Woman caught with meth-filled tires at Hidalgo port of entry gets 11 years

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a 36-year-old Mexican national to a little more than 11 years in prison for attempting to smuggle approximately 114 pounds of methamphetamine into the United States nearly two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed down the sentence for Miriam Nayely Lopez-Hernandez, who pleaded guilty on July 28, 2021, to importation of a controlled substance.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Lopez on March 24, 2021 at the Hidalgo Port of Entry after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to her vehicle and a subsequent X-ray examination revealed 24 packages of meth hidden in her vehicle’s tires, according to a news release from the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

In handing down the sentence, Alvarez determined her role in the offense was not minimal or minor and emphasized the danger drug trafficking perpetuates both in the United States and in Mexico, according to the release.

Federal court records indicate that Lopez reached a plea deal with prosecutors, who on Wednesday moved to dismiss charges of attempted conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and a charge of sell, distribute, dispense a controlled substance, which the judge granted.

Lopez on Thursday filed a notice with the court that she intends to appeal her conviction and sentence.