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An Edinburg man was sentenced to federal prison for his role in transporting meth into the United States.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced 35-year-old Roel Longoria, of Edinburg, to serve nearly 22 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty on June 23 of last year. Longoria will also have five years of supervised release immediately following his prison sentence.
Prior to Longoria’s sentencing, three other men had been sentenced for their roles in trafficking meth. Dorian Hazel Ruiz-Chavez, 36, a citizen of Mexico unlawfully in the United States, Mario Alberto Ortiz, 43, of Edinburg, and Luis Ramos, 35, of Donna, were sentenced to nearly 16 years, 14 years and nearly six years, respectively.
An investigation into a drug trafficking organization in the Rio Grande Valley began in September of 2020. The organization was believed to have been using commercial tractor trailers with hidden compartments to import narcotics from Mexico.
“Ruiz-Chavez coordinated with a Mexican narcotics supplier who would send the tractor trailers into the United States,” a news release read. “Once there, Ruiz-Chavez worked with additional individuals to store and transport the trailers further north. Longoria and Ortiz were tasked to find willing drivers to transport the narcotics north after they entered the United States.”
A tractor trailer with 328 pounds of meth was seized after it entered the United States through the Laredo Port of Entry on Nov. 12, 2020. A few months later, on April 26, 2021, another trailer was seized after it entered through the Pharr Port of Entry with nearly 199 pounds of meth.
According to the news release, both trailers were allegedly transported at the direction of Ruiz-Chavez.
“Following the trailer seizures, the organization changed tactics and began to transport narcotics in smaller loads within passenger vehicles,” the release read
Ramos was apprehended on May 13, 2021 as he transported 99 pounds of meth in his personal vehicle.
Longoria will remain in custody pending a transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at a yet to be determined date.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration in the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia prosecuted the case.