A 68-year-old Mexican man has been sentenced to prison after trying to cross the border with over 132 pounds of meth, federal authorities announced Thursday.
Benjamin Garcia-Alcantar, Morelia, of Michoacan, Mexico, pleaded guilty Oct. 22, 2020, to possession with intent to distribute meth, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District Texas said in a press release.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. on Thursday handed him a 120-month sentence to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Garcia-Alcantar’s age and lack of criminal history.
Authorities said that on May 16, 2020, Garcia-Alcantar had attempted to make entry into the United States via the Veteran’s International Bridge in Brownsville driving a 2007 GMC Sierra. The truck had a business decal displaying an American flag with both a Matamoros, Mexico, and Mission address. Garcia-Alantar claimed he had a business called “Good Been-Second-hand articles” and was bringing in an 8-foot medieval knight armor statue for resale. He added that he had been selling the medieval knights in Mission.
Authorities recalled a similar knight on a bed of a truck that had crossed on a previous occasion and sent him for further inspection. At secondary, law enforcement found 24 bundles enclosed in metal containers. They had been welded into the interior of the vehicle’s tires.
Authorities had to call a hazardous materials team to extract the narcotics.
The bundles held 62.44 kilograms of meth with an estimated street value of more than $1.8 million in Texas.
Garcia-Alcantar will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration Customs Enforcement conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elena Llanos-Salinas prosecuted the case.