Woman pleads guilty to smuggling meth

McALLEN — A Fort Worth woman pleaded guilty to one count of importing a controlled substance Tuesday.

Kristina Gentry Almaguer, 48, was in the pedestrian lane at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge on Dec. 23, 2017, when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection canine enforcement officer detected “a large bulge” on her back, according to the criminal complaint.

After a subsequent search, the complaint states, four packages of methamphetamine weighing over 3 kilograms were discovered. She was arrested that day and has been in custody since.

According to the complaint, Almaguer was recruited in Reynosa to deliver the packages of methamphetamine to the Studio 6 motel in the 700 block of Savannah Avenue in McAllen.

She was scheduled to depart from the McAllen bus station that day at 1 p.m. for Atlanta, whereupon arrival, Almaguer would receive $4,000. However, according to the complaint, text messages indicated she was to receive an additional $4,000 upon crossing the Falfurrias checkpoint.

She admitted to successfully transporting two packages of narcotics to the same hotel two days prior, on Dec. 21, 2017, using the same method.

“Some people are under the impression that things come in through the river, but both of these came through the bridge,” said U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, referring to Almaguer and a co-defendant with a separate but similar case.

As part of her plea agreement, the court will dismiss the remaining three charges against her at the time of her sentencing. Almaguer will return to court for sentencing on June 25.