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Legal permanent resident admits to importing meth and fentanyl | USAO-SDTX

LAREDO, Texas – A 42-year-old Pearland man has pleaded guilty to importing more than 20 kilograms of meth and 900 grams of fentanyl, US Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced.

On June 24, Jose Luis Escareno attempted to enter the United States through the Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry in Laredo. At that time he was driving a pick-up truck and pulling a trailer.

Upon inspection, he claimed ownership of everything inside the vehicle and trailer. Soon after, law enforcement discovered narcotics hidden in a mini-split air conditioning unit located in the trailer and inside a cooler in the truck. They were later determined to be 21.40 kilograms of meth and 8,500 pills of fentanyl weighing approximately 931 grams.

As part of his plea, Escareno claimed the air conditioning unit belonged to a friend who was going to pay him $150 to transport it to Houston. He further admitted that he bought the coolers and packed them with contents that belonged to him.

U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana will impose sentence at a later date. At that point, Escareno faces life in prison and a possible maximum fine of $10 million.

He was and will remain in custody pending that trial.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection. Assistant US Attorney Paul A. Harrison is prosecuting the case.

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