Officers arrested a 46-year-old Mexican man on Saturday, when he attempted to cross the Anzalduas bridge with 17 kilograms of cocaine.
Oscar Manuel Flores-Lopez — accompanied by his wife, son and mother-in-law — attempted to cross the Anzalduas bridge Saturday driving a white 2011 Nissan Altima, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Flores said they were visiting McAllen to shop, according to the criminal complaint against him.
Officers sent Flores to secondary inspection after a Department of Homeland Security database flagged him and the Nissan for possible links to drug smuggling.
During secondary inspection, a K-9 alerted to the Nissan’s rear seats, according to the criminal complaint. Officers found 15 packages that weighed 17.18 kilograms. The packages tested positive for cocaine.
“Flores admitted to knowing the vehicle contained cocaine and he was going to be paid $5,000 USD for delivering the narcotics to unknown individuals in the United States,” according to the criminal complaint.
Officers contacted agents with Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who charged Flores with importing cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos ordered Flores-Lopez held until a detention hearing on Thursday.
Flores’ attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.