200 months for Mexican man who ‘orchestrated’ meth smuggling

Docs: Defendant ID’d as facilitator moved drugs from Reynosa to Houston

McALLEN — A Mexican national who planned the movement of meth from Reynosa to Houston was handed a more than 16-year prison sentence Thursday, court records show.

On Dec. 20 Guillermo Cardenas-Sanchez stood before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez for his sentencing hearing related to federal drug charges.

In an unsealed criminal complaint filed May 23, 2017, government prosecutors alleged that the Mexican national coordinated the smuggling of more than 26 kilos of meth into the United States through a local port of entry in Pharr on July 25, 2015.

Alvarez handed down a 200-month prison sentence for Cardenas-Sanchez more than 40 months after two suspects, referred to as defendants 1 and 2 in court filings, said Cardenas-Sanchez coordinated transporting the meth through the Pharr port of entry.

“On or about July 25, 2015, Homeland Security Investigations special agents from McAllen, Texas interviewed defendant 1 and were able to identify a second co-conspirator (hereinafter referred to as defendant 2) who assisted defendant 1 with the narcotics smuggling attempt via the Pharr POE,” court documents showed.

Both of the suspected smugglers admitted their respective roles and participation in an attempt to smuggle 26.2 kilos of meth from Reynosa to Houston.

The smugglers identified Cardenas-Sanchez, who also goes by the alias Gilberto Minera-Sanchez, as the “facilitator” who instructed the pair to smuggle the narcotics from Reynosa to Houston.

Nearly 19 months after the two suspects identified him, federal agents interviewed Cardenas-Sanchez in Houston, where he admitted to “orchestrating” the smuggling attempt that led to the arrests of defendants 1 and 2, the complaint stated.

Agents corroborated “phone communications” between Cardenas-Sanchez and the two suspected smugglers, during the “narcotics smuggling activities,” the documents showed.

Cardenas-Sanchez said he used a cell phone to coordinate the smuggling attempt.

As part of his plea agreement with government prosecutors, the Mexican national, who pleaded guilty to one count of importation of a controlled substance in November 2017, had the remaining drug conspiracy charge dismissed.

Guillermo Cardenas-Sanchez, who does not have legal status to remain in the U.S., will most likely be deported upon completion of his 200-month prison sentence.