LAREDO – A 36-year-old Mexican man has been ordered to
federal prison for his role in importing approximately 32 kilograms of meth
inside hidden compartments of a vehicle, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K.
Patrick. Raul Edrey Manrique Bernal pleaded guilty Aug. 8.
U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana handed Bernal a 51-month
sentence to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the
hearing, the court heard additional evidence that described Bernal’s
involvement in the conspiracy. She noted Bernal was educated and had a career
in Mexico, adding that his involvement in drug trafficking was pure madness.
The court commented that the desire for easy money caused him to make a bad
On April 15, Bernal attempted to enter into the United
States via the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge #1 Port of Entry, at which time a K-9
alerted to the odor of narcotics emitting from the vehicle. Authorities
conducted a search and located 63 bundles discreetly hidden in aftermarket
compartments in both rear quarter panels and in the bumper. The substance
later tested positive for meth with a total weight of 32 kilograms.
The street value of the drugs is approximately $160,000.
Bernal has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a
U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investiagtions and Customs and
Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant
U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Evans prosecuted the case.