Nuevo Laredo resident admits to importing marijuana into the U.S.
Could face up to life in prison
LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -A 30-year-old resident of Nuevo Laredo is facing up to life in prison after admitting to conspiracy to import marijuana into the country.
Ruben Maldonado-Espino drove a semi-truck and trailer through the World Trade Bridge near Laredo on May 7. Authorities conducted an x-ray examination of the vehicle which revealed several anomalies in the trailer. Law enforcement opened the doors, at which time Maldonado-Espino admitted he knew drugs were in the trailer. He claimed a Mexican drug cartel was holding his wife hostage and forced him to smuggle the narcotics. However, authorities contacted his wife who appeared to be calm and not under distress.
Maldonado-Espino eventually admitted the story was a lie he was told to give to law enforcement. The 198 bundles of marijuana found in the trailer weighed approximately 4,601 pounds with an estimated street value of $875,000.
Maldonado-Espino could face a minimum of ten years or up to life in prison. Sentencing is set for October 28th.
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