Roma man sentenced 7 years for moving marijuana

McALLEN — A man who was caught with nearly 250 pounds of marijuana earlier this year was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison Wednesday, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Roel Ruben Ramos to 87 months in federal prison for his role in an attempt to smuggle more than 240 pounds of marijuana in December of last year, court records show.

Ramos pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of marijuana in June of this year in exchange the government agreed to dismiss the drug conspiracy charge he was facing, court records show.

The Roma man’s troubles began at about 3 p.m. New Year’s Eve 2017, when a U.S. Border Patrol agent observed several people running back toward the river near Roma.

“As the Border Patrol agent relayed this information to other Border Patrol agents in the area, the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Raid Tower Camera (Tango 2) observed a maroon pickup truck leaving the same area,” the complaint states.

Ramos, later identified as the driver of the aforementioned pickup truck, sped past Border Patrol agents, who subsequently turned on their emergency lights and attempted to stop Ramos but he continued down Highway 83, the court record shows.

“After turning onto Athens Avenue, Ramos exited the vehicle while it was still in gear and continued rolling,” the complaint states.

Ramos was able to jump a nearby fence, but agents apprehended soon after.

During the search of the pickup truck, agents found six bundles of marijuana, five in the back of the pickup truck, and one bundle inside the vehicle. The weight of the marijuana came out to a little more than 240 pounds.

After he was arrested, Ramos declined to waive his Miranda Rights, but freely stated he “messed up,” in getting involved in the smuggling scheme, claiming he did it to get money to feed his addiction to crack cocaine.

“Ramos further advised that he should have listened to his mother,” records show.

The 45-year-old man has a criminal record dating back to 1994, with arrests on misdemeanors, including driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana to name a few, public records show.

In addition to the 87-month prison term, the judge ordered Ramos to serve an additional four years of supervised release upon completion of the prison term, and required to participate in a drug rehabilitation program, court records show.