McALLEN, Texas — A 50-year-old Mexican resident has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 88.5 kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Faustino Perez Luna, the defendant, was driving a tractor trailer loaded with cocaine on November 13, 2022. The drugs were identified as the priority load of a known drug trafficking organization.
Luna approached the Falfurrias checkpoint and claimed that he was en route to Atlanta to deliver a load of produce. However, a K-9 unit alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. As a result, authorities conducted a secondary inspection and discovered the cocaine concealed between produce boxes inside the tractor trailer.
The seized drugs had an approximate weight of 88.5 kilograms, with an estimated street value of $1.5 million.
During the investigation, which took place from March 2022 to November 13, 2022, law enforcement made several arrests in connection with the drug trafficking organization operating in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The organization was involved in the transportation of narcotics, firearms, and money.
The investigation led to the discovery of the 88.5 kilograms of cocaine that Luna had transported. The intended destination for the drugs was Atlanta, Georgia.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane is scheduled to impose sentencing on Luna on August 10. Luna could face up to life in federal prison and a maximum fine of $10 million.
Luna will remain in custody until his sentencing. The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric D. Flores is prosecuting the case.