Mexican Trucker Charged in $11.5 MILLION Meth Smuggling Operation
Laredo, TX – A 45-year-old Mexican truck driver has been charged for importation of methamphetamine after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seized close to 600 lbs. of narcotics from a big rig shipment last week.
According to CBP, the bust occurred on Saturday, April 25, at the at the World Trade Bridge.
Mexican trucker Salvador Hernandez Palma, 45, was operating a 2020 International and hauling a shipment of stone tile when his big rig was referred for a secondary inspection.
Following a K-9 and non-intrusive imaging system examination, CBP officers discovered a total of 579.37 lbs. of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the shipment.
Hernandez Palma was taken into custody.
The case was turned over to to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
“Hernandez Palma stated to the HSI that he had picked up the trailer from his company’s yard in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico and was transporting the trailer to a destination in Houston, TX,” an affidavit states.
Mexican Trucker Claims He Was Offered $3,000-4,000 in Smuggling Operation
In a similar incident on Tuesday, April 21, at the Pharr International Bridge in McAllen, Mexican trucker Nephtali Alfonso Albarran-Garcia, 46, was arrested after CBP agents seized 23.28 kilograms (51 lbs.) of cocaine from a shipment he was hauling.
According to court records, Albarran-Garcia was operating for Mexico-based Norte Transportes.
“HSI Special Agents interviewed Albarran-Garcia, who stated he was paid $3,000-4,000 to drive the tractor trailer into the United States and drop it off in a parking lot. He further stated that he was suspicious that there were drugs in the vehicle but he simply followed orders and did not ask questions,” the complaint stated.
Albarran-Garcia remains in federal custody.
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