McALLEN — A 28-year-old Mexican man and his mother each received more than 40-month prison sentences after trying to smuggle more than 10 kilos of cocaine through a Pharr port of entry, court records show.
Adolfo Rivera-Hernandez and his mother, Alicia Hernandez-Arguello, 52, of Mexico, each stood before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Monday morning for their respective sentencing hearings related to their November 2018 arrests on federal drug conspiracy charges.
Crane sentenced Rivera-Hernandez and Hernandez-Arguello to 46 and 41 months in prison, respectively, court notes show.
On Nov. 8, 2018 Rivera-Hernandez and his mother attempted to enter the U.S. through the Pharr-Reynosa International bridge and were referred for a secondary inspection.
During the inspection, a CBP K-9 detected 10 kilos of cocaine hidden within the vehicle’s rocker panels, or the panels below the passenger door.
Both were interviewed by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents.
During his interview with HSI agents, Rivera-Hernandez said he was hired by an unknown man in Mexico, who agreed to pay him $200 to transport what he believed was U.S. currency from the U.S. to Mexico.
“However, Rivera stated he suspected he was in reality transporting drugs into the United States,” the document read. “Rivera also stated his mother, Hernandez, accompanied him to provide legitimacy for the trip, and she also knew of the illegal activity.”
Hernandez-Arguello told HSI agents she suspected that she and her son were transporting drugs into the U.S.
The sentencing hearing comes months after the two pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, with Hernandez-Arguello pleading guilty in February, while her son, Rivera-Hernandez, pleaded guilty in early March, court records show.
The court did not set a supervised release term because both defendants, who do not have legal authority to remain in the country, will likely be deported upon completion of their respective prison terms.