Brownsville woman sentenced to federal prison after failed smuggling attempt

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced that a Brownsville woman has been ordered to federal prison for possessing with intent to distribute meth.

Jennifer Santamaria attempted to cross the bridge into the United States through the Gateway International Bridge Port of Entry in Brownsville on January 22, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Law enforcement referred Santamaria’s vehicle for a secondary inspection after an initial search. Authorities discovered 22 foil-wrapped packages weighing a total of 94.19 kilograms of meth. The drugs had an estimated street value of $500,000.

Santamaria pleaded guilty on May 13.

On Thursday, August 19 U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. ordered her to serve a 10-year sentence to be followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Rodriguez noted the seriousness of the offense.

Santamaria will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.

Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Coronado prosecuted the case.

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