Mexican man faces smuggling charges after meth found in truck’s trap doors

McALLEN — A Mexican man faces serious federal smuggling charges after he was found with more than 20 kilos of meth at a port of entry, records show.

Jorge Alfonso Estrada Marroquin stood before U.S. Magistrate J. Scott Hacker on Tuesday for his initial hearing related to his Feb. 14 arrest at the Anzalduas port of entry, Estrada was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered a controlled substance hidden within the vehicle Estrada was driving, according to court notes.

Estrada, 50, attempted to enter the U.S. through the Anzalduas port of entry just before noon Friday.

“While processing the entry, CBPOs noticed that Estrada had been associated with a prior narcotics seizure of methamphetamine in Laredo, Texas, on Feb. 8, 2020,” the complaint against Estrada stated.

That seizure on Feb. 8 involved drugs that were hidden within a concealed compartment in a pickup truck.

“CBP records indicated that Estrada previously entered the U.S. in the same (truck) in December 2019,” the document stated.

During a secondary inspection of Estrada’s vehicle, CBPOs found a non-factory anomaly in the rocker panels of Estrada’s vehicle. Estrada claimed he was headed to Mercedes to shop.

Agents subsequently found multiple trap-door compartments in the body of the car holding 40 plastic-wrapped packages containing a substance later determined to be meth. In all, agents determined they had seized 22 kilograms of meth.

After Estrada’s arrest, he spoke to federal agents where he made statements that implicated himself in the scheme to transport meth into the U.S.

“When confronted with the information about the Ford Lobo pickup truck, Estrada admitted that he was previously tasked by the organization to register and drive the Ford Lobo. Estrada claimed he had been ordered to drive the Ford to Houston, Texas, for the purposes of bringing back money back to Mexico and was paid $50,000 MX for the trip,” the document stated. “Estrada further stated that during that trip he noticed that the truck needed to be refueled frequently which led him to believe the gas tank had been modified.”

On this attempt, Estrada stated he was tasked with taking the vehicle he was driving to San Antonio, where he would drop it off with an unidentified man, who would then return the vehicle the following day.

Estrada, who was informed of his rights at the initial hearing, is due back before Judge Hacker for his detention hearing Feb. 20, notes show.