US citizen changes plea in meth, heroin case

Man hid drugs in wheels and rims, records show

Jose Romero pleaded guilty this week to drug smuggling charges during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, records show.

Romero, 37, faces drug charges connected to a March 2020 event in which he was caught attempting to smuggle more than 45 kilograms of illegal substances into the U.S. from Mexico, the criminal complaint against Romero stated.

Romero was detained at the Donna port of entry attempting to enter March 10, 2020, into the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers referred Romero for a secondary inspection after Romero’s initial attempt into the U.S.

“… During secondary inspection, approximately 40.72 kilograms of methamphetamine and approximately 5.91 kilograms of heroin were discovered concealed inside the tires of the vehicle,” the court document stated.

According to the document, all four tires of the vehicle contained narcotics and the narcotics were concealed by metal attached to the rims of the vehicle.

Shortly after he was detained, the U.S. citizen admitted to CBP officers that he knew he was driving a vehicle which contained “drugs” across the U.S.-Mexico international boundary.

“… Romero suspected (he) had previously driven a vehicle which contained narcotics across the United States/Mexico International boundary on multiple occasions,” the document stated.

In March of this year, the court denied bond for Romero and has been in custody since his arrest, records show.