A Mexican national accused of being involved in a drug smuggling conspiracy agreed to plead guilty for his role in the case, records show.

On Monday, Nestor Carbajal-Alvarez pleaded guilty to one count of importing a controlled substance in an effort to avoid a federal jury trial related to the four charges he was facing.

As part of his plea agreement, Carbajal pleaded guilty to the second count; in exchange, the government agreed it will ask the court to dismiss the remaining three counts against him at the time of his sentencing, records show.

Carbajal is accused of attempting to sneak into the country nearly 50 kilos of different controlled substances in late January, the criminal complaint filed against him stated.

On Jan. 29, Carbajal attempted to enter the U.S. at the Pharr port of entry.

At the time, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers referred the Mexican national, who was driving a tractor trailer, for a secondary inspection.

“ … (Carbajal) and the tractor trailer to secondary inspection due to the shipment being a first-time importer. Entry documents indicated that it was a shipment of limes,” the record shows.

An X-Ray scan of the trailer led to the discovery of anomalies within the floor area of the vehicle.

“Upon physical inspection CBP officers noticed tampering to the trailer’s landing gear. CBP officers drilled through the floor of the trailer and a white powdery substance was extracted which field tested positive for the characteristics of cocaine and fentanyl,” the document stated.

A more comprehensive search led officers to the discovery of 40 packages concealed within the floor bed of the trailer. Thirty-six of the packages contained cocaine, and the remaining four were filled with fentanyl, the document stated.

During his interview with federal officers, Carbajal claimed to know that there was an illegal substance in the trailer but did not know the actual amount he was carrying, records show.

Carbajal told agents he was going to off-load the limes in McAllen and then drop off the trailer at a gas station near McAllen, records show.

The court set Carbajal’s sentencing for June 24, where he faces up to 10 years in prison, records show.


lzazueta@themonitor.com