McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A car’s battery could not conceal $654,000 worth of heroin and meth, landing a 31-year-old Pharr man in federal prison.

Gerardo Jimenez, who pleaded guilty May 12 to smuggling the drugs, was convicted Monday and sentenced to serve 188 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, in a decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez.

“At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence regarding Jimenez’s smuggling attempt and how the large amounts of heroin and [methamphetamine] Jimenez smuggled were a danger to the community,” reads a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. “In handing down the sentence, the court noted that drug transportation is a serious offense and that Jimenez willingly participated as a transporter on behalf of the cartel.”

Jimenez admitted that on Nov. 3, 2020, he tried to smuggle the drugs past federal authorities at the port of entry in Hidalgo.

“Upon inspection, a K-9 alerted authorities to the hood of Jimenez’s vehicle,” the USAO stated.

Agents then found 8.8 pounds of heroin and nearly 4.5 pounds of “100% pure meth concealed in the battery of his car,” prosecutors said.