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United States of America v. Manuel Martinez, Jr.
Southern District of Texas Federal Courthouse - McAllen, Texas
Case Number: 7:17-cr-00761
Judge: Micaela Alvarez
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Hidalgo County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: David A. Lindemuth
Defendant's Attorney: Zuleida Lopez-Habbouche
Description: McAllen, TX - Fort Worth Man Sent to Prison for Importing Nearly 30 Kilos of Meth
A 38-year-old Fort Worth area man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to import 29 kilograms of methamphetamine.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Martinez a 120-month sentence.
On April 30, 2017, Martinez arrived at the Anzalduas Port of Entry from Mexico with his sister – Ofelia Hernandez Vasquez, 24, also of Fort Worth. Vasquez was driving the vehicle which had numerous milk and juice containers in the backseat. Upon Investigation, federal agents soon discovered 29 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden within those bottles.
Martinez admitted he assisted his sister in importing the narcotics-laden drinks from Mexico and that he did so to keep her safe from drug cartels.
In imposing the prison term, the court noted that although she believed his motivation was to protect his sister, that didn’t excuse his criminal conduct. Judge Alvarez also cited his lengthy criminal record and that as the older sibling he should have used his common sense to talk his sister out of the crime, rather than help her commit it.
Vasquez also pleaded guilty for her role in the offense and is awaiting sentencing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 120 months' in prison.