McAllen man sentenced in marijuana smuggling case

McALLEN — A McAllen man learned Tuesday that he will spend two years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Olver Emyr Guerrero-Molina to 24 months in prison during a hearing Tuesday morning, according to court records.

As part of his sentence, Guerrero-Molina, who is a legal permanent resident, will not face any additional supervised release conditions but will most likely have his legal residency status revoked due to the conviction.

Guerrero-Molina, who was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents last July near Cuevitas, a rural Hidalgo County community along the river, pleaded guilty in December to one count of the selling, distributing of marijuana. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the second charge against him, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, court records show.

The 21-year-old man was arrested by agents patrolling near the banks of the Rio Grande. He originally pleaded not guilty to the charges after his arrest.

At about 3:30 p.m. July 12, 2017, an agent working the aerostat balloon radioed agents over to the location, a rural area known to authorities for human and drug smuggling, after noticing a white sedan backed up to the Rio Grande River, the complaint states.

“(The agent working the aerostat balloon) advised that the vehicle’s trunk was open and was possibly being loaded with narcotics,” the complaint states.

Another agent approached the driver’s side door at which time several people closed the trunk and ran back in the direction of the river where a raft was awaiting them, the complaint states.

“(The agent) stopped the all-terrain vehicle he was operating by the driver’s side door, blocking in the driver, who was later identified as Guerrero-Molina,” the criminal complaint states. “As (the agent) walked up to the driver’s side window, (he) could see in plain view, bundles of what appeared to be marijuana wrapped in brown cellophane tape.”

In all, agents found 34 bundles inside Guerrero-Molina’s vehicle with a weight of approximately 454 pounds.

During an interview, the McAllen resident told federal agents he agreed to transport the marijuana from Sullivan City to Mission, in exchange for $1,200, the complaint states.

Guerrero-Molina’s attorney, Carlos A. Garcia of Mission, said the young man, a high school graduate who was just a week short of completing a welding certificate, didn’t have a criminal record before his arrest last summer.

“He regrets to no end making that lapse in judgment,” Garcia said. “He will carry that with him for the rest of his life.”

Guerrero-Molina, who has been in custody since his arrest last July, will be deported at the completion of his 24-month sentence.