McALLEN — Two men accused of attempting to sneak bundles of marijuana into the U.S. were sentenced during a hearing Tuesday, court records show.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Isamir Domingo Sandoval-Aran and Roman Olvera-Aldher to 24 and 18 months in federal prison, respectively, in connection with an attempt to smuggle bundles of marijuana into the country in early January.
On Jan. 7, U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback spotted the men near the banks of the Rio Grande in Sullivan City, an area commonly used to traffic drugs.
With the help of a Border Patrol K9, the agents worked to track the two men, later identified as Sandoval-Aran and Olvera-Aldher, Mexican nationals without legal authority to be in the country.
“(U.S. Border Patrol agents) tracked the individuals for approximately 1.25 miles when (agents) encountered six subjects running away from the intersection of Patricio Perez Road and Military Highway, where bundles of marijuana were discovered,” the complaint against the pair states.
One of the agents began running behind a man later identified as Sandoval-Aran and eventually detained him. Olvera-Aldher, was detained shortly after his co-conspirator, according to the document.
The men were found about 100 to 150 yards away from where agents had located the bundles of what was later confirmed to be marijuana.
“A search of the area was conducted and five large bundles containing a total of 24 bricks were discovered in the nearby brush where they had been seen absconding from,” the record shows.
The men were subsequently transferred to a Border Patrol station for processing.
The bundles weighed a total of about 270 pounds of marijuana.
During their respective interviews, the men admitted to participating in the marijuana smuggling, with Sandoval-Aran stating he was going to be paid $300 for moving the bricks of marijuana.
Both men pleaded guilty in late March to a single distribution charge; in exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the conspiracy charge against each of the men, court records show.
Upon completion of their respective prison terms, the men will likely be deported as they lack legal authority to remain in the country.