Federal Jury in Del Rio Convicts Undocumented Alien Residing in Houston in Liquid Meth Case
In Del Rio today, a jury convicted 32–year-old Adrian Pineda-Orozco, an undocumented alien residing in Houston, for his role in scheme to smuggle over 43 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine into the United States announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio Division.
Jurors convicted Pineda-Orozco of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to import methamphetamine. Prior to trial, Pineda-Orozco’s co-defendants, 20-year-old Marcelo Guzman of Houston and 21–year-old Cyndy Palma of Houston pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Testimony during trial revealed that the defendant orchestrated a statewide methamphetamine importation and distribution scheme, with prior deliveries to Houston and Dallas. On December 18, 2015, Customs and Border Protection officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry discovered 15 plastic bottles containing liquid methamphetamine inside a vehicle being driven by Guzman and Palma. Guzman told officers that he was supposed to deliver the methamphetamine to an individual in Houston. HSI agents executed a controlled delivery of the methamphetamine. Upon arriving at the meeting location, authorities discovered Pineda-Orozco waiting for them. After the agents identified themselves, Pineda-Orozco got back into his vehicle and fled the scene narrowly missing an HSI agent in the process. Pineda-Orozco led authorities on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods. The pursuit continued until spike strips disabled his vehicle. No one was injured as a result of the pursuit. Pineda-Orozco was arrested.
Pineda-Orozco has remained in custody since his arrest. Guzman and Palma also remain in federal custody. All three defendants face between ten years and life in federal prison. Sentencing for Guzman is scheduled for March 7, 2017. Palma and Pineda-Orozco have yet to be scheduled for sentencing.
The investigation was conducted by HSI together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Houston Police Department.