McALLEN — A man who sold heroin to an undercover federal agent pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge Monday, court records show.
Jose De Leon Jr. pleaded guilty to import of a controlled substance Monday as he stood before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez in connection with his arrest in Aug. after he sold a controlled substance to a federal officer working undercover.
The 28-year-old was arrested after he gave a Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer a bag containing four packages of heroin in the parking lot of a Costco in the 1500 block of West Kelly Avenue in Pharr, according to the complaint filed against him.
De Leon met with the undercover officer after he received a call from the officer, who claimed to be someone looking to purchase the illicit drug.
“A DEA confidential source informed DEA special agents/task force officers that a shipment of heroin had arrived into the United States from Mexico,” the document stated. “The (confidential source) provided a telephone number for an individual, later identified as (De Leon), who was in possession of approximately one kilogram of heroin.”
After the tip, an undercover DEA task force officer called De Leon and set up a time to pick up the product.
De Leon pulled out a bag of heroin and showed it to the undercover officer, indicating there were three other bags available. In total the bags weighed about 1.03 kilos of heroin, the court records show.
During his post-arrest interview with authorities, De Leon said he smuggled the heroin into the U.S. the day before by walking across the pedestrian lane at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge. He also told officers he knew he was smuggling the drug.
De Leon originally pleaded not guilty in October to the charges against him, but changed his mind Monday and pleaded guilty to the import charge. In exchange, government prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining three counts he faced, including conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute, and possession of a controlled substance.
De Leon, who will remain in custody, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 24, court records show.