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Laredo man pleads guilty to possession of meth

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A Laredo man has entered a guilty plea to possessing with intent to deliver 3.26 kilograms of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Manuel Mendoza, 35, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker.

At the hearing, Mendoza admitted his guilt. He confirmed that while driving in Laredo on June 4, 2015, he was pulled over by a police officer for not having an operating brake light. Mendoza gave the officer consent to search the interior of his vehicle, at which time the officer discovered three packages totaling approximately 3.27 kilograms (approximately seven pounds) of methamphetamine in a backpack. He then admitted to special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that he was a drug courier taking the drug load to another person and that he expected to be paid.

Mendoza has been in custody since his arrest on June 4, 2015, where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing to be set in near future before Senior U.S. District Judge Kazen. At the time of that hearing, Mendoza faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible fine of up to $10 million.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by HSI with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Homero Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

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