McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A Mexican city councilwoman from the border town of Reynosa has been indicted on new federal drug charges in South Texas after previous federal charges were dropped against her relating to cocaine found in a vehicle she was driving at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint, Border Report has learned.
Denisse Ahumada-Martinez, 34, was arraigned in the U.S. Southern District of Texas court in McAllen on Friday afternoon. She was charged with two counts of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, according to the court clerk’s office.
A grand jury indicted Ahumada-Martinez, who had federal drug charges dropped against her earlier this month.
Last week she also had state drug charges leveled against her by the Brooks County sheriff who told Border Report that she violated state laws.
On Friday afternoon, she went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan Alanis in federal court in McAllen. He is the same judge who on June 15 dismissed federal drug-trafficking charges against her during a hearing in which he said federal prosecutors had lacked probable cause to arrest her.
Ahumada-Martinez was arrested June 10 after federal officials said they found 92 pounds of cocaine in bundles taped and hidden within the car seats and car door panels of a vehicle she was driving at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, about 65 miles north of the Mexican border.
Her lawyer Samuel Reyes, who was initially appointed to represent her on the first federal drug-trafficking charges, told Border Report that his client told federal officials that she was coerced by Mexican drug operatives who said they would kill her and her two young daughters if she did not drive the vehicle north to San Antonio.
Reyes said she did not know what was in the vehicle. And this was the second time she was ordered “under duress” to drive a vehicle north from Reynosa into Texas, he said.
On Friday she also had a detention hearing and was ordered held without bond, the clerk’s office said.
She was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals and her whereabouts are unknown.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra, who had been housing Ahumada-Martinez, told Border Report that she was no longer at his jail because he does not house federal inmates.
She has an Aug. 7 federal court hearing before U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa on the new charges.
Now Ahumada-Martinez has been assigned a new attorney on the new federal charges. Border Report has reached out to him and will update this story if additional information is received.