Mexican man pleads guilty in meth, coke drug smuggling case

DOCS: Man played role in transporting drugs from RGV to Atlanta

The federal courthouse at Bentsen Tower, located on Bicentennial Boulevard in McAllen, is seen in this August 2018 file photo. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

McALLEN — A Mexican national who played a role in a drug conspiracy to move cocaine and methamphetamine to Atlanta pleaded guilty last week, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted a guilty plea to a drug conspiracy charge Friday from Christian Reyna-Rodriguez, who originally faced three charges, including two drug distribution charges, court records showed.

READ THE COMPLAINT

The 30-year-old man was arrested in December 2018 as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into a drug conspiracy in which he allegedly played a role sometime in April of 2018, according to the complaint filed against him.

A DEA task force officer acting as an undercover agent began to negotiate a deal with Reyna-Rodriguez in March 2018 to transport drugs from the Rio Grande Valley to Atlanta. The deal called for the undercover agent to pick up four or five bundles of drugs in Laredo, the complaint stated.

Two Hispanic males delivered four tractor-trailer batteries filled with the drugs to the undercover agent in Laredo on April 3, 2018, court documents stated. Reyna-Rodriguez told the undercover agent he would be paid after he successfully delivered the narcotics.

The following day, Reyna-Rodriguez gave the undercover agent the telephone number of a person to contact in order to deliver the four batteries to Atlanta.

According to the complaint, on April 5, 2018, agents opened the four batteries and discovered 18 bundles of drugs. Twelve of the 18 bundles weighed roughly 18.5 kilograms and tested positive for methamphetamine. The remaining six bundles weighed about 5.25 kilograms and tested positive for cocaine.

The agents removed the drugs and substituted the 18 bundles with sham narcotics.

Later that day, the undercover agent called the phone number he was provided by Reyna-Rodriguez the previous day to set up a pick up location in Atlanta for the batteries with a member of a drug trafficking organization. In exchange for the drugs, the undercover agent was given $25,500 in cash.

Court notes show Reyna-Rodriguez was arrested December 2018 and made his initial appearance in federal court soon after. He will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until he is sentenced July 16, court notes show.