HIDALGO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Mexican woman was sentenced to federal prison after attempting to smuggle 114 pounds of methamphetamine into the United States.
Miriam Nayely Lopez-Hernandez, 36, was sentenced to 11 1/4 years in prison on a charge of importing a controlled substance, federal records show.
“In handing down the sentence, the court noted her role in the offense was not a minimal nor minor one and emphasized the dangerousness perpetuated by drug trafficking in both the United States and in Mexico,” a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas stated.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by ValleyCentral, on March, 24, 2021, Lopez-Hernandez attempted to enter the country through the Hidalgo Port of Entry in a Silver Ford Escape.
An officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted an inspection on the vehicle’s undercarriage where they noticed scratches and “new lead weights on all four tires, indicating they were recently mounted,” the complaint stated.
The tires were also described as looking cleaner than the rest of the vehicle.
The vehicle was scanned by a Z-Portal imaging machine where “anomalies” were seen in all four tires. A canine alerted officers to the rear of the vehicle, and a search of the tires revealed 24 packages of a white crystalline substance, the complaint stated.
The bundles, which weighed 114.15 pounds, tested positive for methamphetamine, the complaint stated.
According to the document, authorities also discovered a GPS tracker and microphone inside the vehicle. When interviewed, Lopez-Hernandez said she was at a bar the previous night with her boyfriend “whose last name she did not know,” the complaint stated. After searching her phone, authorities found text messages from her boyfriend asking where she was at the time she claimed to be with him.
As part of a plea agreement, three additional controlled substance-related charges were dismissed.