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Press Release

Women admit to smuggling over $2M in fentanyl and other narcotics

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two Houston women have admitted to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin and cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Today, Clarissa Hernandez, 23, admitted to her role in the conspiracy. Her co-conspirator, Sarah Morales, 23, previously pleaded guilty April 28.

On Feb. 11, Hernandez attempted to drive through a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint, at which time a K-9 alerted to her vehicle. A search revealed 15 bundles of cocaine and 32,500 pills of fentanyl concealed in the front and rear bumpers of her Chevrolet sedan. 

Soon after, Morales also attempted to pass through the checkpoint. During a search, authorities discovered 12 bundles of cocaine, three bundles of heroin and one bundle of fentanyl concealed in the front and rear bumpers of her Ford sport utility vehicle.

As part of their pleas, they admitted they had conspired together to smuggle a total of 25.36 kilograms of cocaine, 4.94 kilograms of fentanyl and 255 grams of heroin. 

The drugs have a combined estimated street value of approximately $2.25 million.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales set sentencing for Morales July 20. Hernandez will be sentenced Aug. 23. They each face up to life in prison with a possible $10 million maximum fine.

Both have been and will remain in custody pending their respective hearings.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marck is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 2, 2022

Drug Trafficking