Man accused of smuggling meth in speaker boxes gets 70 months

McALLEN — A U.S. citizen will spend nearly six years in federal prison for his role in an attempt to smuggle more than 10 kilos of methamphetamine into the country, records show.

Jose Martin Gutierrez was sentenced Thursday to a 70-month prison term related to his April 29, 2019 arrest at the Progreso port of entry as he attempted to drive into the U.S. inside a vehicle that was later determined to have bundles of meth concealed within.

Gutierrez was found to have been carrying more than 10 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed within speaker boxes stored in the man’s vehicle as he attempted to enter the U.S. through the port.

The discovery was made as Gutierrez attempted to cross into the country and during a secondary inspection of the vehicle he was driving.

“In secondary inspection, the assistance of a (U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer) and his narcotics detection dog (NDD) was requested and the NDD alerted to the rear area of the truck,” the complaint against Gutierrez stated.

After CBP officers arrested Gutierrez, the 21-year-old man admitted to attempting to smuggle in the meth concealed within his vehicle; in exchange, he was expecting to be paid $100 to $200, the complaint stated.

Gutierrez told CBP officers that he was hired by an unidentified man in Rio Bravo, Mexico to smuggle the drugs — not knowing which drugs but knowing it was illegal to smuggle them into the U.S.

Originally charged with one count of distribution of narcotics, one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and two import charges, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to one import charge on Nov. 20, 2019, records show.

In exchange for his guilty plea to the import charge; the government agreed to dismiss the remaining aforementioned charges.

In addition to the 70-month prison sentence, Gutierrez will be required to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of the prison term.

If Gutierrez were to move to Mexico, the supervised release would then become unsupervised release, records show.