LAREDO, TEXAS (KVEO)—A 46-year-old man from the city of Pharr has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1.42 kilograms of meth.
According to acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery, Eduardo Maldonado tried to enter the United States from Mexico at the Lincoln-Juarez bridge port of entry as a passenger on a commercial bus on Feb. 8.
During a routine X-ray examination of luggage and other items on the bus, authorities noted “anomalies” in a cardboard box belonging to Maldonado.
A K-9 unit also alerted officials on the presence of contraband. A search by law enforcement revealed nine packages that tested positive for cocaine, meth, and heroin.
Law enforcement weighed the narcotics and determined the packages contained 1.42, 2.04, and 4.16 kilograms of meth, heroin, and cocaine.
The collective street value of the drugs was approximately $162,820, according to a news release.
Maldonado admitted he was at a bar in Mexico with his girlfriend when he met a man who offered him $3,000 to transport the box to Birmingham, Alabama.
He was to give it to someone waiting for him at the bus stop. The man paid for Maldonado’s bus ticket.
Maldonado claimed he did not know what was in the box and did not check, but admitted he knew “something” was in it based on the amount of money he was to be paid.
He further acknowledged he did not ask the man many questions about the box.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo accepted the plea and set sentencing for Aug. 2.
Maldonado faces up to life in prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine. He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.