Facebook job ad leads to federal drug charges

Federal investigators say a woman Thursday said that she responded to a Facebook advertisement to cross meat from Reynosa to Mission.

Now she’s in jail facing federal drug trafficking charges after U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered approximately 11 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside the walls of a cooler that contained the meat, according to a criminal complaint.

Authorities arrested Jacklyn Irene Ramirez Montiel on Thursday after she tried to enter the United States at around 3:58 p.m. at the Anzalduas Port of Entry in Mission, records show.

She is being temporarily held without bond pending detention and probable cause hearings scheduled for next week.

According to federal agents, Ramirez initially told CBP she was visiting family in Mexico, but upon further questioning, she told federal authorities about the Facebook job ad.

“Ramirez stated that she was just bringing meat from Mexico,” the complaint states. “The primary CBPO conducted an inspection of the ice chest and noticed that the walls of the ice chest were bulky, and the ice chest was heavier than usual after he removed the meat.”

The CBP officer squeezed the sides of the ice chest and the top material popped off, according to the charging document.

That’s when CBP reports discovering five packages of methamphetamine.

Homeland Security Investigations and CBP investigators who interviewed Ramirez say she waived her Miranda rights and provided a statement where she said she was visiting a friend in Pharr before heading to Mission to drop off the ice chest to an unknown person.

“Ramirez stated that she responded to a Facebook job offer,” the complaint states. “Ramirez stated that she spoke to an unknown male who explained that the job consisted of her crossing meat from Mexico to the United States in exchange for payment.”

She claims this person told her the meat was for a restaurant in Mission, according to authorities.

“Ramirez explained that some unknown subjects had met her at a Starbucks and told her they were there to pick up the ice chest,” the complaint states.

Ramirez told the investigators she was paid $70 for that trip, which occurred earlier on Thursday, and was going to be paid $75 for the current trip, which resulted in the drug charges, according to federal authorities.

“Ramirez stated that she was suspicious about getting paid that much money to cross an ice chest filled with meat,” the criminal complaint states. “Ramirez stated that she made sure she checked everything to make sure there was no prohibited items.”

When asked what she was looking for, Ramirez said drugs, according to federal authorities.