Brandon Ryan Hayden

McALLEN — An Edinburg man accused of attempting to enter the United States with nearly 60 kilos of meth and nearly 10 kilos of heroin pleaded not guilty to smuggling charges on Thursday, records show.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez set Brandon Ryan Hayden’s trial for a March setting after he pleaded not guilty to four federal drug trafficking charges related to an attempt by Hayden to enter the country through a port of entry with schedule 1 and 2 narcotics, records show.

Hayden, 25, was arrested at the Progreso port of entry Jan. 6 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered nearly more than 100 packages containing methamphetamine and heroin headed into the U.S.

“The K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics emanating from the vehicle, and the X-ray showed multiple anomalies in the rear portion of the truck,” the complaint stated. “CBPOs located four trap-door compartments in the bed of the F-150, and extracted approximately 110 packages of a crystal substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine, and 7 packages of a brown powder substance that later tested positive for heroin.”

Hayden, once in custody, first attempted to deny the drugs found within the pickup truck; stating that he was not aware that the vehicle contained any drugs, but then admitted that an unknown person approached him about smuggling drugs into the country in exchange for cash.

“Hayden stated that earlier that day, January 6, 2020, he received the Ford F-150 from the individual who previously approached him about smuggling narcotics,” the document stated. “During the interview, Hayden made several inconsistent statements concerning what he was going to do once he entered the United States in the Ford F-150.”

Eventually, Hayden told federal agents that he wanted to tell the truth, and that he was supposed to deliver the vehicle back to the unknown man who had provided it to him.

Agents, after gaining possession of Hayden’s cell phone, observed messages between Hayden and an unknown man discussing the transport of drugs, the document stated.

Hayden, who has been and will remain in custody since his arrest Jan. 6, is scheduled for jury selection March 6, records show.