Man caught with 42 pounds of cocaine in Rio Grande City gets 4 years

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A 28-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for attempting to smuggle nearly 42 pounds of cocaine through the Rio Grande City port of entry.

Miguel Angel Trejo pleaded guilty on Feb. 21 to importing cocaine, according to a news release for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Trejo was arrested on Nov. 30, 2023 at the checkpoint when he was referred for a secondary inspection after claiming he had no illegal drugs in his vehicle.

A K-9 alerted to his vehicle and a search revealed 17 bricks of cocaine in hidden compartments under the floorboards of the vehicle’s rear seat, according to the release.

“The cocaine had an estimated street value of approximately $230,000,” the release stated.

When he pleaded guilty, Trejo admitted that he knew he was smuggling cocaine and that he had done so multiple times.

U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton heard during Trejo’s sentencing that the man played an integral part in a smuggling scheme.

“In handing down the sentence, the court noted that traffickers could not succeed without the willing participation of transporters like Trejo,” the release stated.

Following his sentence, Trejo was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.