Sep. 1-Crossing a car from Mexico and leaving it at a Walmart store in Brownsville has landed a Los Fresnos man in federal prison because authorities found methamphetamine hidden inside it, authorities said.
Fernando Acosta has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Acosta, age unknown, said he was paid $100 to cross a vehicle from Mexico to the United States and leave it at a Walmart store in Brownsville, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Acosta appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Fernandez Rodriguez Jr., who sentenced him to 60 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
According to a Jan. 4, federal criminal complaint, Acosta gave U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' at the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios different stories and attempted to explain to them why he was crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
The criminal complaint states Acosta, who was driving a 2003 black Ford Ranger, attempted to cross the Los Indios International Bridge from Mexico to the United States on the evening of Jan. 3. He told the officers he was going to Los Fresnos to visit his father and grandmother, officials said.
During a vehicle X-ray exam, "anomalies were detected underneath the truck bed. A total of twenty-eight (28) packages were discovered in total underneath the truck bed in a non-factory compartment," the complaint stated.
The packages tested positive for methamphetamine totaling 8.14 kilograms.
In his interview with the officers, Acosta at first said he was going to the Walmart in Los Fresnos to purchase a piece of electrical equipment and then visit his relatives, officials said. He also stated the truck belong to a cousin; the complaint stated.
Upon further questioning, Acosta said he had been approached two months prior to cross a vehicle that contained "merchandise" but he told the person he would only cross "clean cars," officials said. Acosta stated he was paid $100 to cross the vehicle and leave it at a Walmart store in Brownsville, the complaint read.