, pleaded guilty April 24, 2023, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 20 kilograms of cocaine.

U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane has now imposed a 120-month-term of imprisonment for Perez, while Mendez received 96 months. Both must also serve five and three years of supervised release, respectively, following their sentences. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence about the criminal history of Perez including his three prior felony convictions.

In October 2022, Perez was to deliver narcotics to another individual on behalf of his friend Mendez.

Authorities conducted surveillance at a Best Buy parking lot in McAllen in anticipation of the narcotics deal. They saw vehicles approach, after which Perez removed bags containing bricks of cocaine from the trunk of his vehicle.

Mendez was parked in another vehicle with his wife and six children observing the transaction.

Law enforcement approached arrested Perez and Mendez and immediately seized a total of 20 kilograms of cocaine.

A subsequent search of Mendez home yielded another kilogram of cocaine.

Mendez was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Perez has been and will remain in custody.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia prosecuted the case.

Updated March 27, 2024

Drug Trafficking