A Texas man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after being caught at a border checkpoint trying to smuggle drugs inside the tires of his pickup truck.
Abiel Geronimo Fernandez, 20, of Rio Grande City, was handed down the prison term in a federal courtroom after pleading guilty to smuggling methamphetamines from Mexico via the Rio Grande City Port of Entry.
On Nov. 28, Fernandez was driving a Chevrolet Silverado truck when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents referred him for a secondary inspection. It was then discovered that he had 24 bricks of methamphetamine in all four tires., authorities said.
In total, more than 59 grams of the drugs were found.
A federal judge noted that Fernandez had been arrested the day before the drug bust for smuggling undocumented immigrants.
“Today’s sentence imposed sends a clear message to criminal organizations that there are serious consequences for trafficking narcotics,” said Alejandro Amaro, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio.