50 pounds of meth found in Jeep floorboards at Anzalduas portdfwnewsa | December 19, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News
A man from Mexico was arrested Saturday after U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers discovered more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside the white Jeep Liberty he was driving, according to a criminal complaint.
Jesus Gerardo Rodriguez-Benavides was charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute nearly 51 pounds of methamphetamine.
At 8:16 p.m. Saturday, Rodriguez arrived at the Anzalduas port of entry in the white Liberty with a passenger.
According to a complaint, pre-inspection X-ray images revealed anomalies in the floorboards of the Jeep, so Rodriguez was referred to a secondary inspection.
That’s when a K-9 unit alerted officers to the vehicle which resulted in the discovery of about 44 packages concealed within non-factory compartments under the front driver and passenger floorboards.
In total, the packages weighed a little less than 51 pounds and contained a white crystal substance that later tested presumptive positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine.
During an interview with authorities, Rodriguez stated he was supposed to drop off his passenger in McAllen and then head to Houston to deliver a piñata and some candy.
The complaint states that Rodriguez made several inconsistent statements regarding his reason for travel and those details.
Rodriguez initially stated he was solicited by an acquaintance in Houston to transport a different vehicle from the Hidalgo County area to Houston once he made it into the United States.
“Rodriguez then stated that the acquaintance in Houston asked him to take approximately $7,000 United States dollars to Houston from various locations in Hidalgo County for a fee of approximately $300 USDs,” the complaint said.
He added that this was his third trip to Houston on behalf of this acquaintance. In the previous two trips, the acquaintance had him drive vehicles from Nuevo Leon, Mexico to various locations near Houston.
Rodriguez said his acquaintance would take the vehicles to different locations for brief periods of time for “oil changes” and Rodriguez would then drive the vehicles back to Mexico.
According to the complaint, these statements were inconsistent with what Rodriguez said at the Anzalduas port.
During the primary inspection, he told officers that the purpose of his trip was to process his passenger’s immigration paperwork. In secondary, Rodriguez stated he and his passenger were there to shop in McAllen.
Rodriguez is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano for a preliminary examination and detention hearing later this week.
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