Woman Sentenced to Prison for Bringing Methamphetamine into U.S.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 20-year-old U.S. citizen who was living in Matamoros, Mexico, has been ordered to federal prison following her conviction for possession with intent to distribute 2.96 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Neydie Yuribia Garcia-Perez pleaded guilty in March 2017. Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered her to serve 130 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release.
On Nov. 11, 2016, Garcia-Perez arrived at the Gateway Port of Entry located in Brownsville driving a Ford Expedition. She declared herself to be a U.S. citizen named Neydie Yuribia Garcia-Perez and possessed a Mexican-issued driver’s license, a copy of a U.S. birth certificate and a Social Security card bearing her name. During inspection of her vehicle, authorities found 2.96 kilograms (6.5 pounds) of methamphetamine concealed in a compartment beneath the glove box.
Later, she gave a statement saying her name was actually Ana Josefina Perez and that she used the false identity of Garcia-Perez for several years when given the documents with that name. She claimed that an unknown individual picked up her vehicle shortly before noon and had the Expedition until about 9 p.m. She said she was to receive between $500 and $1,000 for crossing her vehicle into Brownsville. Garcia-Perez further admitted she was aware of a compartment in the vehicle, knew there might be narcotics inside, that she planned to drive to Houston and that she was to smuggle bulk currency in the vehicle compartment from Houston to Mexico.
She was arrested and charged under the name of “Ana Josefina Perez.”
Following her indictment, she claimed her true name was Garcia-Perez as she had initially told agents, admitting that she had given the name of her sister to customs officials in an effort to avoid prosecution.
Cruz-Garcia has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Oscar Ponce prosecuted the case.