McALLEN — A man who attempted to smuggle nearly 1,000 highly powerful prescription pills into the U.S. was sentenced last week.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Irving Alexis Guerrero-Fernandez to an 18-month prison term Dec. 17 in connection with a May attempt to smuggle more than 900 pills concealed on him.
Guerrero-Fernandez was arrested and detained May 17 at the port of entry in Pharr after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer discovered the pills hidden within items he and two others, Maria Liliana Salinas and Gilmara Guerrero, had in their possession when they attempted to cross into the country.
During a secondary inspection, Salinas exited the vehicle and attempted to make her way into the bathroom along with a diaper bag.
After a search of the diaper bag, CBP officers discovered various “improperly packaged pills” that had no visible prescription, according to the complaint filed against Guerrero-Fernandez.
In all, CBP officers found 219 Oxycodone pills and 752 Xanax pills, the complaint stated.
Guerrero-Fernandez, who was asked about the pills, denied they were his, and said they were Salinas’ pills; but Salinas denied they were her pills.
Before he was searched, Guerrero-Fernandez voluntarily pulled a bag from the crotch area of his pants and handed them over to the CBP officer.
The 25-year-old Mexican man said the pills were antidepressants that he purchased in Progreso, Mexico.
In August, Guerrero-Fernandez pleaded guilty to one count of import of a controlled substance. In exchange, the government recommended the court dismiss the remaining charges pending against him, including sale and distribution charges, records show.
Guerrero-Fernandez, who does not appear to have legal status to remain in the United States, will likely be deported upon completion of his prison term.