FALFURRIAS — U.S. Border Patrol agents found methamphetamine that allegedly belongs to the Gulf Cartel’s second-in-command.
Allegations that the more than 11 pounds of crystal methamphetamine sent into the U.S. by Juan Reyes “Kike” Mejia Gonzalez surfaced in a federal criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Agents examining vehicles discovered the drugs concealed in a black 2000 Ford Mustang about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Border Patrol checkpoint along U.S. Highway 281 south of Falfurrias.
A drug dog alerted to the Mustang, which was sent to secondary inspection.
While in secondary, Hidalgo resident Maria Abigail Contreras told agents she owns the car.
Agents discovered anomalies in the rear quarter panel of the Mustang during an X-ray inspection, the complaint states.
The vehicle’s driver, Jose Martinez, appeared nervous as agents searched the back of the Mustang, the complaint states.
It took seven agents to attempt to remove the concealed crystal meth from inside the vehicle. The drugs carried a street value of about $366,400.
Contreras told agents Reynosa resident Jorge Alvarez bought the car for her and asked her to drive to Houston to pick up $7,000 in cash owed to him from a human smuggling venture.
The Mustang crossed the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge on Monday without incident — even after an X-ray scan by officers, the complaint states.
Martinez drove the Mustang north because Contreras does not have a driver’s license.
Contreras later told agents Alvarez works for Mejia, the Gulf Cartel’s head of operations and second-in-command.
Beyond knowing Alvarez’s ties to the Gulf Cartel, Contreras told agents the address of a stash house.
“Contreras stated Alvarez transports drugs in the U.S., however she did not know he smuggled methamphetamine,” the complaint states.
Contreras made an initial appearance on drug trafficking charges before a U.S. Magistrate in Corpus Christi on Wednesday. No criminal charges have been filed against Martinez.
Last believed to live in Miguel Alemán, Tamps, Mejia, 36, faces indictment in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia on drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. He has allegedly facilitated cocaine shipments between Central and South American and distributors in Tamaulipas’ northern border cities.
The U.S. State Department continues to offer a $5 million reward for information that leads to his arrest.
Jared Taylor covers courts and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at (956) 683-4439.