BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — An Army National Guardsman was sentenced to prison on drug smuggling charges.
Jonathan Zarazua, 28, was sentenced to 50 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, a media release from the United States District Attorney’s Office stated.
Zarazua is an Austin resident and was an active duty Army National Guardsman at the time of his arrest, the release stated.
On Sept. 11, 2011, Zarazua attempted to enter the United States through the Brownsville and Matamoros Bridge.
He told officers that he had been visiting his father in Mexico.
An x-ray scan of his vehicle revealed “anomalies” that were later discovered to be 14 pounds of cocaine in a hidden compartment under the center console.
Zarazua admitted to smuggling drugs into the U.S. on at least 30 other occasions, the release stated.
He also stated that he was specifically recruited because his military status would facilitate crossing the border with drugs.
Zarazua pleaded guilty on January 13.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations.