LAREDO, Texas – A 48-year-old resident of Hebbronville has entered a guilty plea to
conspiring to possess with intent to deliver 58.5 kilograms of marijuana,
announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Jaime Saul Benavides admitted he knowingly
attempted to smuggle the narcotics through the a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint.
On Aug. 11, Benavides attempted to drive a
tan Chevrolet pick-up truck through the Border Patrol Checkpoint near
Hebbronville. Upon arrival, a K-9 alerted to the possible presence of concealed
narcotics in the truck. Authorities conducted an X-ray examination which
revealed anomalies in the truck’s diesel tank. They found a hidden trap door
connecting the toolbox to the diesel tank which resulted in the discovery of
nine bundles of marijuana.
The drugs had a total weight of
weighing 58.5 kilograms with an estimated street value of $48,000.
Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S.
District Judge Diana Saldaña has At that time, Benavides faces up to 30 years in prison as well as a
possible $2 million maximum fine.
He has been and will remain in custody
pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the
assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Makens is
prosecuting the case.