Plea deal reached in meth case

DOCS: Woman claimed she worked in Pharr with fake documents

Fake documentation intended to fool port officials led to a secondary inspection and the discovery of more than 50 kilos of methamphetamine in a Mexican woman’s possession, records show.

Government prosecutors struck a plea deal with Miriam Nayely Lopez-Hernandez in a March drug smuggling case in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a large quantity of meth inside her vehicle as she attempted to enter the U.S.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Lopez will avoid a jury trial.

Lopez was arrested in March after she attempted to enter the U.S. in a vehicle carrying more than 50 kilos of meth.

During her attempt to enter the country, the 35-year-old Mexican national told the CBP officer that she was traveling to Pharr where she was employed.

“(Lopez) claimed ownership of the vehicle and stated she was traveling to her place of employment in Pharr, Texas where she had been employed for two weeks,” the document stated. “(She) provided business documentation for her place of employment which appeared fictitious.”

A check of the information led CBP officers to determine the place of employment was not real.

“A physical search at the address revealed the location was operated by a completely different business than what (Lopez) claimed,” the complaint stated.

She also claimed the tires were damaged roughly three weeks prior, as a way to explain the unusually new-looking tires on the vehicle she was driving.

She said only she and her boyfriend, who she was unable to give a last name for, had possession of her vehicle and no one else.

“A review of crossing history revealed that on March 17, 2021 (seven days prior), she was referred to secondary inspection upon entry to the United States where her vehicle was scanned, and no anomalies were observed in the tires,” the document stated.

Lopez, who was scheduled to go to trial last month before a continuance granted an extension, will remain in custody pending her sentencing, which has yet to be determined. She faces up to 10 years in federal prison.