‘Supervisor’ sentenced in Brownsville, Edinburg cocaine smuggling conspiracy

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A “supervisor” of a narcotics smuggling conspiracy responsible for smuggling cocaine was sentenced to prison Tuesday following his guilty plea last year, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Jesus Alfonso Leos-Orozco, of Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, pleaded guilty on May 1, 2023, and was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for his extensive involvement in smuggling over 330 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. over several years.

Leos-Orozco is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment due to not being a U.S. citizen.

According to the release, from 2019 to 2021, law enforcement arrested multiple people in possession of “multi-kilograms” of cocaine in the Brownsville and Edinburg areas.

“Authorities connected the narcotics seizures to attempts to enter the United States, gas station transfers, highway interdictions and bulk currencies destined for Mexico,” the release said. “The bulk currencies are proceeds of the conspiracy that are both connected to a truck transporting company and Leos-Orozco.”

That investigation revealed that Leos-Orozco would smuggle between 33 to 44 pounds of cocaine weekly and would charge $500 for every estimated two pounds imported by his commercial tractor-trailers from his company “Leos Auto Transportes De Carga.”

He would recruit drivers and pay them $250 for every estimated two pounds of cocaine smuggled into the U.S., according to the release.

In addition, the investigation revealed that at least 20 border crossing incidents using a trailer were directly linked to Leos-Orozco. He was identified in surveillance video as the person responsible for the transfer of narcotics shipment to another driver.

“HSI will continue to aggressively pursue narcotics traffickers, as this 11-year prison sentence illustrates,” Mark Lippa, deputy special agent in charge from Homeland Security Investigations Rio Grande Valley, said in a release. “HSI will continue to pursue cross-border conspiracy investigations to target dangerous individuals who threaten the security of the United States.”

Leos-Orozco will remain in custody pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.