When officers at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge opened boxes of candy last week, they found methamphetamine hidden in the Mexican treats.
Roendy Vergara-Pineda, 45, of the State of Mexico attempted to cross the border Friday carrying two suitcases and two cardboard boxes, according to the criminal complaint against him.
After taking a bus to the border, Vergara-Pineda walked across the Hidalgo-Reynosa bridge, according to the criminal complaint. The bags and boxes were packed with Mexican candy.
Officers, though, didn’t find candy when they opened the packages: They discovered 28.3 pounds of a white, powdery substance.
“A field test of the white powdery substance determined that the substance contained the characteristics of methamphetamine,” according to the criminal complaint.
Officers contacted Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Federal agents questioned Vergara-Pineda about the methamphetamine.
“When asked what the boxes contained, Vergara-Pineda stated that he ‘doesn’t know the name of the drugs,'” according to the criminal complaint, which summarized the interview. “He then re-worded his response claiming that he ‘doesn’t know what’s inside.'”
Vergara-Pineda also provided conflicting statements about the payment he expected for transporting the candy.
“Vergara-Pineda initially stated that he was traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, to ‘pay some debts,'” according to the criminal complaint. “He later recanted that statement and claimed that he was being paid approximately $5,000 to deliver the candy to an unknown individual upon his arrival in Atlanta, Georgia.”
Federal agents charged Vergara-Pineda with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to federal court records.
An attorney for Vergara-Pineda couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.