LAREDO, Texas – A
man and woman from Laredo have been ordered to prison following their
convictions of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S.
Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Roberto Rodriguez, 30, and his girlfriend Maria Del
Carmen Sarabia, 33, pleaded guilty July 6 and Sept. 7, 2017, respectively.
U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle found Rodriguez to be a leader, organizer or
supervisor and ordered him to serve 121 months in prison, while Sarabia
received a 70-month-term of imprisonment. They will serve three and two years
of supervised release following their sentences, respectively.
On Jan. 12, 2017,
police officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle Rodriguez was driving.
Sarabia was riding as a passenger. Inside the vehicle were methamphetamine
crystals scattered on and around the driver’s seat after a failed attempt to
toss the package out of the window. Rodriguez was taken into custody.
Following his arrest, authorities also searched their apartment which resulted
in the discovery of a bag of methamphetamine which was packaged for
reviewed calls between Rodriguez and Sarabia which revealed discussions of
distributing additional methamphetamine still hidden at their apartment. A
subsequent search of the apartment resulted in the recovery of additional
narcotics. Sarabia was then taken into custody and also charged in the
eventually recovered a total of 228 grams of methamphetamine between Jan. 12
and Jan. 19, 2017.
The couple have
been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons
facility to be determined in the near future.
Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the
investigation with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department and the
Webb County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno
prosecuted the case.