Sentencing rescheduled for man facing drug charges

Speaker box discovery led to arrest

The sentencing of a man stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint with nearly 20 kilos of cocaine is now set for the end of the year, court records show.

Gilberto Raul Bravo Jr. was originally scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 15.

Bravo was arrested in May 2018 after a Border Patrol agent at the Sarita checkpoint discovered nearly 20 kilos of cocaine inside the vehicle Bravo was driving, according to the complaint against him.

“Once BPA Reyes completed his inspection of the trunk, he asked Bravo Jr. if he consented to a search of his vehicle, to which Bravo Jr. responded ‘yes,’” the complaint states. “At this time, the vehicle was directed to secondary for further inspection.”

A K-9 unit helped alert agents to the vehicle’s trunk.

“Once the trunk was opened, BPA Reyes was able to determine that the detector dog was positively alerting to the area in which two speaker boxes were located. BPA Reyes noticed that the weight of the speaker box was not consistent with the weight of other speaker boxes he had previously encountered during the course of his duties,” the document states.

“Upon further inspection of the speaker boxes, BPA Reyes discovered what appeared to be a false wall or compartment inside the box. At this time, BPA Reyes drilled a hole in the side of the speaker box and as he pulled the drill back out of the box, he noticed a white powdery substance on the drill bit.”

The agent removed 19.5 kilos of cocaine from the speaker box. The arrest, which took place in May 2018, was not the first time law enforcement had a run in with Bravo.

Agents noted Bravo’s vehicle, an 2008 Infiniti M35, had made 20 northbound crossings through the Sarita checkpoint, and another three through the Falfurrias checkpoint since May 2017.

A records check shows another seizure, this time from a different vehicle registered to Bravo.

In July 2017, a vehicle registered to Bravo was seized by law enforcement. When searched, law enforcement removed $241,379 in cash from a large speaker box.

At the time of his arrest, Bravo did not speak with agents, as he had requested an attorney to be present.

In May 2019, Bravo pleaded guilty to one of the drug charges and will avoid a jury trial.