Roma woman faces federal drug charges

McALLEN — A Roma woman who was found with nearly 9 kilos of cocaine in her vehicle as she attempted to cross into the United States will remain in custody after her arrest last week, court records show.

U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker during a hearing Wednesday agreed to issue a ruling at a later time on whether or not he will grant a bond for Yarizma Yamilieth Peña, who was arrested at a port of entry after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found nearly 9 kilos of cocaine inside her vehicle, court notes show.

Peña, was arrested June 28 at the Roma port of entry as she made her way from Mexico into the country.

“Peña was questioned as to where she was going, the purpose of her trip into Mexico and if she had anything to declare,” the complaint states. “Peña stated to the officer she was visiting family in Mexico, she was coming to the local area and had nothing to declare.”

CBP officers released Peña, and her vehicle from the primary area, and randomly selected the vehicle for an X-ray inspection.

During that inspection, the machine revealed several “anomalies,” in the front and rear passenger side doors.

Officers searched the vehicle, and found four packages from inside the passenger side front door, and four packages from the passenger side rear door. The eight packages weighed approximately 8.9 kilograms, the complaint states.

The contents of the packages were tested and confirmed to be cocaine.

Despite this discovery, Peña denied any knowledge of having narcotics in her vehicle, which she stated to officers she had owned for four years, and had only been in her possession, and had not loaned out to anyone else.

“She indicated she was coming to McAllen to buy tennis shoes and indicated a male friend had given her $300 (a week prior) to come into McAllen to buy shoes,” the record shows.

The 23-year-old woman, who faces federal possession and conspiracy charges, made her initial appearance before the judge July 1, will remain in custody pending the court’s consideration of bond.