Foreign National Found Guilty of Smuggling Meth
LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo federal jury has convicted a 32-year-old Mexican citizen for conspiracy to import and importation of meth, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux and Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before convicting Juan Victor Larraga-Solano following a two-day trial.
On March 8, 2020, Larraga-Solano attempted to enter the United States through the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge in Laredo. He claimed he was importing glass beer bottles, juice boxes and meat contained in coolers from Mexico.
Law enforcement inspected the items and noticed that, when shaken, the juice boxes sounded as if they contained rocks. Further, the alleged beer did not have any bubbles. A follow up X-ray examination also revealed anomalies in the walls of the coolers. Authorities conducted a thorough inspection and found 56 packages of meth and 12 beer bottles containing liquid meth.
Overall, authorities seized a total of 44.56 kilograms of meth from Larraga-Solano. During trial, the jury heard the total estimated street value was in excess of $1.1 million.
Testimony also revealed that Mexican cartels have increased the price of meth to raise demand for less expensive drugs like cocaine and marijuana.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over trial and set sentencing for Nov. 30. At that time, Larraga-Solano faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.
Larraga-Solano will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam E. Harper and Brandon S. Bowling are prosecuting the case.