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A Brownsville man was sentenced Wednesday for possession with intent to distribute nearly four pounds of fentanyl, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Heriverto Ramirez, 37, pleaded guilty July 20, 2023 and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

“Ramirez was caught mailing half a kilogram of fentanyl through USPS, creating potentially deadly hazards for anyone handling the package,” U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani said in a press release. “The investigation revealed that this dangerous distribution scheme had been ongoing for almost a year.”

On Dec. 6, 2022, Homeland Security Investigations special agents, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety investigators, were conducting surveillance at Ramirez’s residence in Brownsville, according to a criminal complaint.

Agents observed Ramirez leave his residence carrying a brown box, placing it inside a red Chevrolet Silverado and driving off in it, the complaint said.

A Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Ramirez who consented to a search of his vehicle.

Inside the vehicle, the brown box was located in the rear passenger side of the vehicle which was labeled for shipping. A K-9 was utilized to conduct a free air sniff and alerted to the presence of narcotics.

The box contained a tankless water heater but an additional search of the heater revealed it contained a vacuum sealed package holding a white powdery substance that tested positive for the properties of cocaine.

That package weighed slightly over a pound.

Authorities were then granted a warrant for Ramirez’s residence where they discovered 11 brick-like packages containing more cocaine weighing slightly over 24 pounds, according to the complaint.

The press release states an additional nearly three pounds of fentanyl was found at Ramirez’s residence.

Ramirez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.