LAREDO, TEXAS (ICE) – Sergio Alejandro Valero Ibarra, 48, a resident of Mexico, has been ordered to prison following his conviction of possession with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms and more of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Ibarra pleaded guilty Aug. 29, 2013.
Wednesday, Senior U.S. District Judge George Kazen handed Ibarra a total sentence of 78 months in federal prison. At the hearing, additional evidence was presented including Ibarra’s prior crossings into the U.S. He is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
On June 21, 2013, Ibarra was detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers as he attempted to enter the United States at the Gateway to Americas Bridge II, in Laredo. At that time, CBP Officers noticed fingerprints and potential tampering with Valero’s vehicle fuel tank. Ibarra and his vehicle were then sent for secondary inspection, at which time 13.82 kilograms of cocaine were discovered bundled inside the fuel tank.
Ibarra admitted to importing and trafficking the drugs for individuals in Mexico. He stated he was driving the drug-laden vehicle for delivery in Houston and admitted he previously made three other drug deliveries in Houston.
Ibarra will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by CBP and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker prosecuted the case.