A Honduran man was sentence to five years in prison for trying to smuggle cocaine through the Sarita checkpoint.
Edwin Lopez-Chavez, 28, was sentenced Tuesday. He was convicted on March 25 of possession with intent to distribute cocaine after a jury deliberated for less than five hours.
According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Lopez-Chavez was a passenger in a car going through the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita on August. 22, 2021. A canine unit alerted agents to the possibility of drugs in the car.
During a secondary inspection agents found four bundles of cocaine taped around his ankles and waistband.
The release said during the trial Lopez-Chavez tried to convince the jury he smuggled the drugs because he was forced to by cartel members. But prosecutors showed Lopez-Chavez had a phone on him that they say he could have used to call for help.
He will remain in custody until he is transferred to a federal prison. Once he is released he is expected to be deported.