LAREDO, Texas – A duo accused of conspiring
to possess meth now face up to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to their
respective roles in the crime, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Juan Carlos Hernandez, 38, a lawful permanent
resident, and Isidro Gonzalez, 44, both of whom reside in Dallas, pleaded
guilty today in federal court.
On June 15, Hernandez attempted admission
into the country as a passenger on a commercial bus at the Lincoln Juarez Port
of Entry in Laredo. After an x-ray revealed anomalies in one of his suitcases,
a K-9 alerted to that bag. Ultimately, authorities seized 24 bottles appearing
to be a legitimate beverage product. However, they actually held a total of
16.25 kilograms of liquid meth.
Gonzalez asked his friend, Hernandez, to
transport the bottles from the Hernandez family home in Ocampo, Guanajuato,
Mexico, to his residence in Dallas.
Gonzalez said the meth was converted from
liquid to crystal form at his residence. Authorities conducted a search at that
location and seized approximately 13.5 and two kilograms of liquid and crystal
Sentencing for Hernandez and Gonzalez has been
set for Feb. 22 and 24, respectively, before U.S. District Judge Marina
Garcia-Marmolejo. At that time, they face up to life in
prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bukiewicz is prosecuting the case.