GARCIASVILLE — The watchful eye in the sky of a Border Patrol helicopter led to the discovery of more than 2,800 pounds of marijuana Thursday in Starr County, court records state.
Casey Olvera, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen, and Israel Estrada-Infante, a 28-year-old Mexican national, are each charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Olvera is also charged with knowingly transporting an illegal alien and Estrada is charged with illegally re-entering the country.
Border Patrol agents said from the air they saw a white truck traveling toward the Rio Grande in Garciasville on La Casita Main Road. The truck shut off its lights and then agents saw several people load bundles into it.
Then the agents saw a gray SUV, later determined to be driven by Olvera, waiting for the truck as it drove north on La Casita Main Road onto Farm-to-Market Road 1430. The cars went down an alley and then behind a shed, where agents briefly lost sight of them.
When agents saw the vehicles again, Estrada ran away from the white truck after spotting the helicopter and got inside the SUV.
Border Patrol agents in marked units stopped the SUV, which halted abruptly, and Estrada fled on foot.
When authorities returned to the site of the white truck and the shed, which was open, they found a total of 61 bundles weighing 2,837 pounds among the two, the court documents state.
Olvera denied being part of the drug smuggling, according to court documents. He told a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations that he didn’t know Estrada when he got into his car, so he fled.
Estrada also denied any involvement, telling HSI that he illegally crossed and went to a store where he was picked up by Olvera.
Estrada was arrested in 2006 and 2009 for entering the country illegally, the court documents state.
Jacqueline Armendariz covers law enforcement, courts and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at email@example.com and (956) 683-4434.
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