A Guatemalan man was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 years in federal prison without parole for trafficking heroin into the United States from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas.
U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle sentenced Linares-Soberanis to 360 months in federal prison for conspiracy to import 17.8 kilograms (39 pounds) of heroin into the United States from Mexico and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the heroin. Prior to trial, Linares-Sobernais also pleaded guilty to a third count alleged in the indictment: an alien in possessing a firearm.
During trial, the jury learned that on Nov. 6, 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents discovered 17.8 kilograms of heroin concealed in a vehicle driven by a co-conspirator as he entered the United States through a Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry. The hollow portion of the drive shafts on Dodge pick-ups contained the concealed heroin. Through further investigation, ICE HSI agents learned that a Linares-Sobernais, a Houston salvage yard owner, was the person to whom the drugs were to be delivered and the person who was to pay for the transporting of the drugs from Mexico to Houston.
The heroin intercepted at the bridge on Nov. 6, 2010 had an estimated street value of more than $8 million according to the testimony of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.