EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A Mexican man is banned from ever entering the United States after being caught smuggling a load of cocaine at the border.
Omar Jaime Flores, 42, was carrying 8.8 kilograms of cocaine when he approached the Gateway to the Americas Port of Entry on Sept. 20, 2019, in Laredo, Texas. Border authorities conducted an X-ray inspection and found bundles of the drug in a hidden compartment near the front fender of his 2003 Ford Explorer.
Flores, who is from Monterrey, Mexico, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and smuggling charges in December. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña sentenced him to three years in prison.
Because Flores is not a U.S. citizen, he faces removal from the U.S. upon his release from prison. According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick’s office, Flores is “forever banned” from the U.S.
“While some may mistakenly view smuggling controlled substances as a path to a quick profit, this sentencing demonstrates that serious consequences await those who engage in this criminal activity,” said Shane Folden, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio. “HSI will continue to utilize its broad authorities to bring to justice those who blatantly ignore the laws of this nation and threaten the welfare of our communities.”
Flores remains in custody and will be transferred to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined.
Investigators valued the cocaine was valued at nearly $225,000.