LAREDO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Two women from Monterrey, Mexico, have been sentenced to prison for smuggling balls of heroin in bags of potato chips, authorities announced Tuesday.
Maria Luisa Hernandez-Alanis, 41, and Tania Melissa Coutino-Hernandez, 40, were each sentenced to three years in prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On Sept. 4, the women arrived at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo in a vehicle, where they attempted to enter the U.S. by presenting tourist visas, the release stated.
During a secondary inspection, authorities found two yellow bags of potato chips in Coutino’s purse, which appeared sealed and unopened.
“However, the contents felt like a heavy ball,” the release stated. “Further inspection revealed the bags contained heroin bundles weighing 983.9 grams.”
According to the release, the women were each going to be paid $300 for crossing the drugs into the country with them.
The women are expected to face a removal proceeding after their prison sentences, authorities noted.